HTC has revealed three new versions of their Vive Cosmos Headset. This comes just one month before the launch of Half-Life: Alyx, an upcoming VR game that looks like it will change the shape of VR gaming in 2020.
The Vive Cosmos originally launched at the end of 2019. The device provides a high-end VR experience on PC that entered the market in the middle ground in terms of pricing. HTC charged just £699 for the Vive Cosmos, putting it squarely between the Oculus Rift S at £399, and the highest-spec Valve Index at £919.
The three new variations of the Vive Cosmos Headset are named Elite, XR, and Play. Each headset has the same display as the original, 90Hz 2,880 x 1,700 LCD. However, each version will use changeable faceplates in order to support various different features.
The Vive Cosmos Play comes in at the lower end of the spectrum. The Play is an entry-level VR headset, with a faceplate that provides support for four-camera inside-out tracking. This differs from the six-camera setup required by the original Vive Cosmos.
The Cosmos Elite is at the top end of the spectrum, with a faceplate that provides support for external tracking using two base stations. The headset includes both the base stations and two controllers as well.
The key feature of the new Vive Cosmos variants is that a user can upgrade, or downgrade, at a later date after purchase. By purchasing a new faceplate, and required additional items, users can begin with a Cosmos Play, and eventually work up to owning a much higher-spec headset with the Cosmos Elite.
The Vive Cosmos XR is slightly different, providing support for mixed reality experiences. The faceplate features two pass-through cameras, and at this stage it is primarily intended as a development headset. In fact, the Cosmos XR will only debut as a developer kit in Q2 2020.
While no price for the Cosmos Play has been announced, it is known that the Cosmos Elite will cost £899, and is due to launch in Q1 2020. Pre-orders for the Cosmos Elite open on February 24, 2020.