CES 2019: NVIDIA Partners With HTC On Foveated Rendering
CES 2019: NVIDIA Partners With HTC On Foveated Rendering
HTC Vive Cosmos and Pro Eye: 2 New VR Headsets at CES 2019
HTC Vive Cosmos and Pro Eye: 2 New VR Headsets at CES 2019
CES 2019: HTC Announces Vive Pro Eye With Integrated Eye-Tracking
CES 2019: HTC Announces Vive Pro Eye With Integrated Eye-Tracking
We saw virtual reality's bright future at CES 2019
We saw virtual reality's bright future at CES 2019
The best VR and AR tech of CES 2019
The best VR and AR tech of CES 2019

HTC's most powerful VR headset is now available for $1,599

HTC's most-advanced VR headset, the Vive Pro Eye with built-in eye-tracking, is now available in North America. The VR headset was announced at CES in January and first launched in China and Europe. At $1,599, the Vive Pro Eye is double the price of HTC's Vive Pro , which was released in 2018. It's an expensive VR headset for sure, and it raises an obvious question: Why would anyone buy the Vive Pro Eye over the wireless Oculus Quest , which starts at $399? It's not really fair to compare the HTC Vive Pro Eye to the Oculus Quest. They're two different classes of VR headsets.
The Vive Pro Eye has higher resolution and eye-tracking technology, requires a power PC, and needs additional "base stations" for room-scale body-tracking. Still, the comparison will be made and for most people, buying a Vive Pro Eye doesn't make any sense. Not only is the headset expensive, but the setup to dive into VR is clunky. The Quest, however, is a much simpler and intuitive VR setup. That said, if you want the best VR headset HTC is selling, the Vive Pro Eye looks pretty solid. The headset has a 2,880 x 1,600 resolution (1,440 x 1,600 per eye) and the built-in eye-tracking has the potential to do things other VR headsets can't, like "create more expressive avatars for immersive virtual interactions in meeting and collaboration tools" and "capture real-time user feedback through heat mapping and gaze tracking to gain insight into user behavior and decision processes," according to HTC.

It Enhances The Gaming Experience. It is difficult to talk about virtual reality without discussing the use of video game technology in it. The gaming world has fully embraced virtual reality and all of its elements. There are now some games that are designed specifically for virtual reality. In some of these cases, gaming companies would produce special props that gamers can use along with their virtual reality headset. For some gamers, virtual reality has enhanced their love of playing.

When we tried the Vive Pro Eye at CES, my colleague Karissa Bell was mostly impressed by the VR headset.

She said the "gaze-oriented menu navigation" that's controlled with your eyes "worked pretty much as expected, though it was only available with the in-game menus."

Additionally, eye-tracking could provide people with disabilities with an alternative way to control things in VR if they're not able to use the Vive's standard hand controllers.

Like all PC-based VR, the HTC Vive Pro Eye is for enthusiasts invested heavily in VR for the long haul. Its cutting-edge features might never become mainstream, but that's okay because HTC seems to be increasingly courting hardcore and enterprise VR users as opposed to average consumers. For these early adopters, being first to experience the latest VR tech is worth the premium cost.

WATCH: We played Oculus Quest games and mayhem ensued

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Love virtual reality? Here are the latest VR headsets in 2019
Love virtual reality? Here are the latest VR headsets in 2019
HTC Vive Pro is the best VR headset if you've got serious money to burn
HTC Vive Pro is the best VR headset if you've got serious money to burn
Field of view: HTC Vive Pro Eye lands on the FCC ahead of impending launch
Field of view: HTC Vive Pro Eye lands on the FCC ahead of impending launch
Field of view: Vive Pro Eye brings eye-tracking VR to Europe first
Field of view: Vive Pro Eye brings eye-tracking VR to Europe first