HTC's new Vive Pro 2 headset comes with a beefy specs list... and price tag

HTC Vive Pro 2
(Image credit: HTC)

HTC has announced the Vive Pro 2, a new virtual reality headset offering a 5K resolution display with a 120-degree field of view and a maximum refresh rate of 120Hz. This isn't a standalone unit like the Oculus Quest 2 and instead is designed to be plumbed into your PC from the outset. You'll need a beefy PC to be able to drive that 4896 x 2448 screen, too, especially if you're aiming at that smooth high refresh.

The high-resolution screen means there's almost no screen-door effect, something that is aided by the fact the new display uses proper RGB sub-pixels. The double-lens design, with two lenses for each eye, stacked on top of each other, is behind the upgrade in the Field of View and also helps ensure there is no blurring towards the edges.

Swipe to scroll horizontally
HTC Vive Pro Specs
Header Cell - Column 0 HTC Vive Pro 2HTC Vive Pro
Resolution 2448 x 2448 per eye1440 x 1600 per eye
Refresh Rate120 Hz90 Hz
Field of View120 degrees110 degrees
Base StationsSteamVR 2.0 LighthouseSteamVR 2.0 Lighthouse
ControllersHTC Vive Pro ControllersHTC Vive Pro Controllers

HTC has worked with Nvidia and AMD to optimize Display Stream Compression, which is apparently a first for a VR headset, to ensure that image quality is maintained while still offering backward compatibility with DisplayPort 1.2. 

HTC is keen to point out that it doesn't want to lose its existing loyal PC user base, and so will be offering the head-mounted display (HMD) as an upgrade path on its own for those that already have base stations and controllers, saving a fair chunk of cash in the process. 

Now for the deep breath moment, the pricing: HTC has a promotion for pre-orders that sees the headset-only version for $749 (£659, AU$1,229) on its own. If you need the full starter pack which includes the headset, a pair of second-generation base stations, and Vive controllers, then you're looking at $1,399 (£1,299, AU$2,199). 

(Image credit: HTC)
Virtual reality

(Image credit: Valve)

Best VR headset: which kit should you choose?
Best graphics card: you need serious GPU power for VR
Best gaming laptop: don't get tied to your desktop in VR

That's a lot of money however you slice it. Especially in a world where our pick for the best VR headset, the Oculus Quest 2, can be had for $299 (£299, AU$479). And even though that's a different kind of headset, its success isn't something that can be easily ignored. Or its ease of use to be honest. Let's see if high-end PC-tethered VR can keep on fighting.

The Vive Pro 2 will more so be squaring up with the Valve Index at that price, which is yet another mammoth undertaking. The Index is the definition of high-end VR today. 

The headset-only version of the HTC Vive Pro 2 is available for pre-order as of later today, with the full package available from June 4. 

Alan Dexter

Alan has been writing about PC tech since before 3D graphics cards existed, and still vividly recalls having to fight with MS-DOS just to get games to load. He fondly remembers the killer combo of a Matrox Millenium and 3dfx Voodoo, and seeing Lara Croft in 3D for the first time. He's very glad hardware has advanced as much as it has though, and is particularly happy when putting the latest M.2 NVMe SSDs, AMD processors, and laptops through their paces. He has a long-lasting Magic: The Gathering obsession but limits this to MTG Arena these days.