HTC add to Vive lineup with Cosmos Play and XR

Credit: Fergus Halliday

Positioned as a more affordable addition to the Vive lineup, HTC have announced the new Cosmos Play.

Build around the same core headset design as the original Cosmos, the Vive Cosmos Play boasts a narrower field-of-view and four tracking cameras built into the headset. These enable inside-out tracking but are a step downwards from the regular Cosmos’ six-camera setup. 

Compared to the original Vive VR headset, both the Cosmos and Cosmos Play boast 88% more pixels and inside-out tracking.

The idea here is that those looking to get into VR ahead of the release of Half Life: Alyx are able to do so for a cheaper price than the regular Vive or Vive Pro and then invest in modular accessories that make up the difference in performance as needed later down the line.

The Vive Cosmos Play can be easily upgraded via a swappable faceplate. Currently, HTC offer four different classes of Cosmos faceplate that add new features like support for external tracking to XR support.

Local Australian pricing for the HTC Vive Cosmos Play is to be announced but PC World understands the new headset will represent the bottom-end of the range, which also includes the original HTC Vive Cosmos, HTC Vive Cosmos Elite bundle and the new HTC Vive Cosmos XR.

By comparison to the Play, the HTC Vive Cosmos Elite is a more robust offering that bundles together a set of external SteamVR tracking sensors and Vive controllers with the appropriate tracking faceplate. In Australia, it'll be priced at AU$1699.

“Our customers want an incredible VR experience and we are proud to announce a new family of products tailor-made for VR use-cases of all types,” said Yves Maître, CEO, HTC. 

"Vive Cosmos is truly the most versatile headset yet. From consumers just discovering VR for the first time to the demanding business user, Vive Cosmos offers stellar quality, comfort, and the ability to evolve VR and XR journeys over time – from changing faceplates to adding options like wireless.”

Finally, the HTC Vive Cosmos XR is a new standaline VR headset with a unique faceplate that features high-quality passthrough cameras. HTC say that these cameras allow for mixed and augmented reality experiences, such as bringing virtual objects into real-world environments.

As with the rest of the Cosmos range, you can also swap the faceplate as needed. 

HTC say additional news about the Cosmos XR will be shared at GDC with developer kits to go out sometime in the second quarter of 2020. Consumer pricing for the Cosmos XR is to be announced.

Vive Cosmos Elite will be available for pre-order online through the Vive website on the 24th of February. Additional pre-order dates, pricing and availability for the Cosmos Series will be announced in the coming months.

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Fergus Halliday
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