HTC is discontinuing its Vive Pro and Vive Focus headsets in favor of newer versions of the headsets. The change helps streamline the company’s smattering of headsets.

In a recent opinion piece I argued that HTC’s VR headset lineup, which had reached 11 different packages, had turned into a confusing array of options. When we reached out to the company for its take on the critique, it shared that several headsets are being discontinued. While this doesn’t do much to help Cosmos’ messy modular options, it stands to bring a bit more order to the overall lineup.

HTC’s Vive Pro, which the company first launched back in 2018, is being discontinued in favor of the newer Vive Pro Eye, which is effectively the same headset but with eye-tracking.

The original Vive Pro was offered in three different packages—the Starter Kit, Full Kit, and McLaren Limited Edition—which are being phased-out as the company sells through remaining stock. They will be superseded by three packages: Vive Pro Eye Full Kit, Vive Pro Eye Office, and Vive Pro Eye Office Arena (more details on these new Vive Pro Eye packages here).

While this move doesn’t actually reduce the count of packages offered, it adds clarity to which products the company intends for enterprise and which are for consumers. While the Vive Pro was much like the original Vive but with better displays and a better headstrap out of the box, eye-tracking on Vive Pro Eye is a clear differentiating feature as it isn’t available in any major consumer headset to date, and doesn’t offer much value to consumers presently because eye-tracking hasn’t seen adoption in the consumer VR space just yet.

Same goes for the included SteamVR Tracking 2.0 base stations which offer more value than 1.0 base stations to enterprise users compared to most consumers; while the Vive Pro had been sold in a pseudo-consumer package for $900 with 1.0 base stations, all versions of Vive Pro Eye are priced above $1,000 and include 2.0 base stations, helping more clearly focus the company’s enterprise lineup.

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Speaking of focus, HTC is also pruning the original Vive Focus from its lineup in favor of the Vive Focus Plus. Vive Focus is the company’s $600 enterprise-focused standalone headset, but it launched somewhat awkwardly without 6DOF controllers. The company quickly followed up with the Vive Focus Plus which added 6DOF controllers out of the box for $800.

6DOF tracking on head and controllers has largely become an expectation for modern VR headsets, whether tethered or standalone, so it makes sense to put the original Vive Focus to rest. However, HTC told us that it will continue to offer Vive Focus in custom deals to enterprises for whom the headset could still be the best fit.

Additionally, while the company had announced the discontinuation of its original Vive headset a while back, it had continued to market and sell a certified pre-owned package of the headset for some time. Recent updates to the company’s website appear to have now removed the original Vive entirely, further streamlining HTC’s headset lineup.

It’s going to take some time until these lineup changes are fully reflected in the company’s marketing, but here’s what it should look line once complete:

Recent Vive Headset Lineup

  •  PC
    • Vive
    • Vive Pro Starter Kit
    • Vive Pro Full Kit
    • Vive Pro McLaren Limited Edition
    • Vive Pro Eye
    • Vive Cosmos Play
    • Vive Cosmos
    • Vive Cosmos Elite
    • Vive Cosmos XR
  • Standalone
    • Vive Focus
    • Vive Focus Plus

Upcoming Vive Headset Lineup

  •  PC
    • Vive Pro Eye
    • Vive Pro Eye Office
    • Vive Pro Eye Office Arena
    • Vive Cosmos Play
    • Vive Cosmos
    • Vive Cosmos Elite
    • Vive Cosmos XR
  • Standalone
    • Vive Focus Plus

Assuming this comes to fruition quickly enough, it looks like an improvement. Next we’ll be waiting to see if HTC can make sense of the messy nature of Cosmos’ modularity, and just when and how it will position the Vive Proton headsets which it recently teased.

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  • Tommy

    Man, what a mess…

    • mfx

      The guy who’s in charge of copy pasting/renaming their products is in panic probably, he clicked his button 5 times too much.

  • Andrew Jakobs

    Hmmm.. I like my HTC Vive Pro (Starter kit), only thing I hate about it are the fresnel-lenses, but as I gather the Cosmos still has those awful lenses too..

    • Pulstar44

      I was curious if the cosmos has the same lenses lenses as the Vive and pro. I can’t stand those lenses. Oculus fresnel lenses look way better. Can anyone else with a cosmos confirm?

      • 144Hz

        Yep, same lenses as the Vive Pro.

    • sfmike

      Yes the lens suck so bad the Pro sits on the shelf while I use the Quest. You would think they would be doing some hard optics research but that’s to much to ask I guess.

      • Immersive Computing

        It’s stupidity expensive to engineer good Fresnel lenses, as Oculus and Google found out.

        Google’s Daydream 2017 Fresnel lens design used a considerable amount of computer simulation (ray casting) to design. Not cheap.

        I could be wrong, but HTC don’t seem to have the resources for redesigning their lenses?

        So stuck using the same lens originally designed by Valve for the Vive in 2016. When I realized Vive Pro had the same lens as my Vive, I looked elsewhere.

        https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/75000eb4c5a0701d1eb8c2f03cd9f1bcf4ad966b970c9d3470683b7b32f5497a.jpg

        • mepy

          Could be it’s expensive to engineer custom lenses, but the Gear VR lenses on ebay are $50 so the manufacturing cost can’t be more than $25.

          • Immersive Computing

            GearVR and original Daydream use aspherical lenses not Fresnel. Aspherical have their own issues. PSVR uses special aspherical lenses.

