Rather than simply calling it the second generation developer edition VR headset, this new iteration is being dubber the Vive Pre.
The headset’s design has been refreshed to provide improved comfort, ergonomics and performance.
In fact, the headset is now more compact and the strap has been updated for greater stability and balance whilst wearing. There are also now interchangeable foam inserts and nose gaskets for an improved fit, especially for those who wear glasses.
The display have got a little brighter and offer improved clarity from the original developer kit.
Vive Pre also now has a front-facing camera, which HTC claims will be used to “blend physical elements into the virtual space”. For example, you’ll be able to interact with the real world without having to remove the headset.
Related: HTC Vive vs Oculus Rift
As for the controllers, the Vive Pre’s options have been completely overhauled and are now wireless thanks to integrated rechargeable lithium ion polymer batteries and microUSB charging. Apparently you’ll get 4 hours of runtime per charge.
The actual design has changed too, with the controllers becoming softer to the touch, with textured buttons and grip pads. There is also a new “dual stage trigger” to make interactions smoother and haptic feedback to make it feel more realistic in-game.
The Vive Pre base stations have also been redesigned, with HTC saying they are now “more compact, quieter and provide improved tracking”.
“When we first announced Vive ten months ago we had an ambitious goal of fundamentally changing the way people communicate and interact with the world – forever”, said Cher Wang, Chairwoman and CEO, HTC. “Since then Vive has received a phenomenally positive reception from media, industry commentators, consumers, and the hundreds of partners and brands we’ve been working with to deliver inspiring and dynamic VR content.”
“For too long, the promise of virtual reality has been little more than a promise. Today we stand on the precipice of a new era. Vive is creating a world where the only limit is human imagination.”
The HTC Vive release date is set for April 2016, with over 7,000 new units available to developers now.
HTC also announced that over 15 Vive partners will be showcasing VR applications at CES 2016, including Audi.