HTC made a not so subtle tease today that a new version of the HTC Vive is on the way with improved resolution. While it doesn’t look like this will be positioned as a ‘Vive 2’, here’s what we could see from a ‘Vive 1.5’ when it debuts next week at CES on January 8th.

Which New Display?

The current Vive model, released in 2016, has a pair of 1,080 × 1,200 displays made by Samsung. Samsung released their own PC VR headset, the Odyssey, at the end of 2017, which uses 1,440 × 1,600 displays; it’s feasible that HTC will use those same displays in a Vive 1.5.

An upgraded Samsung display seems like the most likely possibility, but there’s another option at play which could bring more than just improved resolution: a Vive 1.5 could use Valve’s new display and lens tech for VR, which it announced last year. The company said that new calibration software makes low-cost LCD displays viable for high-end VR headsets.

SEE ALSO
Valve Says New Calibration Software Makes Lower-Cost LCD Panels Viable for High-End VR

That could help the Vive compete on price against the Rift, which is now $400 to the Vive’s $600 MSRP. Valve says the same optics can be paired with OLED displays as well, though they are generally more expensive; the company is selling the tech for use in SteamVR headsets like the Vive.

SteamVR Tracking 2.0?

Valve designed SteamVR Tracking (formerly called Lighthouse), the room-scale tracking system employed by the Vive. Over the course of 2017, Valve has been revealing information on ‘SteamVR Tracking 2.0’, a revamped and improved version of the system, which is expected to bring reduced cost and improved performance, including huge tracking volumes with more than two base stations.

SEE ALSO
SteamVR Tracking 2.0 Will Support 33×33 Foot Playspaces With 4 Base Stations

Gauging whether or not SteamVR Tracking 2.0 will make it into a Vive 1.5 is a tough call. On one hand, it would make sense, especially if it allows HTC to further reduce the cost of the headset—SteamVR Tracking 2.0 is said to use fewer components and have a simplified design, potentially reducing manufacturing and support costs. That helps with HTC’s bottom line which is important as the company is primarily a hardware manufacturer, and especially so given the company’s recent financial troubles.

On the other hand, this would likely require a more significant reworking of the manufacturing process, and if the company launched the headset with SteamVR Tracking 2.0 base stations, those would be incompatible with the original Vive—which would be a seemingly more appropriate move for a ‘Vive 2’ than a ‘Vive 1.5’.

The likely possibilities are that SteamVR Tracking 2.0 isn’t included at all in a Vive 1.5, or that the headset and controllers employ the SteamVR Tracking 2.0 sensors, but continue to be shipped with the 1.0 base stations.

The latter would ensure forward-compatibility with SteamVR Tracking 2.0 base stations when they arrive but ensure that all base stations out in the ecosystem work with all current Vive’s (since the SteamVR Tracking 2.0 base station only supports the 2.0 sensors, but the 2.0 sensors support 1.0 base stations). That would avoid fragmenting the tracking systems until a Vive 2 hits.

Image courtesy Valve

Knuckles Controllers?

image courtesy Valve

Another piece of anticipated tech for the Vive is Valve’s ‘Knuckles’, controllers which the company debuted last year and has been refining ever since. We would love to see these new controllers—which are said to be a big step forward over the current Vive ‘wands’—ship with a Vive 1.5.

SEE ALSO
Valve's Knuckles Controllers Get Ergonomic Improvements, Begin Arriving at Devs' Doorsteps

From a marketing standpoint, however, brand new controllers feel like more of a ‘Vive 2’ move. Especially because they aren’t just an ergonomic improvement, they also bring new features like finger tracking. Our bet is that a Vive 1.5 won’t ship with Knuckles, unfortunately.

– – — – –

It’s exciting to see a refreshed version of the Vive on the way, especially with Oculus saying that they don’t expect to release a Rift 2 in 2018. Whatever HTC ends up announcing, we’ll be there at CES next week on the 8th to find out. Stay tuned!

This article may contain affiliate links. If you click an affiliate link and buy a product we may receive a small commission which helps support the publication. See here for more information.


  • NooYawker

    Well that’s a plus for people buying in now.

  • If the Vive 1.5 had either the Knuckle controllers or the Lighthouse 2 trackers, I’d go ahead and get it. If it’s just going to have the higher resolution screens then I may as well wait for the Vive 2.

    If they released the Knuckles and Bethesda re-worked Fallout 4VR to work with them, that’d be grand.

  • Andrew Jakobs

    I expect them to ship it with the new basestations, as the stations and the tracking chips are much cheaper (to produce). But I don’t think the new headset will be cheaper than the current version, ‘nobody’ would be buying the current one anymore once the news is out there will be a better cheaper vive out..

    • Mei Ling

      It’s a “premium upgrade” so it will have a “premium price”.

  • Duane Aakre

    If you are right and we’re only getting Vive 1.5, we won’t hear anymore from HTC until Monday. If we are getting Vive 2.0, I think we’ll get another teaser tweet tomorrow about controllers, and a third one on Sunday about some other feature.

    I don’t see why we can’t expect them to announce Vive 2.0 on Monday. Samsung’s 2k x 2k displays have been talked about since last May. Assuming the new Vive releases around April again, that’s long enough lead time to use them. And eye-trackers and foveated rendering have been discussed for just as long. The knuckles have been talked about for over a year, so it seems like they should be ready, too.

    Personally, I don’t see any technical reason Vive 2.0 can’t happen in the next 3-4 months. Keep Vive 1.0 as the price leader and competition for Rift and bring out Vive 2.0 at the old $799 price. I would certainly pre-order one on Monday.

