Regardless of my hesitations about tripping on cords, PC-tethered VR remains to be going robust, as seen within the wonderful Valve Index. Previous to Index, nevertheless, Valve partnered with HTC to provide the primary Vive VR headset to work with the SteamVR platform. The 2 corporations parted methods in VR improvement, with HTC focusing closely on enterprise and improvement with its Focus and Professional Eye headsets, whereas Valve launched the Grip-Sensing Index. HTC is not out of the patron VR recreation, nevertheless, with its medium-but-functional Vive Cosmos headset and its new Vive Professional 2. Regardless of its title, the Vive Professional 2 is for each skilled VR and customers, providing the identical SteamVR compatibility as Valve indexes with HTC’s personal Viveport ecosystem. On one hand, it delivers a few of the highest decision and clearest visuals ever seen in a consumer-available VR headset. However, it is solely pricier at $799 for a headset, necessitating the additional expense wanted for base stations and controllers to work.
bodily, your commonplace VR headset
The Vive Professional 2 headset seems to be like a darker model of the Vive Professional, and is not a lot completely different from the Vive Cosmos. It is black as a substitute of blue, however in any other case shares an almost similar design. The entrance panel combines the unique Vive’s Nubby Factors (which it makes use of to trace base station place) with the Vive Cosmos’ front-facing stereo cameras (which the headset makes use of to trace environment). That headset part will be pushed ahead or backward towards the facemask half with the press of a button on the lower-left nook, permitting you to regulate the gap between the lens and your eyes to enhance focus. A knob on the lower-right space of the entrance panel permits you to tweak pupillary distance (how far aside horizontally to finest align with how far aside your eyes are).
The pinnacle harness has the same design to the Vive Professional, a three-point system with broad plastic arms on the edges and a large strap on the high. The again of the harness is closely padded, and encompasses a dial to tighten that part towards the aspect arms, whereas the highest strap will be adjusted manually with Velcro fasteners.
(Picture: Molly Flores)
A pair of on-ear headphones are constructed into the headset, that are connected to the edges of the harness with their very own plastic arms. The arms swing backwards and forwards to align the earcups along with your ears, and flip out and in to hearken to your environment. The left earcup homes the amount rocker on the again edge, and the fitting earcup homes the mic mute button (the microphone is constructed into the entrance of the headset, not the earcup). Headphones will be eliminated and changed, however there isn’t any headphone jack to your personal use solely.
A 16-foot cable exits the headset and results in the harness so that you can go away behind earlier than connecting to the included hyperlink field that connects to your pc. The field is an oblong, grey, plastic enclosure concerning the dimension of a pockets, with an influence button on the entrance together with a port for the headset cable. The again panel homes a connector for the ability adapter, a Mini-DisplayPort, and a USB 3.0 port (cables with the mini-DP-to-DP adapter are included). There’s an indicator LED on the highest of the hyperlink field. As with a tethered VR headset, you could be conscious of the place the cable is so you do not journey over it.
some items lacking
The Vive Professional 2 at present solely ships as a headset, but it surely requires two appropriate base stations and two appropriate movement controllers to perform absolutely. HTC affords quite a lot of base stations and movement controllers that vary in value from $134 to $199. That mentioned, you possibly can combine and match these elements with Valve Index elements, which can be found at $149 per base station and $279 for a pair of controllers. That is the choice we advocate, particularly for controllers. Valve Index’s controllers characteristic particular person finger monitoring, which the Vive lacks, and really feel much more pure and immersive to make use of than the inflexible HTC Wand. Index’s controllers are the primary cause why Valve Index stands out to us as the very best Tether PC VR system, so having the ability to incorporate them into your Vive Professional 2 setup is a sexy choice.
Vive Professional 2 (not included) with HTC’s Vive controllers and base stations (Picture: Molly Flores)
Along with these elements, the Vive Professional 2 comes with a variety of elective equipment, such because the $349 Wi-fi Adapter Pack that permits you to use the headset with a wi-fi connection to your PC as a substitute of a bodily cable, and the $130 Facial Tracker that Reads facial expressions (although you may clearly want to search out software program that takes benefit of this, or use it for improvement).
highest decision ever
Internally, the Vive Professional 2 shows 2,488 by 2,488 pixels in every eye, with a 120-degree discipline of view and a refresh fee of 90Hz or 120Hz. Decision is the headset’s essential draw, which is considerably bigger than Valve Index’s 1,440 by 1,600 pixels per eye. This requires a PC with at the least an Intel Core i5-4590 or AMD Ryzen 1500 CPU and a GeForce 1060 or Radeon 480 graphics card with a DisplayPort 1.4 interface for full decision.
