HTC Vive Cosmos Elite And External Tracker Review: Still Not Enough

Right here’s what we consider the new-and-sort-of-improved HTC Vive Cosmos Elite and/or Cosmos Exterior Monitoring Faceplate.

Final 12 months HTC launched yet one more entry in its line of VR headsets named the HTC Vive Cosmos. Now, the corporate revamped it with a brand new mannequin that features an exterior monitoring choice and debuted an add-on to the unique to allow the identical new function.

I’ve written evaluations of a number of VR headsets over the past 4 years, however I can positively say I’ve by no means reviewed a scenario fairly like this. By no means thoughts the truth that HTC already affords a complicated variety of completely different VR headsets (such because the HTC Vive, HTC Vive Professional, HTC Vive Professional Eye, HTC Vive Focus, HTC Vive Cosmos, and much more), the Cosmos can also be the primary modular VR headset I’ve seen, including but extra variations. This needs to be a key function of the Cosmos, however proper now it simply provides to the confusion.

Since we already had an exterior monitoring faceplate despatched to us for the unique Cosmos, and already had the unique Cosmos from our evaluation final 12 months, HTC simply advised us to evaluation them collectively because the Vive Cosmos Elite as a result of it’s primarily the identical factor.

So, after studying this evaluation you would possibly nonetheless have lots of questions, similar to: How is the consolation? How are the lenses? What are the specs? How is Vive Origin? What about Viveport? All of these questions and extra I already answered in my unique Vive Cosmos evaluation. You need to learn that evaluation as effectively to get the total image right here. The one factor that doesn’t apply is the entire commentary from that evaluation on its inside-out monitoring and new Cosmos controllers — the remaining is equivalent.

Learn the unique Vive Cosmos evaluation right here for our full evaluation.

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What Is The Vive Cosmos Elite?

The Vive Cosmos Elite is, actually, equivalent to the HTC Vive Cosmos apart from the truth that it makes use of exterior monitoring through lighthouse base stations (like the unique Vive headsets, the Index, and Pimax headsets) somewhat than the camera-based inside-out monitoring that’s constructed onto the entrance of the unique Cosmos, Home windows MR headsets, Oculus Rift S, and Oculus Quest. While you purchase a Cosmos Elite, you’re shopping for a Cosmos, however they’ve switched the entrance faceplate to the exterior monitoring as an alternative of the within out monitoring on the unique. And adjusted the colour to black. That’s it.

The specs are precisely the identical because the Vive Cosmos in any other case. The Cosmos incorporates a 1440 x 1700 pixel per eye show (in comparison with 1080 x 1200 pixels per eye within the unique Vive and 1440 x 1600 pixels per eye in each the Vive Professional and Valve Index) which supplies it a pointy picture. Nevertheless, the candy spot of the lenses feels extremely small within the Cosmos unit we acquired for evaluation, that means in the event you transfer your eyes very a lot contained in the headset issues can look blurry. The Index then again has a big candy spot and huge subject of view.

The refresh charge is 90 Hz for the Cosmos with a claimed 110 diploma subject of view, that means that on paper it’s received a stable basis. In comparison with the unique HTC Vive particularly, it’s a very good improve.

For $899 you get the Vive Cosmos Elite headset, two base stations for reverse corners of your room to allow roomscale monitoring, and two Vive wand controllers identical to the unique Vive controllers that launched over 4 years in the past. Or, HTC just lately introduced, you will get simply the headset itself with out base stations and controllers for $549 — an choice created for these seeking to improve from the unique Vive or change from the Vive Professional.

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What Is The Vive Cosmos Exterior Monitoring Faceplate?

Merely put, the Exterior Monitoring Faceplate is an add-on it is possible for you to buy (for $199 startin April 30th, 2020) for an current HTC Vive Cosmos that enables it to be tracked by SteamVR lighthouse base stations.  The thought is that you need to have the pliability of switching face plates to have both inside-out monitoring, plus new Cosmos controllers, or exterior monitoring with Vive wands or Index “knuckles” controllers. It’s the one VR headset available on the market with that type of adaptability.