    • mobileJuggler

      I think you are missing out on the central point for 2kx2k resolution.
      Building this should be no issue (see pimax) but if you double x and y resolution the amount of pixels to render quadruples. Intuitively I would expect the computational load todo the same, but from typical gamebenchs it seems 1.8 – 2.3 might suffice. But eved 2 * gtx1060 is more than a gtx 1080ti.
      => Such a system would only be usable for those few people that can afford dual card setups and are willing to live with the additional problems. Even worse so if you do not actively prevent all other customers from buying, you will create the same problem as we have it with game prices. People have bought something that barely fitted their budget and do now realize they can’t afford enough games, because they accidentally became early adopters.
      Foveated rendering could alleviate the computational burden, but afaik so far only one solution is announced that would be fast enough for this.
      In summary delivering a 2kx2k display within the next few months on a large scale (i.e. beyond kickstarter) would be doomed to become a disaster.
      On the contrary doubling the pixel count is feasible and probably a smart move to counter MR and the upcoming LG goggles.

      Regarding the knuckles, I vaguely remember valve saying the liked the idea of beeing able to develop a game togethe with a matching controller. Thus my gut feeling is, that knuckles will be released together with the next valve VR game. Of course this does not exclude a release together with the next vive…

      • G-man

        No. Dual card setups are pointless for vr. no games work with sli. But also most game right now are being super sampled to well above what the res of any new headset would be anyway. Current hardware will be fine.

        • Muzufuzo

          New Vive will be probably shipping around the same time as Nvidia Ampere.

          • mobileJuggler

            That’s the really interesting point.
            Will a GTX1180 suffice to render at least the majority of current games at 2k*2k resolution.
            For this it probably needs to be 1.8 – 2.3 times faster than a 1070.
            That’s still a tough call I think, but it might not be completely out of reach.

          • Muzufuzo

            It would have to be faster than GTX 1080 Ti. A lot depends on CUDA cores count.

        • J.C.

          This is absolutely untrue. VR SLI is built into both Unity and Unreal. As long as developers are using newer versions of the game engines, it’s there. I am not sure if developers need to build in a toggle for it or not.

          SLI is effectively dead, although VR *could* be the one place it becomes useful again. Convincing users of that is a tall order, already VR is considered to be too expensive. Until headsets are cheap enough to get out of gumball machines, ALONG WITH the GPUs to power them, there will always be a large group of people saying it’s out of the average person’s price range.

          • Yup. SLI-VR will be very much appreciated. It makes sense too, if you built a new standard of Graphics card purly for VR it would have two GPU’s for rendering each eye simultaneously.

            That is no doubt where we will end up in the future. What would be the point of splitting the workload of one GPU across two displays when it makes more sense to have a gpu per eye for optimum performance. The need has never really been there until now.

            https://developer.nvidia.com/vrworks/graphics/vrsli

          • G-man

            exactly a game dev has to use the right version, and none of them are. serious sam did. and nvidia did for their own demo, thats about it. not exactly a good reason to spend another £7-800 on a second gpu.

          • G-man

            Developers arent using sli, they have to actualy implement it, and next to none of them are bothering to. So theres no point buying it, so theres no point them implementing it. ItIwas a bad idea right from the start.

        • mobileJuggler

          You might be right that SLI is not feasible (or at least acceptable for a relevant group), thus all the more it’s too early for 2k x 2k.

          With respect to oversampling I think you get the relations wrong.
          According to https://www.reddit.com/r/Vive/comments/6c3o6w/psa_supersampling_is_now_a_linear_scaling_of/
          the percentage relates to pixel count, i.e. 200 % means twice as many pixels are rendered, then the headset can display (ignoring some possible internal scalings for simplicity reasons). Thus with a Vive 200% roughly equals 2 MP per eye, i.e. roughly current MR headset resolution and most likely vive 1.5 res.

          2k * 2k equals 400 % !!
          Pimax 4k * 2k (i.e. native display res) equals 800 %!

          With my GTX 1070 I never go even close to 200.
          ⇒ 400 will in most cases require the equivalent of 2 * 1070, that’s probably beyond an upcoming 1180Ti.

          And keep in mind that at least some games do reduce details dynamically to maintain framerate. In such games you can dramatically increase SS, but you exchange sharpness for details (usually not a recommended trade off).

          • G-man

            first off, “2k” unless you are talking about something else the vive is already 2k, 2k is barely bigger than 1080 and the vive is 1200p resolution on the panel. This is being super sampled at 1.3 in the OLD method by default in steamvr and people were ss that further in game.

            changing the slider from squared to linear doesnt change anything about how many pixels peoples gpus can render, gpus have already been rending way above the vive resolution and maintaining 90fps.

            i dont know exactly what you are trying to say with 2k * 2k. you mean two 2k panels? because that wouldnt be 400% that would be less than 200%, sinc ei already said 2k is lower resolution than the vive already.

      • Duane Aakre

        I think if they go with 2k x 2k displays and eye sensors, in the beginning all they need is to implement some simple, non-graphically intense upscaling and rudimentary gen 0.5 foreated rendering. If they also implement the new lenses Valve has talked about, that is sufficient to greatly reduce the screen door effect and will be enough to make many people happy for now and yet give room for growth as software improves.

        How many engineers does Valve/HTC have working on foreated rendering? 20? If they can get the hardware out there, suddenly you might have a 50-fold increase in the number of people working on the problem and someone outside Valve/HTC may come up with a brilliant solution they can then implement with a simple software push.

        It is just like every new generation of Playstations and Xboxes, the initial group of games can’t take full advantage of the hardware, but later generations do. You need to field hardware that is beyond what the software can currently handle.

        If they merely release gen 1.5 Vive with 1400×1600 displays and no provisions for eye-tracking, then the system is constrained to whatever current generations of graphic cards can do in a ‘brute force – update every pixel approach’ which doesn’t seem very forward thinking when it appears we are headed down a path where the update cycle is going to be multiple years.

        • mobileJuggler

          If possible provisions for eye-tracking would be a good idea, but so far only one system has been announced, that would be fast enough. Will this be available in time at an acceptable price point?

          Beyond that even “trivial” upscaling might increase Fillrate demands I guess (so I might be wrong with that).

          And last but not least it might make wireless VR an even more difficult task (and I consider my TPCast the most impressive and important update so far).

