Tested HTC Vive Pro

As HTC gives the Vive a pro­fes­sional makeover, are hard­core vir­tual re­al­ity fans fi­nally get­ting the high-end hard­ware they’ve been dream­ing of?

Stuff (UK) - - CONTENTS -

Go on your own Ready Player One ad­ven­ture

£799 (head­set) / stuff.tv/vive­pro Fancy en­ter­ing the world of vir­tual re­al­ity for the first time? Then throw your bank de­tails at another head­set – the Vive Pro prob­a­bly isn’t for you.

Thanks to its ex­trav­a­gant price and the need for a su­per-specced com­puter, HTC’S new head­set is not in­tended for VR dab­blers. While there is a Vive Pro Starter Kit avail­able, which in­cludes the re­quired con­trollers and base sta­tion, it’ll cost you a stag­ger­ing £1048. Throw a Pro-wor­thy PC into the trol­ley and you’re eas­ily break­ing the £2000 barrier. That’s your sum­mer hol­i­day plans out of the win­dow.

How­ever, if you’re one of those peo­ple who gob­ble up graph­ics cards like col­lecta­bles and al­ready own the orig­i­nal Vive’s con­trollers and base sta­tions, then the £799 head­set-only deal looks much more ap­peal­ing.

What are you get­ting for your buck? A huge res­o­lu­tion boost, some er­gonomic im­prove­ments in­clud­ing built-in head­phones, and the best damned vir­tual re­al­ity ex­pe­ri­ence in the busi­ness.

1 Trip through your wires While the Pro’s new stream­lined ca­ble is less likely to tan­gle in knots than the orig­i­nal Vive’s, it’s still re­ally an­noy­ing. The good news is that HTC has a so­lu­tion with a wire­less adapter com­ing to stores later this year. The bad news? It’s un­likely to be cheap.

2 Run­ning to stand still How pow­er­ful does your PC need to be? Very. You’ll ide­ally need at least an Nvidia Geforce GTX 1060 graph­ics card and a pro­ces­sor equiv­a­lent to an In­tel Core i5-4590. That’s a mon­strous gaming rig. And you’ll need to en­sure your PC has a Dis­playport.

3 Stranger in a strange land HTC has given the Pro a mighty 1440x1600 res­o­lu­tion for each eye, but get­ting the best vis­ual fi­delity de­pends on the games. VR ti­tles with sim­plis­tic art­work don’t look much dif­fer­ent, but the likes of Doom VFR and Thumper (see right) look rad­i­cally bet­ter.

4 I (don’t) fall down The orig­i­nal Vive was more than a bit top-heavy, and was a night­mare to ad­just on the fly. The Pro fixes that with a siz­ing dial at the back of the strap, which makes fine ad­just­ments eas­ier. The strap also does a bet­ter job of bal­anc­ing weight.

5 With a shout The Pro has built-in head­phones, with plenty of pad­ding around the ears for a com­fort­able fit. You get spa­tial au­dio sup­port, which is es­sen­tial for VR games, and vol­ume is a dod­dle to ad­just with but­tons sit­ting on the left earcup for easy ac­cess.

With the right games, vir­tual worlds look great with the Pro, while the new de­sign and built-in head­phones fix a lot of the ba­sic Vive’s flaws. The su­per-high price and lack of games that get the best out of the hard­ware will scare most off, but for VR ob­ses­sives the Vive Pro is un­doubt­edly the best head­set you can buy. @Ryanaj13

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from UK

© PressReader. All rights reserved.