Though both products were announced back at CES, HTC showed off the Vive Pro and the Vive Wireless adapter used together for the first time today at MWC 2018.

Back at CES, we went hands on with the Vive Wireless Adapter and the original Vive headset, but the company wasn’t showing the Adapter in use with the newer, higher resolution Vive Pro.

Photo by Road to VR

Here at MWC 2018, they put the pair together for the first time, demonstrated with a unique VR experience which put the user in a hot air balloon basket and sent them soaring through a canyon.

I got to step into the hot air balloon experience to try out the Vive Pro with the Vive Wireless Adapter. Very similar to my time with the Adapter and the original Vive at CES, I did seem to notice some added latency, but it was minimal enough that typical users may not spot it. The hot air balloon experience didn’t require any quick motions (and thus wasn’t an ideal stress test for the wireless connection by any means), and I didn’t spot any noticeable reduction in visual quality or framerate, so it seems the Vive Wireless adapter doesn’t have any obvious issues pushing the 1,600 × 1,440 per-eye resolution of the Vive Pro.

Hands-on: The Vive Pro is Much More Than an Improved Screen

With the Vive Pro, only two cables needed to be plugged into the Vive Wireless adapter: a short HDMI cable from the headset, and a USB cable for power (attached to a battery worn in the pocket). When used with the original Vive, the Adapter requires four cables (three from the headset, and USB from the power pack).

HTC still isn’t saying precisely when the Vive Pro and Vive Wireless Adapter will be available, nor what they will cost.

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  • HybridEnergy

    “HTC still isn’t saying precisely when the Vive Pro and Vive Wireless Adapter will be available, nor what they will cost.”

    So HTC, is this a Q1 product or not? It’s the end of February already.

    • Joshwa Sanders

      Exactly. I was ready to impulse preorder it back at CES. Now the hype has completely tapered off for me.

      • HybridEnergy

        I still want it, but it’s quite frustrating being lied to like that I agree.

        • Joshwa Sanders

          I still want it too. However, with the $200 PSVR and $200ish second-hand Oculus Rifts floating around, I’m contemplating spending my tax return on something else. Idk what HTC is thinking. I wish LG would hop in the game and offer some competition.

          • Andrew Jakobs

            Yep, it’s been awfully quiet in regard to LG, wouldn’t be surprised if they just ditched the project.

    • I thought they would have announced it today…

      • HybridEnergy

        Same, that was a rumor but it had a good reason for existing. It’s really the only event like opportunity to announce it if they want to make a Q1 dead-line. Unless they just drop it for sale like a rock in March.

        • Mos Eisley

          Daniel O’Brien gave an interview to Shacknews at CES, and said himself, that the upgrade will be available this quarter (Q1). They’re also an official partner for Spielberg’s ‘Ready Player One’ movie being released March 29th.. 3 days before Q2. My guess is you’ll see an announcement as early as next week.

          • HybridEnergy

            I hope you are right Mos, that would be cool.

          • Mos Eisley

            The original Vive was released April 5th, so I’m also hoping the full bundle will be released around the beginning of April as well. SkarredGhost had a post indicating the full bundle in Q2. That makes the most sense.. the upgrade in Q1, the full bundle in Q2, then the wireless adapter this summer.. Q3. That same interview O’Brien said summertime for the adapter. Anything else would be product suicide. I’m definitely glad I got my hands on a 1080Ti last week though.. using Unigine’s Superposition VR Benchmark, at a x1.2 SS on the 1440×1600 per eye resolution (1728×1920), with maximum shaders and textures.. average max fps of 160, average fps of 114, and average minimum fps of 90. Whatever Nvidia’s coming out with in a few months will be a hell of a lot better, but will also be snatched up pretty damn quick.

    • Zerofool

      With the risk of repeating myself…
      When they announce it, they’ll have to also specify the recommended hardware. If somebody missed this tiny detail, the currently recommended GTX 970/RX 480 won’t be able to run smoothly all VR applications at the new resolution, you’ll need a GPU upgrade if you’re using these (unless you want to run VR apps in the older lower resolution (same text legibility as before, etc.) and only benefit from the lower SDE provided by the new screens).

      I’m sure nobody will be happy to see the $1000+ GTX 1080Ti listed there (or whatever they decide is good enough), so I think they’re waiting for Nvidia to announce their newest line of GeForce cards at the end of March (according to the rumor mill). The new card with graphics horsepower equivalent/similar to the 1080Ti (or whatever) will be cheaper (although, initially it will be as hard to find in stock as the current gen, if not harder) and this apparently won’t turn off as much potential “average consumer” buyers (enterprises like Audi, BMW etc. won’t care obviously :)), so here’s one probable cause for the delay.

      • In my opinion, anybody that can afford a top of the range latest headset will not think twice about the PC cost required to run it. Most people that own a Vive or a Rift “want” a 1080Ti for the best experience already so it is a given this will come with a recommended card at the top end of the spectrum.