          Anyways given that the major problem of VR seems to be price (though it might be partially price of games), it’s probably not wise to increase the price for a feature that will only become useful in months if not years for most customers.

  • Leo Richard Comerford

    If this is intended, at least partly, as an upgrade for existing Vive users, probably the most likely choice will be to give the HMD v. 2 sensors and have one SKU with a HMD but no base stations at all, allowing existing users to reuse their existing base stations and saving over $120—a pretty desirable saving for a mid-cycle upgrade.

    There doesn’t seem to be strong reason to ship v. 1-tracking base stations with a v. 2-capable headset, because Vive 1 users largely already have two v. 1 base stations, and if not they can keep ordering them from HTC as before. Even for existing Vive 1 users, the only major advantage of getting another two v. 1 base stations over two v. 2 base stations (apart from being able to keep them as an expensive reservoir of spares) is the ability to set up a second tracked area, not contiguous with the first one, and use the Vive 1 in both areas.

    • Mei Ling

      99% certain it will ship with the new base stations.

  • JDawg

    You forgot to mention that Valve has started to manufacture SteamVR Tracking 2.0 Lighthouses last November in production quantities. You may want to rethink your “no 2.0 theory”

    • G-man

      Exactly. Theur theory makes no sense. Everything from now should be tracking 2.0. i still wantsomeone to open up a tracking puck and the new lightgun to confirm the sensors are 2.0

      • kontis

        Selling new Vive with 2.0 basestations means all old controllers and tracking pucks are no longer compatible.

        1.0 base stations are practically better and more expensive and support everything.

        The author is correct – 1.0 base stations and 2.0 devices is the best option for consumers, but is less cost effective.

        • G-man

          why would they need to make the trackers in a new product you can only use one of work with piece of an old bundle? you planning on using two vive at once?

          if anything a headset alone with 2.0 tracking in it can work with your old 1.0 lighthouses and 1.0 controllers. but a “vive 2.0” a “vive pro” a “this is now what the vive is by default”, why does that product have to work with pieces of the old product?

    • Mei Ling

      The author means 2.0 in general for the entire product. But obviously you know this.

    • Dave

      As a side issue – I don’t understand the lighthouses. If they are part of a Vive 2.0 I will be amazed and it will be a big mistake. I seriously doubt the Rift 2.0 will use outside in tracking and instead move to the inside out tracking like the MS HMD’s albeit with probably better FOV coverage on the headset for the controllers.

      • kontis

        You can drink your “computer vision best for everything” cool aid as much as you want, but even in 2050 laser tracking and markers will be used in many fields for superior precision and super low computational cost.

        BTW, technically speaking, Vive has inside-out tracking.

        • Dave

          Thanks Kontis. Yes you are correct where it is required laser tracking offers the advantages you mentioned. I think though if acceptable performance can be obtained from computer vision then thats something which can’t be igored for VR and from what I’m hearing, it is or damn near being acceptable enough to progress this technology further. Remember mobile VR depends on it so will be progressed as far as it needs to be and given that it’s difficult to see how lighthouses will be necessary for home entertainment in VR in the future.

  • AtmosContagion

    Hopefully, it’ll include new controllers, new base stations (cheaper to produce, so why not?), and the audio headstrap by default.

    Bonus if it also has a significant FoV increase too (maybe not 200, but like 140-160 would be nice), which is doubtful, but would be an instant buy if only for the increased FoV.

  • ShaneMcGrath

    4k and I am sold.
    Wouldn’t mind if they increased FOV as well, Don’t care if the price is high.
    Keep it high for the state of the art and reduce cost of previous gen for the masses so they can get in as well.

    • Michael Davidson

      4K? per eye? Let’s be honest, you are going to need a serious system to push that kind of resolution and/or really low-res textures. These units have to appeal to as many consumers as possible, and that still isn’t a lot. That being said, I’d personally love those kinds of resolutions and 150+ degree FOV, but I don’t think that will be the case until 1Q 2019 or later.

      • Dave

        This isn’t true. The Pimax 8K X has 4K per eye and can produce 200 FOV if you have two decent graphics cards like a 1080 Ti. I’m expecting this to be out mid-end of 2018. Clearly though this is very niche and only a few will be able to take advantage of it.

        • Suitch

          Two decent cards? Was that sarcasm? You named two TOP OF THE LINE cards.

          • imo a decent card is a 1080ti, a vega 64 or a titan. Decent means the best in my world. Good means average and low is low. it’s a relative meaning after all :)

          • Suitch

            It isn’t my fault if your world is stupid, but this isn’t your world. Decent is a 1050 or 1060. Good is a 1070. Anything else is great. Language requires definitions. And your definitions aren’t even the only things that are wrong: niche is an understatement when referencing people with two 1080 ti.

          • Yeah lets get immature and start calling my world stupid. a 1050 is NVidia’s lowest 10 series card. If you call that decent then great, go be happy. Like I said, its relative. To me decent is spending 2 to 4k on a rig. To my nephew who is 21 a decent machine might be £800.

          • Suitch

            English isn’t THAT relative. I wasn’t being immature when I stated a fact. Your world’s average intelligence appears to be lower than mine. Although, that is only with a sample size of one so I will admit I may have said it in haste.

          • Your fact is that my world is “stupid”? ok.

          • TrevorAGreen

            just because the 1050, 1060, and 1070 exist doesn’t make them fine, good, or any other positive thing you want to call them. Just because people want to think the thing they can afford is good doesn’t make it so. And the best there is not great, today’s great would be that $3000 Volta card. Unfortunately this is just an expensive hobby to do it right and no HMD manufacturer should be thinking about building for anything but the highest quality consumer card. Think about people who like to drive around 4 wheelers on the weekends, that hobby cost like $3000 a person to just have the equipment with no travel. Expecting VR to be cheap is one of the things holding it back. We need the devices to exist and we all need to stop drinking the starbucks and just pay up. I hope the vive 1.5 is not some goofy half measure designed to lower costs with a couple improvements, though if that is what it takes to get them to release something on a more regular basis I might buy it just to be encouraging.

