HTC Discontinues Vive Pro and Vive Focus

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HTC Discontinues Vive Pro and Vive Focus
March 10, 2020

HTC is discontinuing its Vive Pro and Vive Focus headsets in favor of newer versions of the headsets. The change helps streamline the company’s smattering of headsets.

 

In a recent opinion piece I argued that HTC’s VR headset lineup, which had reached 11 different packages, had turned into a confusing array of options. When we reached out to the company for its take on the critique, it shared that several headsets are being discontinued. While this doesn’t do much to help Cosmos’ messy modular options, it stands to bring a bit more order to the overall lineup.

 

HTC’s Vive Pro, which the company first launched back in 2018, is being discontinued in favor of the newer Vive Pro Eye, which is effectively the same headset but with eye-tracking.

 

The original Vive Pro was offered in three different packages—the Starter Kit, Full Kit, and McLaren Limited Edition—which are being phased-out as the company sells through remaining stock. They will be superseded by three packages: Vive Pro Eye Full Kit, Vive Pro Eye Office, and Vive Pro Eye Office Arena (more details on these new Vive Pro Eye packages here).

 

While this move doesn’t actually reduce the count of packages offered, it adds clarity to which products the company intends for enterprise and which are for consumers. While the Vive Pro was much like the original Vive but with better displays and a better headstrap out of the box, eye-tracking on Vive Pro Eye is a clear differentiating feature as it isn’t available in any major consumer headset to date, and doesn’t offer much value to consumers presently because eye-tracking hasn’t seen adoption in the consumer VR space just yet.

 

Same goes for the included SteamVR Tracking 2.0 base stations which offer more value than 1.0 base stations to enterprise users compared to most consumers; while the Vive Pro had been sold in a pseudo-consumer package for $900 with 1.0 base stations, all versions of Vive Pro Eye are priced above $1,000 and include 2.0 base stations, helping more clearly focus the company’s enterprise lineup.

 

Speaking of focus, HTC is also pruning the original Vive Focus from its lineup in favor of the Vive Focus Plus. Vive Focus is the company’s $600 enterprise-focused standalone headset, but it launched somewhat awkwardly without 6DOF controllers. The company quickly followed up with the Vive Focus Plus which added 6DOF controllers out of the box for $800.

 

6DOF tracking on head and controllers has largely become an expectation for modern VR headsets, whether tethered or standalone, so it makes sense to put the original Vive Focus to rest. However, HTC told us that it will continue to offer Vive Focus in custom deals to enterprises for whom the headset could still be the best fit.

 

Additionally, while the company had announced the discontinuation of its original Vive headset a while back, it had continued to market and sell a certified pre-owned package of the headset for some time. Recent updates to the company’s website appear to have now removed the original Vive entirely, further streamlining HTC’s headset lineup.

 

It’s going to take some time until these lineup changes are fully reflected in the company’s marketing, but here’s what it should look line once complete:

Assuming this comes to fruition quickly enough, it looks like an improvement. Next we’ll be waiting to see if HTC can make sense of the messy nature of Cosmos’ modularity, and just when and how it will position the Vive Proton headsets which it recently teased.

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