        • Andrew Jakobs

          Uhm, at the moment a GTX1080 will set you back more than the whole Vive set, so it certainly will come into consideration.. With these current ridiculous prices for even midrange cards, people tend to wait a while before upgrading their GPU. I’m still on a GTX760 and it’s actually the GPU prices that’s holding me back from buying a Vive/Rift (still got the DK2 and other older headsets), not the price of the headset itself.

          • HTC are not targeting new Vive users with this Pro headset so comparing it to the old one will leave you frustrated no matter how you look at it.

          • HybridEnergy

            Andrew, if you don’t even have the base VIVE current kit, I don’t think the PRO is a good investment for you at all. It’s for business or someone like me, I have a 1080 ti and a VIVE dev kit (since release) still that weights 15% more and has the 3-1 heavy cable. I’ve used my VIVE A LOT and it has paid for itself, VR being my one of main hobbies and that I could use a VIVE HMD refresh I think I am the enthusiast level consumer they are marketing it to aside from enterprise.

        • Mettanine

          That is purely your opinion, though. I bought a Vive when it released, but shouldering that cost was enough of a burden to not also spend thousands on a new PC. I went with minimum specs and still rock that system to this day (and it’s running great, too). So yes, while I would certainly “want” a 1080Ti, I could never justify spending that much money to myself, let alone my family.

          That said, since the Vive Pro is tagged as a “Prosumer” device, you’re right that the PC cost is probably not of primary concern (to HTC).

          • HybridEnergy

            The requirements at the moment by speculation from some people for a jump to 2880 x 1600 is far over-exegerrated. One just has to look at the Samsung HMD and see that people are fine with that resolution with the current available hardware.

      • HybridEnergy

        I have to disagree with you Zerofool and anyone who thinks HTC is making their business and marketing decisions based on what a GPU manufacturer is doing. First of, while I do have a 1080 ti myself, native resolution is significantly easier on the hardware compared to super-sampling (requires extra steps for the gpu to do for EACH frame). There are gamers in VR getting by just fine on a 970 to 1060 gtx gpu simply because they do not touch the super-sampling method. More evidence , such as the existence and reports of people who own a Samsung 2880 x 1600 HMD already, that running it is fine. Expect to drop maybe 10% – 20% on the SS slider and you should be fine but have much better benefit thanks to higher native resolution.

    • Andrew Jakobs

      No, it’s not a Q1 product, as Q1 ends on 31 march, if they were shipping it before that, they would already have said so and taken in pre-orders..

    • Anonymous

      It’s always the same story. If a company says “Q1” they mean paper launch in March. If they say “H2”, they mean November or December.
      And so on.
      Vive Pro will be paper launched in March. Don’t expect to get your hands on it before April earliest.
      Wireless adapter is “Q3” so a paper launch in September and if you’re lucky you’ll have it in Ocotober.

  • Cool!

  • Nosfar

    I love the “The average user might not notice” but im so elite that my eyes detect it. If you dont think users will notice then dont mention it as the only reason would be to put a negitive spin on it. If its an issue then call it out as a issue.

    • elev8d

      I think the fact that he notices the latency, means the average user will. The TPCast did not have noticeable latency, but had other issues.

    • benz145

      It’s not about being elite. If I put the headset on my friends or family who don’t have much experience with VR, they probably wouldn’t say anything about latency, so the latency isn’t ‘obvious’, however, the added latency isn’t zero. And even if those kinds of users don’t explicitly notice the latency, they may indeed ‘feel’ it without being able to put their finger on it. For some people, that may mean it’s a little less comfortable visually than other headsets.

      • Nosfar

        The majority of people reading these articles have the same if not more Vr experiance as you. We read these posts becuse we want informative reviews and information. So if it affects you it probaly affects us as well.

        • The majority of people reading these articles have the same if not more Vr experiance as you.

          Ben lives and breaths VR technology (and gets to test latest kit due to his job) every waking hour so why you think the majority of people that “read” his articles have the same or more experience is just ludicrous.

        • Laurence Nairne

          I also think that it’s more how you perceived what he said than his intention when saying it.

          I didn’t get the feeling he was stating it for posture purposes at all. I took it as more of a “it’s possible you’d experience latency but I’m not sure because I’m in this shit all day every day and spot a single pixel out of place”.

        • Andrew Jakobs

          So it’s a good thing he mentioned it.

      • Nosfar

        I stand corrected Ben. I might of misspoke. I came across abit more asshole then i intended and maybe percieved my own experience in vr to be the norm. I apologize.

  • Jean-Sebastien Perron

    Waiting for the Oculus Go, a true innovation.

    • Rowdy123

      Except Oculus Go has no movement at all except 3DofF (sit in your chair and look around). Even the HTV Focus standalone headset has actual 6DofF. Why any new device would not have 6DofF is beyond me. It is the exact opposite of an innovation.