It’s a little bit of a bummer that the brand new Cosmos controllers don’t embody some type of add-on to allow exterior monitoring as effectively. As an alternative, in the event you resolve to make use of the exterior monitoring face plate, your new Cosmos controllers are ineffective. You’d want to modify to Vive wands or Index controllers (we advocate Index controllers if attainable.)

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Evaluating To The Authentic Vive Cosmos

Utilizing a Cosmos with exterior monitoring (aka a Cosmos Elite) is a vastly superior expertise to the unique Cosmos inside-out system.

In comparison with the Oculus platform, the place Perception monitoring through Rift S and Quest is extraordinarily comparable in high quality to the Rift digicam exterior monitoring format, the Cosmos camera-based monitoring was a disappointment. It carried out poorly in low-light circumstances and may lose monitor of controllers rapidly in the event that they’re out of view out of your headset. Make no mistake: SteamVR powered by lighthouse base stations is, undoubtedly, nonetheless the very best VR monitoring platform available on the market from a pure high quality and accuracy perspective. They’ve patched the inside-out system to be a bit higher now, but it surely’s nonetheless not so good as SteamVR monitoring.

However buying a VR headset is about rather more than simply the monitoring high quality. In nearly all different facets such because the platform, the consolation, the lens high quality, the controllers, and the worth, the Cosmos + exterior monitoring and/or Cosmos Elite are laborious to justify.

Beforehand, I discovered it tough to advocate a Vive Cosmos to anybody. At $699 it was simply too laborious of a promote given the best way it stacked up in opposition to the considerably lower cost of $399 for the Oculus Rift S. Coming in at $899, the Cosmos Elite is as soon as once more a particularly laborious promote in comparison with the superior Valve Index full bundle that’s simply $100 extra at $999. There’s a cheaper model of the Cosmos slated to launch sooner or later, known as the HTC Vive Cosmos Play, however there’s no phrase on when precisely.

Nevertheless, as of the time of this writing, no Valve Index merchandise are anticipated to reach to new patrons ahead of eight weeks from April 1st, 2020, on the earliest. Which means June, 2020 as a best-case situation in the event you purchased one thing this week.

Because of this, in the event you at present have an unique HTC Vive, I might actually see how the Vive Cosmos Elite headset by itself is a sexy prospect. It prices $50 greater than only a Valve Index headset, however you get a barely greater decision show plus the potential to ultimately buy an inside-out monitoring face plate and new Cosmos controllers in the event you resolve to swap into an inside-out ecosystem as an alternative of utilizing base stations.

Observe: At present HTC doesn’t supply an inside-out monitoring add-on to buy for the Cosmos Elite, they solely have plans to supply an exterior monitoring add-on beginning April 30th to buy for the unique Cosmos. However, it stands to purpose, the inside-out face plate could turn out to be out there for buy individually sooner or later to permit for the inverse improve path.

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Vive Cosmos Elite/Exterior Monitoring Faceplate Overview Last Verdict

I stated all of this in my unique HTC Vive Cosmos evaluation and all of it nonetheless applies at the moment for the Cosmos Elite: “Technically talking the Cosmos is way from a nasty machine. The decision may be very close to the highest of the market, it incorporates a comfy halo strap design…and comes with an amazing worth in its Viveport Infinity subscription. However it’s simply too little too late.”

The one main caveat right here now’s that, in the event you at present have a primary technology HTC Vive and want to improve the headset and don’t thoughts utilizing Vive wands (or have Index controllers / plan on getting Index controllers), and in addition don’t need to wait on an Index, then the Vive Cosmos Elite headset by itself for $549 isn’t a nasty buy. Particularly contemplating the potential of having the ability to change to inside-out sooner or later in the event you’d want. Plus, wi-fi is already attainable on Cosmos — it’s not but on Index. All that stated, in the event you’re in that particular unique Vive proprietor group and don’t want wi-fi but and have the endurance to attend an additional month for cargo, we’d actually advocate paying $50 much less for the Index headset by itself.

Last Rating: :star: :star: :star:  three/5 Stars | Fairly Good

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The HTC Vive Cosmos Elite is accessible for $899 as a full bundle together with two Vive wand controllers and two lighthouse base stations for monitoring, or as a headset just for $549. Try the official web site for extra particulars.