HTC Vive Professional 2 take a look at
For testing functions, we used a Vive Professional 2 with a pair of Valve Index base stations and a pair of Valve Index controllers on our beforehand configured VR take a look at system. Switching out the Index headset for the Vive Professional 2 was simple. After disconnecting the Index headset, I plugged the Hyperlink Field into the PC with the included DisplayPort and USB cables, then linked the headset and energy adapter. Urgent the button on the Hyperlink Field turned on the headset, and the PC detected it with out problem. After opening SteamVR, I used to be prompted to put in and configure the HTC Vive console for SteamVR, an extra free software program on Steam that lets the Vive Professional 2 work with the platform. With that put in, I accessed the identical SteamVR interface and software program library with the Vive Professional 2 that I may with Valve Index.
(Picture: Molly Flores)
Along with SteamVR, the Vive Professional 2 can entry HTC’s personal VR software program retailer, Viveport. The headset features a two-month subscription to Viveport Infinity, an Xbox Recreation Cross-like subscription that gives limitless entry to a wide array of VR video games and experiences. Contemplating the Vive Professional 2’s value, a year-long subscription would have been extra beneficiant, although (particularly since some video games are solely obtainable with a Viveport Infinity annual subscription).
Each the Steam VR and HTC Vive consoles must be operating on the similar time to make use of the Vive Professional 2 with SteamVR video games, and this will load them barely slower than Valve indexes. I discovered that it may take 10 or 20 seconds for each items of software program to register after turning on the headset. It is a minor inconvenience, and it was very simple to make use of exterior of ready for every thing to sync.
Since that is the flagship recreation for Valve Index and due to this fact SteamVR, I performed Half-Life: Alix on a Vive Professional 2 utilizing Valve Index controllers. The sport seems to be nice on the Vive Professional 2’s increased decision, which exhibits off extra element and cleaner edges than the index. The index isn’t any fluke to start with, however the soar in readability is noticeable.
I additionally performed the Aperture Fingers Lab VR demo, evaluating the way it seems to be on the Valve Index. Once more, the upper decision supplied a sharper image than Valve’s headset, and I had no downside utilizing it with Valve’s controllers and base stations. Movement was additionally clean as I turned my head, with the headset and base station precisely monitoring my place and orientation and translating them into an in-game image with fluid graphics.
(Picture: Molly Flores)
Graphically much less superior video games additionally profit from the upper decision. For instance, SCP: Labrat is a recreation with an easier, much less detailed mannequin and texture that appears good on the Vive Professional 2.
The SteamVR interface additionally comes by clearly on the Vive Professional 2. Textual content in pop-up menus is straightforward to learn, and digital environments are crisp and colourful. Broadly talking, the Vive Professional 2 delivers a sharper image than the Valve Index or different headsets we have examined.
Dear, Premium VR
Visually, the HTC Vive Professional 2 is probably the most spectacular consumer-available headset we have seen but. Its excessive decision and clean refresh fee present the very best footage obtainable for VR gaming. That does not imply that Tether is the very best choose if you wish to soar into PC-based VR. It is solely $800 for the headset, and requires about $600 extra in extra tools (not counting the PC to run it) simply to work. This makes it far more costly than the Valve Index (an Editors’ Selection choose for VR headsets), which we already discovered costly at $1,000 for its full, everything-included bundle.
Should you’re actually open to splurge to get the very best VR expertise, you should buy the Vive Professional 2 and complement it with Valve Index base stations and controllers. Nonetheless, the Valve Index isn’t any visible slouch, and for about $400 much less we think about that equipment to be the very best worth in a PC VR setup. And when you’re trying to dabble in VR and are prepared to commerce loads much less energy for a a lot cheaper price, the standalone, $299 Oculus Quest 2 (one other Editors’ Selection choose) is probably the most accessible VR headset obtainable.
The Vive Professional 2 is the highest-resolution VR headset we have seen but, with a value to match. It is value contemplating if you wish to have the very best VR expertise obtainable, and do not thoughts mixing and matching elements.
Like what are you studying?
join lab report To get the newest evaluations and high product recommendation straight to your inbox.
This text might comprise ads, offers or affiliate hyperlinks. Subscribing to the e-newsletter signifies your consent to our Phrases of Use and Privateness Coverage. You’ll be able to unsubscribe from newsletters at any time.