          • Dave

            Just making the point that 4K per eye is doable and HMD’s exist today which show this. Yes a lot of people will be unable to take advantage of 4K per eye but personally I would prefer the Pimax’s of this world future proof VR and push the boundaries as far as possible. Sooner or later the GPU will catch up. Beyond 4K we’ll need to be more inovotive but 4K per eye is a realistic target for 2nd or 3rd generation of GPU’s which are getting better and better at rendering dual screen displays for VR.

          • G-man

            Doesnt matter how many cards you get. Only one will be doing anything. Sli sucks, and it sucks even more with vr games.

        • JoeD

          Not true? Yeah, cause everyone’s got twin 1080ti’s in their computer. Or would that be called a “serious system”? You’re either being argumentative for fun or you’re just ignorant.

        • mobileJuggler

          Actually even such a “decent” system is probably heavily underpowered for the native 8K res.
          Effectively the computational load would be equivalent to a supersampling of 800%.
          Even dual 1180s might not be up for that task.

          Conclusion: Pimax migh be able to deliver such a headset, but nobody will be able to drive it until 2019.
          Even worse later arriving VR sets might be prepared for foveated rendering, whereas the optional PIMAX eyetracking upgrade will be to slow for that.
          => The first usable Systems with this resolution might not be the PIMAX 8k ones.

          I guess many PIMAX backers will be confronted with an unexpected surprise, when they actually connect the Pimax for the first time and start to feel it’s computational burden.

          • Cdaked

            All Pimax backers know that the 2 x 4K resolution is upscaled from 2 x 2.5K (1440p) resolution.
            It will be demoed monday at CES.

          • The 8K-X is supposed to be native with no scaler.

          • Cdaked

            Because the 8K X is supposed for future SLI or Graphic Cards.

          • TrevorAGreen

            Pimax 8KX is only 1440 but it is upscaled onto a 4k physical resolution. This is to reduce screen door effect. You could do the same thing with an 8k using the addition pixels just as a smoothing mechanism. So no, we don’t need massive video cards but we do need up scaling until we have them.

        • Ene Marian Aramis

          less than 1% of vr games support SLI

          • Jistuce

            Which is weird. I would’ve expected dual vidcards to be the easy fix for high-performance VR. One card per eye, avoid most of the existing dual-card issues that make it a nonstarter for 2D displays.

          • G-man

            Sure. And nvidia has made that possible. But next to no one has sli so no devs bother. And so no one gets two cards. Its just always going to be a tiny amount of people who buy two gpus. Even when they tried to make it easier for people to buy “two” gpus with the titanz.

      • brandon9271

        What about getting the best of both worlds by rendering the game at a lower resolution but rendering text and menus at native 4k? In the new Doom game you can scale the resolution to any arbitrary percentage of native. If you could do that for the game plus render menus or text over that in the native 4k/8k res it would solve several problems without requiring at GTX Titan

      • Downvote King

        Eye-tracking with foveated rendering could make it feasible with current systems. Not sure if there’s actually been a consensus on the degree of efficiency this offers yet though.

    • Andrew Jakobs

      I’d rather have a larger fov than a significant increase in resolution. The psvr has shown that a lower resolution isn’t a problem (as in the psvr has a lower resolution compared to the rift/vive, yet a smoother/sharper image).

      • Dave

        Hi Andrew I would agree with this. However I think marketing could come into play here and a greater resolution which obvoiusly is easier with a smaller FOV could be a greater selling point. I hope not though. One thing for sure the Pimax “8K” 200 degrees FOV will certainly make it interesting to see what the competitors come up with. I think HTC and Oculus are probably intelligent enough to realise the Pimax “8K” isn’t a competitive product as there simply isn’t enough users to take advantage of the specifications to maintain there market share but they’ll want to improve on FOV and resolution otherwise others will overtake them pretty quickly as is already evident with the Microsoft MR partners. We’ve not seen Oculus response to this and I know they probably were not touching the Rift this year but one wonders now if they’ll bring forward any iterations on this sooner rather than later.

      • mobileJuggler

        I think I read somewhere that current resolution is equivalent to 20 % of normal human vision (from that perspective it’s far less bad then I would have expected). Obviously that is far from sufficient.
        Even worse if you increase FOV by 50 degree without reducing resolution, the computational load will roughly increase by the same amount.
        Probably you would need GTX 1080ti to drive a current vive with 150 degree FOW (i.e. 1800 horizontal res).
        And what you get is information in your peripheral vision, where your eyes resolution is drastically reduced.
        => Increased FOW makes only sense in combination with foveated rendering, otherwise the performance impact / gain relation is too low.

        BTW I really enjoyed my Snowboarding holidays as a child and despite a severley restricted FOV and a very unnatural locomotion method it never felt unimmersive…
        And I really do train my peripheral vision actively, thus I am sensitive to small FOV, still my feature priority is rather clear.

        1. Wireless
        2. Knuckles or similar combination of handtracking + tactile feedback
        3. Higher Resolution
        4. Foveated Rendering
        5. Full body tracking
        6. wider FOW
        7. bigger tracking area
        8. inside out tracking

      • Buddydudeguy

        “The psvr has shown that a lower resolution isn’t a problem ”

        No but powering it with a POS console is.

        • Andrew Jakobs

          I don’t agree, the games that are available are pretty good, especially knowing it isn’t a very powerfull (in vr-terms) computer, and I guess, that because it only has one (now 2) version to support and therefore it’s easier to optimize for it.

          • Buddydudeguy

            You disagree with facts. “optimize” doesn’t mean what you think it does. The graphics on PSVR are notably, substantially worse than PC VR.

          • Evgeni Zharsky

            Nah, graphics are fine on PSVR. Not as bright as Vive/Oculus? Maybe. It’s the tracking that PSVR lacks.

          • Buddydudeguy

            Graphics are fine? that’s your argument lol. Ok I’m done with you.

