So I broke down and got a Vive Pro despite its exorbitant price tag. Is it worth it? Well… probably not, unless you’ve got money to burn.
I hate the idea of playing something like Skyrim VR with the old Vive when I know I could be seeing something prettier if I had better hardware. It’s like that feeling of sadness I had playing Quest For Glory 2 before I had a sound card; I knew I was missing out on some of the experience.
It’s got some nifty tech inside that may be useful later though – dual cameras for AR stuff and Hololens-like collider detection as well as eventual 10×10 meter room support when the new base stations are released. (a 10×10 VR play space in Japan? let me pause to laugh uncontrollably followed by a single tear down the cheek)
In a year they’ll probably have one neat package with all the new stuff, so better for most to wait for that.
I can’t quite put my finger on it, but I felt like the optics were slightly blurrier on the peripheral areas as compared to the original. Might be my imagination or something specific to my eyes, dunno. I took some pics through the lenses with both devices with this setup to compare:
I couldn’t really notice a different in the edge lens distortion from the pics. Here’s a comparison of the square from the middle, you can see there really is less screen-door effect now though.
My NVidia 1080ti seems to run content at the same FPS as the old Vive, so so no real downside to the switch I guess. It seems about equally as comfortable as the original Vive, that is to say, extremely uncomfortable.
4/24 2018 Update: HTC has announced an “aimed at the enterprise” $1399 Vive Pro full kit that includes the new 2.0 base stations and controllers, which in theory will offer better tracking and huge spaces. A word of warning – unless they just started shipping with a new cable, the Vive Pro cable is the same length as the Vive, meaning larger spaces wouldn’t do you much good until the wireless addon is released later this year. (?)