AUSTIN, Texas—HTC's VR team was out in full force at this year's South By Southwest festival, mostly due to the upcoming film adaptation of Ready Player One. The top floor of a jam-packed, book-to-film "experience" event included an hour-plus wait to play a few Ready Player One-themed VR games, all slated to launch alongside the film later this month.
Curiously, though, the best part of the whole thing wasn't really advertised anywhere at the event. Tucked behind some giant photo-op insanity like an Iron Giant replica and a tricked-out Delorean was a piece of futuristic tech I was way more interested in: the HTC Vive Pro.
Though we took a quick glance at the upcoming Vive Pro during January's CES, this SXSW event was the first time I got to scrutinize the hardware, which will launch later this year as the first "2.0" headset in the PC-VR era. We've yet to answer a giant question mark—how much will this upgraded VR headset cost—but after an impressive SXSW test, my acceptable price point definitely shot up a hundred bucks or so.