          • Evgeni Zharsky

            What’s your basis for your statement that PSVR graphics are “substantially” worse than PC? I have both. I really don’t notice a big difference in graphics quality as much as i notice a big difference in suboptimal tracking.

          • Andrew Jakobs

            well, I’m not a graphics whore, and I think the PSVR has shown some very excellent looking games..

          • Buddydudeguy

            Well, as long as you admit you don’t know what you’re talking about. Think about it. No amount of magic “optimization” puts a PS4 and, say a gtx 1080 on equal footing.

          • Andrew Jakobs

            Sigh, I do know what I’m talking about, YES ofcourse a PS4 can’t equal a GTX1080 nor can a GTX1050 or GTX1060.. But the games that are available on the PS4 keep that in mind and are graphically adapted to the lower power, but still look amazing and are still fun to play (and the latter is still the most important thing, a game might look great, but if the gameplay sucks the looks don’t matter).. But as I said, you can get more power from a console than from a regular PC with the same GPU, simply due to better optimization.. GPU’s in PC’s these days aren’t used to their fullest potential as there just isn’t any sense of doing real optimization due to the vast ammount of different GPU’s available (and that’s IMHO actually a bad thing).

          • Buddydudeguy

            You say you do know what you’re talking about, then go on to talk nonsense. I have never seen a PS4 game on par with a half decent PC, and I havn’t seen a VR game remotely close to the same quality as PCVR. this is a silly argument. VR is basically three tier quality. Mobile, PSVR and PC. PSVR is in it’s own segment. It’s not on PCVRs level. For someone to argue this, is…well, it’s astonishing.

          • Andrew Jakobs

            Well, I’ve got a LOT of crap PC VR games, and I guess you haven’t seen a lot of PSVR games. Yes SOME PCVR games CAN! look much better, but they do require a hefty very expensive GPU (a GPU which costs much more than a single PS4), get back to regular range GPU cards (GTX1050 which is hardly usable for PCVR, and costs a bit less than a PS4) or the midrange (GTX1060 which is actually already low on power for powering the vive, but still costs a lot more than a PS4)..
            It’s not astonishing, it’s being realistic and enjoying the games.
            But if you haven’t seen any PS4 game on par with a half decent PC than you haven’t seen much.. Or your collection of PC games is very limited (go check on indiegala for pc vr-bundles to increase your library of VR-games and you’ll see how much crap games there are on the PC, and some real jewels)..

          • Buddydudeguy

            ….ALL PC VR games look better. What do you mean “some”? It goes without saying I’m not talking about a PC with a 1050 ti or some crap. You’re missing the point and I find it oddd you put the PSVR on the same level as PCVR when it’s not.

          • The PS4 Pro (4.4.Tflop) is about equivalent to a GTX 1060 (6GB) in terms of processing grunt but different architecture so comparing is based purely on Teraflops. And as you say, developers will really push the platform to get the most from it.

            PSVR however has some pro’s and cons compared to PC Gen 1 VR in that a con is it has lower resolution and smaller fov than CV1 which are big deals to some, on the flip side it manages 120Hz instead of 90Hz and it does not use a pentile display so “some” people prefer the display characteristics of an RGB panel due to having more subpixels (less sde, god rays etc) than the Rift/Vive. I think it has 20% more subpixels on the PSVR.

            Here is an interesting article if you want to build a comparable PC:
            https://www.gamespot.com/articles/we-built-a-pc-using-ps4-pro-specs-how-does-it-perf/1100-6443491/

    • Mei Ling

      Unless they have foveated rendering in the bag you won’t get 4K resolution per eye. Not for this entire year at least.

    • Krzysztof Kiersznicki

      and what gpu would run that? there are games on vive/oculus that dont hold 90fps even on 1080 gtx….

      • Liberty0rDeath

        Higher pixel density means less screen door effect. For those with weaker systems they could run a lower internal resolution to optimize their frame-rates.

      • G-man

        Most games are being rendered with a not insignificant amount of supersampling by default.

      • ShaneMcGrath

        I run multi gpu’s and can upgrade to multiple next gen cards if need be,That part is not a problem. I just want more pixels in the headset and sli/xfire support for VR, Screen door is always noticeable for me and ruins the experience.

        • Krzysztof Kiersznicki

          no one will make an enthusiast head set which 0.001% gamers will be able to run….

  • airwolfdeluxe

    Please cover progress on the Pimax 8K. Unless HTC improve their headset considerably the Pimax 8K is still set to be the leader this year

    • G-man

      If it is done well. If its got similar limitations to the pimax 4k it will be an interesting oddity

    • Evgeni Zharsky

      What progress ? Last update is Pimax has been delayed, to no one’s surprise.

  • Meow Smith

    If Rift hasn’t got a 1.5 version in the works they have just been played into being complacent by “we aren’t coming out with new tech in the mean time” HTC.

    I knew it was all marketing bs saw this coming..

    • John

      Why would Oculus make a Rift 1.5? Makes aboslutey no sense for ether financial or marketdhare reasons. There is almost no money in enthusiast gear, but there are in general consumer gear like Go and the apps for it. Right where Facebook is the strongest. If they want to VR for the billions a halfassed gen 2 makes no sense. And Oculus have one of ther laagest research divisions on the planet when it comes to VR. Comments like “played into being complacent” is just clueless and wrong.

      • Meow Smith

        Keep believing what you want to believe once its out alot of people are going to choose Vives 1.5 version over Rifts 1.0.

        Unless you have concrete knowledge of when Rifts 2.0 is coming out what Vive has done is a smart move that is going benefit them financially and market wise Rift was catching up and now the tables are turned unless Rift has something in the near future to counter it.

        • G-man

          Exactly vive has always been the more exensive option for highend pc owners who want an open system. Oculus are going after the people who complain about the price and want everything cheap. Sounds like a nightmare for them but thats what they get.

          • CURTROCK

            Wrong. Are we really gonna start that “VIVE is a premium” BS again? If by “people who complain about the price” you mean mainstream adoption, then yeah, Oculus is guilty as charged. An improved VIVE is gonna be great, but I don’t see how this equates as a nightmare for Oculus.