      • Laurence Nairne

        Because there is still a lucrative market for 3DoF experiences, and business is about making money before pushing innovation. Oculus have Santa Cruz in the works, Rift still stands up as a high-end device thanks to a lull in the market, so a low-cost, low-end alternative for those without $2k to spend on hardware alone and just want to watch movies and have static, seated experiences makes total sense.

    • Andrew Jakobs

      uhhhh, you’re being sarcastic I hope. The Go isn’t even an improvement on the current Rift..

      • Sandy Wich

        Read his comment history bud, he’s not right in the head.

  • Wish Zhang

    Legend has it that Vive Pro will be available at March 29th, with the release of Ready Player One.

  • Runar Botnen Totland

    mic is fixed relatively with firmware and 3rd party software. not easy but works.;-)

    • Marcin Stachowiak

      Yeah, but from what I have reed, third party firmware may affect warranty + it introduces some tracking issues on its own. £20 mic is a safe bet ;)

  • Lucidfeuer

    If VR was new (it’s now been around since 2013 in this iteration) I could bear the horrible design and ergonomics for the sake of prototype.

    But even with higher specs, since they are too marginal as an incentive, I can’t bother having that disgusting design anywhere near me, let alone clients/prospects, not even mentioning events/showcases. The Vive already had the bulkiest, dumbest and anti-ergonomic installation, if even the design is a step back and it doesn’t even have inside-out tracking OOTB…seriously what the heck are they doing.

    • gothicvillas

      Are you ok? Vive has only 1 problem – controllers. Once thats fixed, we are good.

      • Lucidfeuer

        Right…the hundreds of people I’ve had the headsets try and all stating the same problems with the Vive vs. you just having problem with the controllers…good for you if you’re an easy consumer.

        • gothicvillas

          what are the problems then? name some. Apart from wishful thinking to increase resolution and FOV. Im not saying current gen is best thing since sliced the bread, but it is decent and it works well. Im running GPU Titan X machine and able to crank up supersampling on steamVR settings and sim like Aerofly looks stunning. I have 100s of hours spent in room scale and not even once i had a problem with tracking. My room scale is 3x3m (i have dedicated spare bedroom for my VR entertainment). I had also loads of people trying it out and apart from dropped jaws I havent had anything else.

          • Lucidfeuer

            Enjoy your first VR headset for a few more months then we’ll discuss the obvious (beside the Vive wands which is one of many problems).

          • SandmaN

            Seriously though, Lucidfeuer – as gothicvillas said what are your major issues with the 1st gen Vive, other than your problem with the wands? (which I don’t understand, as I and thousands of others have no issue with the wand controllers)

          • Lucidfeuer

            From the day we receive our first Vive two years ago, the problems jumped at us, the fact that the box was so huge screamed ergonomic and conception problems, then the setup with 11 cables total to manage and plug, then the lighthouses that you have to mount and plug somewhere (which is the biggest factor why I’ve seen very few Vive compared to Oculus in most events/conventions/happenings I’ve been to, the setting itself, the poorly tracked and bulky wands, then you can add the common problem of headsets overall, like design, strap, ergonomic, setup and the more important tons off inherent crucial lacks and missing.

            That you as a personal desk user find it nice especially if it’s your first one is great, then there’s reality, market and overall consumer existence of the products which clearly by far, are factors that sets the Vive to be a sad failure of the 2010s.

    • Sandy Wich

      It would be nice is VR became smaller, and it eventually will, and I think a lot of people share your feelings but don’t you think your reaching a little far?.. It doesn’t look amazing but it’s no Virtual Boy.

      • Lucidfeuer

        I’m barely exaggerating. I’m saying there’s “okay” or “bearable”, the Vive Pro is in “too disgusting and won’t use or showcase” zone. Of course if it had decently interesting or note-worthy specs and capabilities this would be tempered, but it has none…

        Now I’m not saying this is important for everyone, some people obviously have no self-sense of their environment and “aesthetics”, fortunately most people do and it shows in every consumer market including technology, for better or for worse but in 2018 this is a given.

  • elev8d

    Apparently they fixed the mic issue on v1.5 that’s coming out this year.

  • Jesse

    I’d have been more inclined to upgrade to the Vive Pro if they had updated their controllers a little. They are my least favorite part of the Vive. Hate the touchpads, hate how clunky they are. If the Valve Knuckles came with the Vive Pro, I would have pre-ordered it the very second I was able to.

    I also hate it when companies refuse to talk about release dates or possible pricing. You know damn well what you are going to charge for it, just tell us.

    • gothicvillas

      I agree about the controllers. Im getting to the point where i start looking at alternatives..

    • Sandy Wich

      I still can’t believe they keep trying to force that touch pad crap onto it’s users.. The steam controller is just complete garbage in comparison to a joystick controller.

  • Nick Dauchot

    Does anyone know the range for how far you can move from the machine running the software? I’m curious if it works like SteamMachines.