With the Vive Pro on the horizon, it appears that HTC has also gone and retooled its Link Box accessory, which you can optionally use to connect your VR headset to your PC. The new version will add a power button to the mix, and lose the HDMI connector.
The point of the Link Box is to provide more power to the headset and enable Bluetooth connectivity. It's also a convenience for anyone who might have more than one headset—the original version also works with the Oculus Rift and mixed reality headsets, and we suspect the new model will as well.
Steve Bowler from Cloudgate Studio snapped some photos of the new Link Box and shared them on Twitter. They clearly show the new power button, along with a mini DisplayPort that he accidentally referred to as an output (it's actually an input).
Meant to tweet this earlier:New single port cable for Vive Pro.New link box (w/power button).New Mini Display-Port out (to full sized Dispaly Port) pic.twitter.com/lA0cz0n4GBMarch 8, 2018
The current Link Box has a mini DisplayPort as well, but with the new version, it stands alone for display input with the HDMI option falling by the wayside. HTC also made the new version a little more user friendly—the sides are clearly labeled so there's no mistaking which end connects to the headset and which one goes to the PC.
Most people probably won't miss the HDMI port. As TomsHardware points out, even though HDMI 1.4 provides enough bandwidth to drive a 2880x1660 resolution, as found in the Samsung Odyssey, many current graphics cards serve up more DisplayPort connectors than HDMI ports these days. So, out with the old and with the new.
HTC announced its Vive Pro at CES earlier this year. In addition to a bump in resolution, it will also introduce "integrated high-performance headphones with a built-in amplifier," dual microphones, and dual front cameras "designed to empower developer creativity," most likely with augmented reality applications.