HTC's Vive Pro VR business kits pop up with SteamVR 2.0 base stations


Between elevated prices for graphics cards, the high cost of system memory, and the expense of a headset, getting all the parts together for a PC-based VR system is an expensive proposition. Jumping to the high end of the market with HTC's recently-released Vive Pro higher-resolution head-mounted display is pricier still. To date, the company has posititioned the Vive Pro as an upgrade for owners of the original Vive HMD. Yesterday's announcement of the Vive Pro Virtual Reality System business kits changes that policy somewhat.

The kits include the Vive Pro, motion controllers, and SteamVR 2.0-compliant base stations. Those stations are an upgrade from the units that ship with the regular Vive kit and offer an expanded 20' x 20' (6 m x 6 m) work space when used in pairs. HTC says that setups with additional base stations increase usable area to almost 33' x 33' (10 m x 10 m), an area that could come in handy for certain business applications. The original Vive base stations support a maximum playfield of 15' x 15' (4.5 m x 4.5 m), which is probably enough for most home users. Tom's Hardware says the pair of motion controllers function identically to the current units, but use Triad Semiconductor TS3633 sensors.

The company also announced two new support levels for commercial customers called Vive Enterprise Advantage and Vive Enterprise Advantage+. The programs include varying combinations of extended warranties, dedicated support, and device management utilities.

The Vive Pro VR System commercial kit lands in America for a princely $1399. That sum gets buyers a Vive Pro headset, two wand-style motion controllers, and two base stations. The company said it'll offer additional base stations at some point in the future, but provided no specifics regarding price or a timeframe. The manufacturer's blog post suggests the kits should be available immediately, though they're not on its website just yet.

As a refresher, the Vive Pro headset costs $800 by itself and a standard Vive kit costs $500. Those with an existing Vive setup could acquire the Vive Pro headset and keep their original Vive HMD as a backup, although they'd rely on the regular base stations instead of the SteamVR 2.0 units.

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