HTC Unveils Three New Vive Cosmos Headsets: Elite, Play, and XR

Buckle up, this one’s a doozy. HTC at present launched three new variants of its Vive Cosmos VR headset. Becoming a member of the unique Cosmos is Cosmos Elite, Cosmos Play, and Cosmos XR. The 4 variants of the headset intention to cowl a various set of buyer pursuits.

After a bumpy launch for Vive Cosmos again in October 2019, and a brand new CEO taking the reins at HTC, the corporate is successfully relaunching Cosmos by introducing a sequence of Cosmos headsets which search to attraction to a variety of VR customers from the novice to the high-end fanatic and in all places in-between.

HTC Unveils Three New Vive Cosmos Headsets: Elite, Play, and XR 20Picture courtesy HTC

Every Cosmos headset makes use of the identical basis as the unique—which implies the identical flip-up head-mount design, fresnel lenses, and 1,440 × 1,700 LCD shows with IPD adjustment—however the variants benefit from the headset’s interchangeable faceplate to supply completely different capabilities. To assist make sense of all of this, right here’s a fast define first, with extra particulars additional down.

Vive Cosmos Play – $500
Inside-out monitoring (four cameras)
Cosmos controllers

Vive Cosmos – $700
Inside-out monitoring (6 cameras)
Cosmos controllers

Vive Cosmos Elite – $900
SteamVR Monitoring (contains two base stations)
Vive wand controllers

Vive Cosmos XR – Worth unannounced
Developer package made for pass-through AR
Inside-out monitoring (four cameras + 2 HQ pass-through cameras)
Cosmos controllers

Vive Cosmos Play

HTC Unveils Three New Vive Cosmos Headsets: Elite, Play, and XR 21Picture courtesy HTC

Cosmos Play is HTC’s entry-level VR providing which has 4 cameras for inside-out monitoring, and the identical controllers as the unique Cosmos. From photographs it seems the Play is not going to embody built-in audio, however as an alternative present a three.5mm headphone jack for customers to plug in their very own headphones.

With much less monitoring protection than the unique Cosmos (which has six cameras), HTC is positioning the Cosmos Play as best for informal VR experiences. The corporate additionally calls the headset an entry-point into VR as a result of customers can select to improve it sooner or later with faceplates from the opposite Cosmos variants.

HTC plans to supply the Cosmos Play for $500, although a launch date hasn’t been introduced.

Vive Cosmos

HTC Unveils Three New Vive Cosmos Headsets: Elite, Play, and XR 22Picture courtesy HTC

That is the unique Cosmos because it launched again in October; its faceplate provides two further cameras over the Play (for a complete of six) which enhance inside-out monitoring protection (particularly, extra vertical protection), and it’ll proceed to make use of the identical controllers that it launched with.

HTC will proceed to supply Cosmos on the similar $700 worth level that it established at launch.

The Cosmos faceplate (with the 2 further cameras) will turn into accessible as a separate accent in Q2 for $200; it’ll be capable to connect to any of the opposite Cosmos variants.

Vive Cosmos Elite

HTC Unveils Three New Vive Cosmos Headsets: Elite, Play, and XR 23Picture courtesy HTC

Vive Cosmos Elite is focused immediately on the fanatic crowd and comes geared up with a SteamVR Monitoring faceplate and contains two Vive wand controllers and two monitoring base stations.

SteamVR Monitoring is similar monitoring expertise used within the unique Vive. Although it requires exterior base stations to perform, SteamVR Monitoring is taken into account a gold-standard of VR monitoring for its precision and accuracy, which makes it an interesting selection for VR fanatics who don’t thoughts mounting monitoring round their room.

What many fanatics will thoughts, nonetheless, is the mandatory inclusion of the Vive wand controllers with the Cosmos Elite. Although they monitor nicely because of SteamVR Monitoring, the Vive wands are broadly thought of last-gen VR controllers as a consequence of their use of a trackpad and seize button. Newer VR controllers have coalesced round thumbsticks (slightly than trackpads) and seize triggers or pressure-sensitive seize handles (slightly than seize buttons); even HTC’s personal Cosmos controllers have thumbsticks and seize triggers.

Cosmos Elite might be accessible in Q1 and priced at $900—which places it in direct competitors with the corporate’s personal Vive Professional ($900) and Valve’s Index ($1,000). Pre-orders for Cosmos Elite will begin subsequent week on February 24th.

HTC Unveils Three New Vive Cosmos Headsets: Elite, Play, and XR 24Picture courtesy HTC

HTC plans to supply the Cosmos SteamVR Monitoring faceplate (which the corporate calls the ‘Exterior Monitoring Faceplate’) as a standalone accent which might connect to any of the opposite Cosmos headsets. That creates a path for some other Cosmos headset to be upgraded into the SteamVR Monitoring ecosystem… however you’ll nonetheless have to shell out for separate base stations and controllers.

Ostensibly one might purchase Cosmos Play at $500 and the Exterior Monitoring Faceplate for $200, making a Cosmos Elite for $700 (sans base stations and controllers). HTC additionally says Cosmos Elite will assist outside-in monitoring similar to the opposite Cosmos headsets, however you’d want to select up a pair of the Cosmos controllers for enter. A bit convoluted, maybe—however hey—that’s Cosmos’ modularity in motion, proper?

Vive Cosmos XR

HTC Unveils Three New Vive Cosmos Headsets: Elite, Play, and XR 25Picture courtesy HTC

Vive Cosmos XR will launch as a developer-focused headset geared toward pass-through augmented actuality. Cross-through augmented actuality makes use of cameras to point out the surface world inside the headset after which initiatives digital imagery into the feed of the true world; the headset will be capable to do pure VR too.

Although all Cosmos headsets assist a pass-through video view, the Cosmos XR comes geared up with its personal particular faceplate that provides two extra front-facing cameras to the headset which convey the next high quality and wider subject of view pass-through feed than the cameras constructed into the core Cosmos headset, HTC says.

HTC Unveils Three New Vive Cosmos Headsets: Elite, Play, and XR 26Picture courtesy HTC

Nevertheless, the HQ pass-through cameras on the Cosmos XR faceplate look like positioned beneath the person’s eye-line which can make for an odd perspective except HTC is performing some computer-vision trickery to regulate the view.

HTC says Cosmos XR will launch in Q2 as a developer package; pricing has not been introduced, however the firm guarantees to share extra at GDC subsequent month.

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So there you have got it. The entire Vive Cosmos lineup, and HTC’s imaginative and prescient for an ecosystem of modular VR headsets. How does all of it stack as much as different headset choices available on the market? Tell us what you suppose within the feedback.