HTC VIVE Pro Review round-up: Beyond the obvious

Today we're taking a look at the first round of HTC VIVE Pro reviews from a variety of publications. What we've found is a whole lot of "this is very expensive" and "not for the average user" – which is pretty much what we could have safely assumed would be said. What's not so obvious is judgement on the intended audience – on who HTC assumed would be buying this device in the first place. We're looking at everything.

In a nutshell

The HTC VIVE Pro is a VR headset made for virtual reality enthusiasts. As if the first round of high-end VR headsets weren't already just for VR enthusiasts. We're looking at a VR headset from the company that made the best VR headset in the first round – unless you're a die-hard Oculus Rift fan, for whatever reason. The price is high, but the buyers are likely ready to pay it.

What's in the box

SEE TOO: VIVE vs VIVE Pro: What's the difference? The HTC VIVE Pro is a replacement and upgrade for the headset released the first time around. Someone who already has the HTC VIVE can simply unplug their old headset and plug in this new headset, and they'll be ready to roll.*

Not included in the box: VR controllers and the HTC Lighthouse sensors, all of which you'll need if you don't already own them. The VIVE Pro is sold for $800 on its own, while the accessories are now available in their own bundle for $300 USD. HTC hasn't mentioned whether they'll bundle the whole bunch together at some point. The first HTC VIVE still includes the sensors and the controllers.

You'll need more

"You'll need faster hardware [than the original VIVE's requirements] to take advantage of the better visuals," said Devindra Hardawar of Engadget. "That's not surprising, but it's something to keep in mind if your system can barely run the Vive already."

Resolution Upgrade

VIVE Pro has a higher-resolution set of displays than its predecessor. VIVE Pro has two 1440 x 1600 pixel displays while the original VIVE has two 1080 x 1200 panels. As the Ars Technica review by Orland and Machkovech says, "It's an important step for making out details in most games and applications but not one that makes the lower-resolution past feel intolerably outdated."

Two cameras, not just one

The two front-facing cameras in this device replace the single one from the first VIVE. As Ian Hamilton of Upload VR says, "Now there are two of those onboard cameras and it is still unclear what they might be used for (though HTC claims they can be used for primitive hand-tracking and more)."

Who is it for?

The HTC VIVE Pro is probably best for those VR users that've already owned a VR headset in the past. HTC VIVE owners are probably the primary audience – outside the VR arcade owners and VR-for-professional-use people of the world. These same users will almost certainly be picking up the HTC VIVE Wireless Adapter later this year, too.

Stay tuned. We've got a full-length in-depth review of this headset coming up here on SlashGear as well. Watch the throne.