HTC, you done lost your mind. For those who've been waiting to see how much a HTC Vive Pro was, well, the news isn't good. They've announced that you can pre-order the HMD now for a whopping $799.99. Yeah.
For $800, you get a HMD that has 78% increase in resolution bumping it up to 2880x1600 compared to 2160x1200 of the Vive, which is good. What's not good is that it uses the same Fresnel lenses as the original one and the field of vision is still the same.
The HTC Vive Pro has an updated headstrap along with the whole thing being lighter for a better fit. There's amplifiers in the headset so sound should be better than the Deluxe Audio Strap.
Dual mics and dual cameras offer up better sound and maybe AR features in the future. HTC has said they'll use the cameras to track hand motion like if you strapped a Leap Motion in front of it.
All told, it looks like a good upgrade IF it wasn't for the fact that HTC is charging a mega-ton for it. We're talking $800 JUST for the HMD, no lighthouses or wands. To put it in perspective, you could get an original Vive for a reduced price of $499 and a Vive Pro for $799 ($1300 total) cheaper than a Vive Pro with two controllers ($130 x 2) and two ligthhouses ($135 x 2) ($1330 total), which you would have to if you didn't own an original Vive. (Yeah, lost in this was HTC reducing the price of the original Vive bundle to $499.)
I was ready to go in upgrading to the HTC Vive Pro and just like at CES three years ago when Oculus announced their pricing, I put my credit card away. I just don't see the value here paying $800 for just the HMD because while it has some nice updates, it's definitely not a Gen 2 product and there's not enough updates on paper to warrant that price. Like the Rift, I just can't come to bring myself to purchase this on principal.
The Samsung Odyssey has the same screens and comes with controllers and is priced at $500. Yes, it doesn't use Lighthouse tracking and it isn't as reliable in tracking as the Vive, but hardware wise, the most expensive part is the same as the Vive Pro.
And now, I'm worried about how much HTC will charge for the wireless adapter, something that I was passing up on other solutions for. If they are going to go too much over $250, well I'll just turn around and pick up a TPCast because it offers up an already great solution for wireless VR. It's been to market a while now and there are many people reporting it works quite well.
HTC, I don't know what you're thinking, but you've really priced this out of a lot of people's ranges. You made a compelling case in 2015 and I saw the value in your product even though it was more expensive than the Rift. I had no problems paying the extra for a higher quality HMD at that time. Now though, I just don't see it and many others don't either. Sure, you'll have the die hards who will upgrade at any price and not think twice, but this is one product I can't recommend at that price point. There are some HMDs being announced shortly that will blow away the resolution of the Vive Pro so I'm going to wait on those. I'd rather spend that amount of money on a bigger jump than what HTC has in the Pro. You would have had me at $500. But at $800, sorry, I'll put my credit card away again like I did with Oculus and wait. It worked out really well the last time I did this.