Following a preview at this year’s Consumer Electronics Show 2018, HTC Vive is bringing its most powerful virtual reality (VR) system ever to the Middle East with the availability of the HTC Vive Pro starting this month. The company confirmed that the Vive Pro’s new Head Mounted Display (HMD) will retail for AED3,299 and is available for purchase through its dedicated Middle East e-commerce store.
The regional launch took place during the celebration of a new strategic partnership between HTC Vive and Burj Khalifa, held at the exclusive Burj Level 112 within the global icon in Dubai, UAE. The partnership includes the Vive Pro being used in Burj Khalifa’s latest ‘Mission 828’ experience on its At the Top observation deck, with additional experiences in the works. Burj Khalifa will also sell the Vive Pro HMD at its popular retail boutique located in the world’s tallest building until mid-June, which welcomes thousands of international visitors each week.
The Vive Pro is built for VR enthusiasts and enterprise users who want the best display and audio for their virtual reality experiences. Vive Pro is a room-scale VR system that includes dual-OLED displays for a crisp picture resolution that is a 78% increase in resolution over the current Vive HMD—initially released in 2016. In addition to visuals, the Vive Pro also features integrated, high-performance headphones with a built-in amplifier that creates a heightened sense of presence and sound through noise cancellation capabilities.
“Today VR represents the convergence of technology with humanity, and that is unleashing human imagination in entirely new ways. When we step into VR, we step into a whole world which can truly change lives for the better. With more advancement systems like the Vive Pro, and together with strategic content and brand partners, we are now making the future more accessible to individual users, businesses and developers around the world,” said Raymond Pao, vice president of product & strategy and general manager of Asia at HTC Vive.
“We are elated to be showcasing the immersive power of VR to consumers and enterprises across the Middle East with the availability of the Vive Pro rolling out in the coming months. Our goal has always been to offer the most premium VR platform available, and the endorsement of such technologies by brands such as Burj Khalifa promises to make VR more accessible while expanding the potential for local developers,” added Ramit Harisinghani, vice president and head of Middle East & Africa at HTC Vive.
“Emaar consistently invests in the latest digital technologies to offer our visitors exceptional experiences as is underlined by Mission 828, a popular highlight of At the Top, Burj Khalifa, and a trend-setting VR experience. We are focused on strengthening our partnerships with tech leaders, to continuously enhance our innovative offerings. We will continue to push the boundaries of innovation for the leisure and entertainment industry and contribute to the city’s civic pride,” explained Ahmad Al Falasi, Executive Director – Group Operations at Emaar Properties.
Burj Khalifa launched Mission 828, which simulates the experience of scaling the building’s 828 meters to the top of the spire – the highest point of the global icon. The VR attraction gives visitors the opportunity to have the virtual experience of scaling to the pinnacle of the tower before taking a parachute-jump right down to The Dubai Fountain. Mission 828 can be experienced through six VR pods at Level 125 and another at Level 124. As part of the partnership with HTC, L125 will also be the exclusive venue that will showcase the HTC Vive Pro technology in the Middle East in the coming weeks.
Overall, total spend on AR and VR products across Europe, the Middle East and Africa (EMEA) is forecasted to reach USD 3 billion in 2018 alone, according to IDC, over double the amount spent in 2017. Current Vive owners can upgrade their headset to Vive Pro for the best display, audio, and comfort in the industry. The Vive Pro works with both SteamVR Tracking 1.0 and 2.0, meaning existing Vive customers can upgrade the headset only and continue to use current generation controllers and base stations. These improved graphics and audio allow for users to experience VR with enhanced clarity, making it the most realistic and immersive VR experience on the market today.
In addition, the Vive Pro has been rebuilt to maximize comfort for the most demanding VR users. The Vive Pro features a redesigned head-strap that balances the weight of the headset more evenly and features easy adjustment buttons for Vive users with glasses. With more than 3,000 titles available, Vive continues to be the platform of choice for developers and consumers alike. Operating in over 60 countries, HTC’s content platform Viveport also brings premium experiences in entertainment, education, arcade, arts & culture, and enterprise to a global audience. A Viveport subscription allows consumers to choose from over 400 pieces of content from a highly-curated offering, giving consumers the opportunity to discover the best VR has to offer.
The full Vive kit including the new Vive Pro HMD will be available as a single retail package starting in the Middle East from Q3 2018.