          • G-man

            Dealing with asshole who constantly complain about price is what i was referring to as a nightmare.
            Not htc releasing a new vive

          • G-man

            Dealing with cheap people who want things at lower cost. Constantly complaing about price, wanting and expecting things for free. When you use a price strategy to undercut a competitor you ineviably aquire customers who arent willing to pay as much. I didnt think that simple concept needed explaining

          • CURTROCK

            Oh, I get your concept…no explanation required. It’s your false characterization of Oculus customers that I disagree with. I don’t constantly complain about prices, nor do I expect anything for free. I bought the CV1, day 1, and paid over a GRAND for it, when all was said & done. No complaints here. Your implication is that VIVE is a premium product, and therefore caters to a more “exclusive” customer. (Yes, my word, not yours, I know) As far as VIVE being an open system, I don’t see what actual real world value that distinction is bringing its customers. My point was and remains: With the exception of large room scale play areas, Rift & VIVE are basically equivalent & to state that VIVE is a premium product and Rift is for whining cheapskates, isn’t an accurate characterization. Rift is every bit as good as VIVE, and fortunately for consumers, it’s now less expensive.

          • G-man

            and thats why i didn’t say all customers were that way. yes, i didnt say exclusive. can you make up some more bs please. i enjoy wasting my time reading.

          • G-man

            Maybe actualy read my comment.

          • Michael Davidson

            What!? I own both, and they are both great pieces of hardware that operate at the same level. For the price, I recommend the Oculus to anyone who asks. The “price” comment comes off elitist.

          • Edward Morgan

            It comes off as elitist because it IS elitist.

          • Michael Davidson

            lol, fair enough! ;P

          • MasterElwood

            No they don’t

          • G-man

            By havijg a lower price they are positioning themselves as a product for people who are only willing to pay a lower price. Like people who buy consoles vs buy a gaming pc. People who buy a console tend to complain that they are too expensive at £250.

          • G-man

            They arent the same though. And vive is marketed as higher quality than rift, even the price difference adds to that image. You can recommend the lower cost option if you want, if you think me pointing out one is branded differenlty make me elitist well whoopytyfreaking doo

          • John

            What is open about Vive or HTC? Valve controls steam and steamvr 100%

          • G-man

            And steamvr is an open vr standard anyone can do whatever theyy want with

          • G-man

            The fact the software and hardware is completely open. Just that…. What the heck did you think it meant? That people can walk into valve hq and change steamvr base code and release it to everyone whenever they want or something?

          • Mei Ling

            Not sure if trolling or serious.

          • G-man

            You should make up your mind what you want to be then. But do me a favour. Do it somewhere else.

          • Evgeni Zharsky

            Yeah ok. I have a high end PC and prefer Rift (returned my Vive) Seems like you’re upset at something here.

          • G-man

            no, just pointing out the difference in general consumer buying each product. i’m sure someone who never played pc video games bought a vive and a pc too. one person doesnt change the fact oculus is priced lower.

          • G-man

            Upset? Because i pointed out a little difference in two companies target market? You sound upset at something too i guess then.

        • John

          catching up? Do you even own both headsets? I do, and use them every day. You sound like Oculus was/is behind the Vive?
          Oculus is not behind ib anything, except maybe large format roomscale when you go above 4×4. That where Vive really shines still.

        • sebrk

          It’s great that you know marketing and strategy so well.

    • I think most companies have technology (An Ace) ready and waiting to trump a competitor. When one announces something often the other announces something shortly after as their hand was forced. A bit like AMD vs NVidia. or Microsoft vs Apple (adverts), For example those Vive Knuckles looked almost finished a long time ago but they held them back. The reason they hold tech back is to avoid a race to the bottom where nobody wins as it just becomes a price war and we all end up with cheap gear. Oculus tried this move and HTC didn’t bite.

      • Edward Morgan

        DIDN’T HTC bite? The Vive saw a 200-dollar price cut at the end of summer. Basically immediately after they made a “no price cuts” statement at that.
        I honestly think the Vive would’ve been cut farther if they could actually turn a profit very far below the current price point. It is more expensive hardware than the Rift+Touch.

  • G-man

    Why would they not use tracking 2.0 at this point? Absolutely no one will be buying a new vive bundle and be trying to use an old headset witht he new tracking, they will have just bought a new headset and they will have their old lighthouses to use with their old one or if they sell it on hey wouod have to sell all the old parts together.

    It would make zero sense to not have 2.0 tracking. The sensors and the emitters have existed for so long now too it would be crazy to make anything new with the old standard.

    • From my understanding, the new headset can say “I am ID 1” and another headset can say “I am ID 2” and send that information in the light path. The 2.0 trackers can pick this ID info up. So, with 2.0 we could kit an entire house out with 2.0 trackers in every corner. You now have house tracking, room to room. And because of the ID sent from the new headsets, you can now have multiple headsets being tracked by the same v2.0 lighthouses. So I agree. Any new bundle will likely include 2.0 tracking, knuckle controllers, updated head strap (maybe one that can fit children too) and whatever they do to the HMD itself.

      Ebay is about to get loaded with Vive’s

      • Andrew Jakobs

        The basestations don’t send out an id, and the headsets themselves already have their own unique identifications.

        • Yeah, what I said is a bit back to front when reading it back :)

          So…the version 2.0 base stations can, as far as I know encode an ID into the IR signal. So the sensors on new devices now know which base station they are talking with which allows for more base stations everywhere. So room to room tracking. That’s correct isn’t it?

  • Ted Joseph

    Pimax just hit the gold mine with their kickstarter campaign. Why? Resolution and FOV increases. If Rift and Vive are not watching this they are lost. VR may be held back by high prices, but it is also being held back by low FOV, resolution, and wires. Fix all three plus reduce costs, and you are a winner!

