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HTC unveils a trio of new Cosmos VR headsets

Three options to fit your virtual reality budget

When HTC released the Vive Cosmos last year, it was unclear why the faceplate could be removed. Now the answer is here, as the company has unveiled three new versions with faceplates that can be switched out to upgrade as you go. 

While there’s limited pricing information for the new family members at the moment, it’s pretty clear where each will sit relative to the £699 original Vive Cosmos. 

At the bottom of the pile is the Vive Cosmos Play, which has four cameras for inside-out tracking. That means you don’t need clunky base stations to track you, but the downgrade from six cameras on the original Cosmos to four here will probably result in a drop in tracking accuracy. Nonetheless, Valve says it’ll still be good for simple apps like Viveport Video and Angry Birds VR, and the company believes it’s a good choice for business or museum use.

At the very top of the table is the Vive Cosmos Elite. Here, the faceplate uses external tracking via a pair of bundled base stations alongside the inside-out version. This, Valve says, is good for “the most demanding VR entertainment enthusiasts”, and built for “precision gaming titles such as Pistol Whip, Superhot and Audica as well as multiplayer VR titles like Battlewake.”

Finally, there’s the Vive Cosmos XR, where the faceplate offers an XR passthrough camera, making it a mixed reality device like the Microsoft Hololens. This one isn’t intended for consumers though, and will debut as part of the developer kit later this year apparently.

All three of them feature the same 90Hz 2,880 x 1,700 LCD display as the original Vive Cosmos – which makes sense if the faceplates can be subbed in for each one. 

We only have a firm release date and price for the Cosmos Elite – and that’s £200 more than the regular Cosmos at £899. For that, you get the headset, Elite faceplate, two SteamVR base stations and two Vive controllers. It’s up for pre-order on 24 February.

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