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HTC Vive Cosmos release date: The new VR headset is out now

HTC’s Vive Cosmos is here: here's everything we now know

The HTC Vive Cosmos is here. HTC has very kindly given us a healthy insight into most aspects of this new VR headset: we know the launch date, how much it costs and what makes it a cut above its predecessors – and maybe competition.

To find out exactly where you can purchase this new-fangled HTC HMD, plus everything else you’ll need to know before you buy, read on. 

HTC Vive Cosmos: Everything we now know 

HTC Vive Cosmos UK release date: Out now

The HTC Vive Cosmos officially launched on 3 October and is available to buy right now. 

Buy HTC Vive Cosmos now

HTC Vive Cosmos UK price: How much does it cost?

As of now, you’ll be able to pick the HTC Vive Cosmos up for £699. This makes it a whopping £300 more expensive than the Oculus Rift S, although the specs and features might well warrant the increase in price. HTC’s original Vive was more expensive than the Oculus Rift, after all, so clearly price isn’t everything. 

HTC Vive Cosmos features: What does it do?

First and foremost, the Vive Cosmos uses the same inside-out tracking found on the Oculus Quest, Oculus Rift S and Windows Mixed Reality headsets – that means no more fiddly base stations. The Vive Cosmos has a 2,880 x 1,700 LCD that nestles on a refresh rate of 90Hz; that’s a seriously high-res display, although it does raise a few questions on the price front.

The eyepiece also flips up, so you can take a break without removing the entire headset, and you can even remove the Vive Cosmos’ faceplate (for an as-of-yet-unclear purpose). We’ve also had a first look at a pair of very jazzy motion controllers, although there’s nothing unusual to report here other than the unusual tribal decal wrapped around the main sensor. 

The HTC Vive Cosmos functions both with and without base stations – ideal for those old-timers who still appreciate the more precise tracking of peripheral sensors.

Buy HTC Vive Cosmos now

HTC Vive Pro Eye

Alongside the Vive Cosmos, HTC has a new high-end Vive Pro model on the way, complete with native eye-tracking, dubbed the Vive Pro Eye.

HTC says this new system removes the need for controllers, with scope for menus and apps to be navigated with nothing more than the user’s gaze. Controlling apps with your eyesight stands to simplify the whole process of using VR, but the main benefits could be technical. Eye tracking means the VR system call use a technique called “foveated rendering”, which sharpens images where a user is looking, and dials back places in the peripheral vision. This means a computer can prioritise where to direct its energy, which has the scope to drastically reduce the requirements to run VR apps.

Eye tracking could be a revelation for the VR industry, but at least for the short term the company is aiming its Vive Pro Eye headset at the enterprise market, saying that the eye-tracking will “allow businesses and developers to gather more data about their training environments”.

The Vive Pro Eye is slated for release in the summer of 2019, while the Vive Cosmos is already on the market. There’s no word on price yet, although we expect the latter headset at its current price to be substantially cheaper than the former.

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