    • Heimdal

      What are you talking about lost? The best selling VR set is PSVR right? Which has the worst stats. So hit me up when pimax is even capable of supplying the initial pre-purchase demands let alone out sell any other mainstream headset.

    • sebrk

      Quality over first to market. Pretty much says it all.

    • Mei Ling

      Pimax have hardware specifications to their advantage however one must assume that whatever they can push out to market HTC/Valve and Oculus can obviously do the same but better. Don’t forget that the company behind Pimax are several hundred million dollars behind in R&D and marketing.

    • Dave

      Pimax 8K isn’t economically viable product because the user base are not in a position to take advantage of it. It is not a competitive product both in quality and market share but it is great to see these products being produced. HTC and Oculus will be aiming to build there products inline with the capabilities of the users they intend to buy them and that means more accessibility and more inovation to increase FOV and resolution.

    • Evgeni Zharsky

      Pimax is still a pipe dream until the first units are in the hands of the customers. It’s all hypothetical at this point.

    • G-man

      Lol. Make everything better and make it cheaper. Sure

  • nipple_pinchy

    I’ll wait for Pimax 8K. When I had a Vive, dealing with HTC support like torture. Never want to deal with them again.

    • Michael Davidson

      Out of curiosity, what did you need support for? Most Vive’s that I am aware of worked flawlessly out of the box. I’m always interested in the fringe cases.

      • IanTH

        There are a lot more than just fringe cases. There are a lot of complaints about the touchpads failing on the Vive wands. I’m not suggesting it happens in the majority of Vive’s, just that from all the things I’ve read and the comments seen on VR sites that the touchpad is a not-uncommon failure point. I believe it isn’t the touch surface that fails, but the 8-way physical buttons that can be activated when pressed down on the touchpad.

        • G-man

          Its when people smush the button in while pushing to one side. A little piece of rubber inside gets moved to one side and doesnt press the button any more. Its a 5min fix wih a torx screwdriver and a dab of superglue

      • nipple_pinchy

        Tracking problems. Base stations would shut down. Headset would lose tracking, controllers would lose tracking. I bought a new mobo, several different USB 3.0 adapters, spent probably 7-8 hours with HTC support and nothing could fix it.

        I ended up getting a Samsung Odyssey and it was plug and play on Windows 10. Not sure what the problem was.

      • TrevorAGreen

        The Vive’s floor calibration has been crap for me on many occasions and a couple weekends ago it would just launch into a sleep mode with a black screen while in use. It is not a flawless system, but as an early adopter I wrote off the money long ago. When I’m in the 3rd generation from any manufacturer I’ll start expecting more. Until then I’m just burning money to be involved in the evolution.

    • sebrk

      Yeah you go girl! You are bound to get much better support from a Chinese pump ‘n dump company like Pimax

      • nipple_pinchy

        Chinese pump n dump better than a company on life support like HTC. You go girl!

    • Evgeni Zharsky

      And you’ll keep waiting. You think a startup Chinese company will provide great support? Adorable.

      • nipple_pinchy

        Says a lot when an upstart Chinese company will likely provide better support than HTC. You have fun with your Vive… until something inevitably goes wrong with it and you’re forced to deal with HTC. lol You have fun there, kid.

        • Evgeni Zharsky

          Yeah I have a Rift, so I’m not really taking sides here. I’m not naive either.

        • simon cox

          I’ve dealt with them before when one of my remotes died. They weren’t great but they weren’t that bad either. You must have gotten unlucky

    • Jerald Doerr

      Put the nipple down for a second and think about it. Pimax can’t even name there own product correctly.. But you seem to know there support will be superior? How did you come to this conclusion? I would like to here about your torturous support from HTC. PLEASE post a link if you have one.

      • nipple_pinchy

        Well, I had a Vive for a month and used it for a total of 5-6 hours due to tracking issues. I SPENT MORE TIME WITH HTC SUPPORT than I used my Vive. They were less than helpful, I’ll just say that.

        Pimax has been more consumer friendly than HTC already. HTC knows how to market a product, for sure; they don’t know how to support them. That’s why their share in the phone market is shrinking year over year. The only reason the Vive is strong right now is because the VR hardware market isn’t rife with competition. 2018 will be the year that multiple high-end VR HMDs drop and the Samsung Odyssey is already gaining market share in that area.

        Unless HTC REALLY turns things around with Vive this year in regards to customer support, they’re looking at dwindling control of the market. Facebook, Samsung, LG and others have money to support their product that HTC do not and Pimax, this tiny company, has a product whose specs greatly outshine their Vive’s. Something has to give.

      • G-man

        It is 8k though. 8k is a pexel width stabdard not one resolution. Or did you just hear some youtuber complain about it and start parroting what they said?

        • Jerald Doerr

          Lol it is 8k right? 1st off I’m talking about all of PiMax products.. Not just the 8k.. I dont need Youtube to be a parrot.. It’s funny that you would call me that when infect my friend your the parrot.. If there’s one thing I know and understand it’s resolution. I’ve work in the movie and video game seen for over 20 years.. Check my comments dude.. I’m pretty sure I was one of the 1st to say hold on.. It’s not 4k or 8k (per screen) months before Tech tips on youtube said anything.. And this was long before we found out its upscaled on some units.. Pimax still has a long way to go fulfill all of there promises.. And I hope they can even do half of what they say! Haha cuz that’s what it is!

          • G-man

            “pimax cant even name their product correctly” so their 5k version which is 5k. Their 8k which has 8k screen which upscales a lower res signal and their 8k x which is 8k screen which can recieve a signal matching its resolution. Which of these is named incorrectly then mr expert? Its more like you have a issue with the perfectly logical way they chose to name them. Because why? Well thats rhetorical, who gives a crap.

          • Jerald Doerr

            Just look at the pixel resolution, remember you have two eyes looking at “separate” screens so cut that in half.. does not take an expert to do the math! Let alone them scaling up to resolution. Just because I own 2 * 4k TVs don’t think ill be watching 8k Youtube videos.