            Getting Fresnel to work without excessive optics abberations is tricky. Index dual element lens has big improvement on edge to edge clarity and geometric stability whilst slightly increasing FOV in regular form factor headset, but suffers from glare.

      • mepy

        Dude, the lenses aren’t that bad. I have both the Vive Pro and the Oculus Quest. I’ve never really noticed any difference with the lenses, and I wouldn’t have thought about it if it wasn’t for the talk about the lenses.

    • Evol Love

      Agreed, I did the GearVR lens mod for this reason. The Vive Pro with this mod is hands down the clearest image of any headset I own. (Vive, Vive Pro, Index, Quest, Rift S, Pimax5K/8K)

      • Andrew Jakobs

        I was thinking about that too, until I read it also has it’s own problems..

        • Evol Love

          True, I have experienced some eyestrain a few times. It hasn’t ever been to bad and in my opinion, it’s worth it.

    • ArSh

      I’ve never really had an issue with the lenses. Yes, you get the odd bit of glare and sometimes see the rings, but it’s not as bad as made out to be IMO. I’m also using prescription inserts over the lenses which seems to reduce it even further that it’s a non-issue.

    • Josh Moran

      They are horrible. Have you heard of the Gear VR lens mod? Its a game changer.

      • Andrew Jakobs

        yeah I heard, and even though I’m very handy, I just don’t want to risk my main headset. Wish HTC would have just done it themselves so the lenses would be even more tailormade for the headset and the software would be out of the box with all the fixes and correct adjustements.

  • mellott124

    Wow, the Vive Pro is probably their best headset. Looks like they’re trying to force people to buy into their new Cosmos line. The Eye is a bit expensive. Any actual games that use the eye tracking? All I’ve seen are tech demos.

    • Robert

      Nah the goal is to force them to get the vive pro eye. Same thing but with eye tracking. Can’t lie if games could use it, or software say plugins for chat or streaming that would be amazing but its so niche I doubt it..

    • Immersive Computing

      I’ve used Vive Pro Eye a number of times now and eye tracking has been disabled apart from once, a developer had a form of foveated rendering running driven off my eye gaze but it looked a bit strange.

      https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/4d781df403343b5522a0f23f29fc8d08a0afbdcc6d4e994d129dca655d4f24f9.jpg

    • mepy

      I’m guessing the Eye Tracking module isn’t an overly expensive extra thing to add to the headset.

      • mellott124

        Used to be incredibly expensive. Like $10k expensive. This may be one of their big customers for eye tracking now. I believe they use Tobii tech.

    • mirak

      The Cosmos is too expensive too, especially Cosmos Elite.

  • mfx

    As I wrote in a previous news, just do:
    -Cosmos (working properly)
    -Cosmos Eye (instead of old vive pro eye)
    -Focus (why not for existing customers)

    And done. 3 products and you focus on quality from now on.

    • Immersive Computing

      Doubt Cosmos tracking would be robust enough for typical enterprise / commercial use?

      It’s often less than ideal circumstances perhaps inside a busy demonstration area, “noisy” backgrounds or no environmental reference for inside out tracking if setup in the middle of a plain room? Or multiple headsets in same space. Or using tracked props like guns and pucks for hand tracking.

      You’d need the Elite face plate with steamVR base stations and wands; might as well use Vive Pro Eye.

      https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/36f3c6f697108e6dbd0bb1dc45cc2f2afef54ba1ada0fb25bf4f1de580c35491.jpg

  • mepy

    Now if only the Vive Pro Eye would get a resolution upgrade with the LG OLED 1,443 ppi screens. LG prototyped this way back in May of 2018.

  • mirak

    I don’t really want to upgrade to the Index, and could use a used Vive Pro I am thinking to remplace the OG.

    • mepy

      The resolution upgrade was worth it. Although I did find the OG Vive with the deluxe audio strap was a better fit around the head.

      • mirak

        I have the DAS and I like it.
        I have a Gear VR with S8+ and that’s a similar resolution than the Vive Pro, and although it’s a plus, it’s not nigth and day.
        I think the RGB non pentile panels of the Index is also a plus, but then you lose the OLED contrast.
        So no headset is really satisfying and I feel I am too late to the party, and probably should go all in and save myself for the next party.

        • mepy

          Let’s hope the next VR party is soon, and that there are resolution upgrades this year. If there are new phones, gfx-cards and CPUs each year, then it follows there could be hardware upgrades to VR headsets each year.

    • ArSh

      If you like the OLED colours and deep blacks of the OG Vive, the Vive Pro is a good upgrade. I’m very happy with mine, got it used for half the price, and paired with the Index controllers it’s basically the perfect VR combination IMO. I’d say the only negative is the audio is not as good as the DAS.

  • NooYawker

    HTC should aim at mid level, like Rift S and something to compete against the Quest. The vast majority of people who is going to spend big cash is going to buy an index.

  • Discontinuing the Focus is a smart choice, since with the 3DOF controller it was now old. But the Vive Pro… I mean, it is very successful in enterprise settings, especially LBVR… and LBVR do not need eye tracking. What will arcade do?

  • Tos Ròs

    HTC denies that the Vive Pro is being discontinued, and they’ve also reassured me that if it does, the price of the Pro Eye will not change. Either the 9 reps I talked to had all missed a memo, or this is a false report. They target enterprise users with the Pro Eye and consumers with the Pro. Their own words are “we have no plans of discontinuing the Vive Pro, the only product we’ve discontinued is the original HTC Vive”