          • G-man

            you can if its 8k 32:9

            who says they have to name it based on the resolution per eye? because you said so?

          • Jerald Doerr

            Hello! That’s 2 eye balls looking at yeah 2 screens sharing 1 image combined.. But with a hmd each eye is looking at still not an 8k image not only that 2 defern’t images that are 4k upscaled sooooo… The bottom line is your never going to view an 8k image without loss in pixels no matter how you try and cheat it, G-man stile… correct?

          • G-man

            ah, so you think the resolution from the second screen just magically vanishes? all those pixels are just repeating the exact same information as the first screen? no. looking at a 4k screen with each eye is twice as much detail as looking at a 4k screen with one or both your eyes.

            i get that might be a bit harder to grasp than a basic division. but things in the real world often are more complicated.

            you also still didnt give a reason why they cant call it the 8k. you said because each eye doesnt see an 8k image? so? when htc say the vive pro is 1600p are they lying to you? are you kicking up a fuss over them saying that? or just when pimax does it because you think you’re smart pointing out this one like the masses of other people who dont understand it as well.

  • A client asked on Friday for a Rift project so yesterday I ordered a rift on Amazon to prototype an idea, then read this article and cancelled the order 2 hours later. Any potential new headset announcement from Oculus or HTC would definitely put a project on hold if there is a chance for higher resolution.

    • Manwell C

      Not to mention tbe return of all of the Vives delivered over Christmas. Osborne effect.

      • Evgeni Zharsky

        My thoughts exactly. This will come back to bite HTC in the arse.

  • Jose Ferrer

    exactly what I thought some weeks ago for Rift, but HTC took the lead here:

    https://www.reddit.com/r/oculus/comments/7esws0/why_oculus_is_taking_so_much_time_in_producing/

  • sebrk

    I love how everyone is suddenly experts on marketing and strategy. Sigh…

    • JoeD

      On the web, everyone’s an expert on everything

  • mobileJuggler

    I think the move to realease a vive 1.5 is not really a “free” decision and based on that it is rather clear what vive 1.5 will deliver.

    The crucial point is, lighthouses 2.0 are dramatically cheaper.
    Not switching to those means loosing money or market share, and thus is economically not feasible.
    The crucial observation is, 2.0 does not deliver relevant advantages for a wide audience, at least unless HTC manages to fit a 100 m^2 VR room into the vive package as well…

    From a customer point the relevant advantages are:
    – smaller housings (so white housings might be much more important)
    – reduced likeliness of hardware failures (no leds, half the motor count)
    – better compatibility with future hardware.

    None of these is sufficient to sell an average customer a vive 1.5 instead of a vive 1.0.
    If you explain it’s cheaper AND better, you might have trouble to advertise this in a manner that does not sound fishy to at least some people.
    On the other silently upgrading vive 1.0 is also doomed to cause trouble.

    => You need some feature to sell a new vive and then this can be used to sneak in 2.0.

    Voila increase resolution and even existing Vive customers might consider an upgrade…

    Question: What will be the resolution?
    Resolution of Windows MR and current used Supersamplings indicate, that pushing the pixel count by a factor of 2 might now be feasible (this means factor 1.44 more pixels in x and y direction).
    2k * 2k is not feasible (see my other comment below for some calculations / estimations as to why).

    I would also expect a cheaper (i.e. less deluxe) version of the audio strap to be in the package.

    In addition wireless is clearly the way to go, but I would expect a solution that makes use of standards, i.e. wireless DP.
    Since this might arrive significantly later than lighthouses 2.0 and it will add to the price, this will not be a default configuration.
    => Most likely two variants will be announced.

    Last but not least I have the impression that eye tracking appropriate for foveated rendering is not yet ready for mass production => I don’t expect this yet.

    Regarding knuckles:
    Valve might want to release them together with the next VR game, but it might be a good idea to align such a release with a hardware release (Vive 1.5 or LG).
    => Maybe we get more than just hardware.

    All in all a Vive 1.5 with lighthouse 2.0 and 2MP resolution (i.e about 1400 x 1400) will put the vive in a very competitive position with regards to MR headsets AND price / Rift in general.
    => Not doing so would have been a really bad idea.
    => Without lighthouse 2.0, the case for releasing an upgraded version is far less compelling.
    => Rift 1.5 is probably way less attractive for Oculus than Vive 1.5 for HTC.

  • Lucidfeuer

    I think I’ve never been so disinterested by a VR news…oh well, when VR dies I guess it leaves room for other in the future.

    • Jistuce

      I’ve been sick of the “announcement that we’re going to make an announcement” nonsense for quite a while. The rampant blind speculationeit leads to is funny, though.

  • Benjamin Orlowski

    Eye tracking and foveated rendering please. Also better lenses would be nice. Maybe a bump in fov. And finally per eye rendering with SLI.

  • Peter

    Am I mistaken in thinking, that 2k or 4k per eye means first and foremost no screen door effect??? I dont need native 4k resolution and an extreme-end gpu computationa power, I can do with lower res, as long as I no longer have to look at the raster…

    • Justos

      it will most definitely still have a SDE.

  • IMHO, it will come with a new display and some new subtle changes to make the headset more light and comfortable. The hypothesis of v2 sensors on the headset but v1 base stations is very fascinating, though

  • ummm…

    nooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo. i dont want to spend more money. i got a good 2 years out of my vive tho. i wont be upgrading any time soon so i hope 1.5 is a lot of fluff ;)

  • theonlyrealconan

    Makes me nervous when they say 1.5. I have the vive and it badly needs a real upgrade.

    • Evgeni Zharsky

      Are you an early adopter ? You seem a little jaded. I bought a Rift recently and it’s still blows my mind.

  • G-man

    the screens in the headset are 8k resolution when combined. just like how every other headset ever made also combines the resolutions of both screens when listing specs. and just like all those other pimax also list the per eye resolution.

    why do you think a name of a product has to fit the way you would name it? should the vive “pro” be the vive “half 1600p”? they say it has a 1600p resolution. are you complaining about that statement too?