HTC Vive Cosmos | Hardware, games, price, release date, etc.

Ease of use, along with price and potential motion sickness, is one of the biggest barriers to virtual reality. Difficulty setting up a VR headset can be a bigger problem than the experience itself, and it has been a success when the company has solved this problem in advance.

We have already seen this through mass viewer-centered Oculus quests and the upgraded Rift S, and HTC Vive aims to bring these ease of use to the premium market through Vive Cosmos. HTC revealed more about upcoming VR headsets and how to provide players with the same high quality PC virtual reality experience without the hassle of traditional VR setup. Here is everything we know.

Hardware and design

Vibe Cosmos
Dan Baker / Digital Trends

Vive Cosmos is not a standalone or wireless headset like Oculus Quest, but a portable and easy-to-use PC compatible virtual reality headset. Only one cable is provided on the left side of the headset and uses the camera on the headset itself instead of a separate tracking camera.

Vive Cosmos has four cameras by default, one on one side and two on the front, plus two that can be added via a removable faceplate. Faceplate cameras are at the top and bottom, the latter is better for tracking hand movements. This accessory is removable but comes with a headset.

The camera is used to track all movements, and its self-contained design allows the Vive Cosmos to be used in various play areas. It also has speakers on both sides, eliminating the need for other VR headsets and traditional headphones that are commonly used. If you want to use your own headphones instead, it appears that you have a conventional 3.5mm input. By default, connected speakers are removable.

Tracking technology is more intuitive than previous VR headsets with "6 degrees of freedom" and gesture tracking support. Breathable material and a lighter design make it more comfortable than other headsets you've used, and it's designed to dry quickly if you sweat during a play session. The front of the headset also has vents to help you avoid sweating too much.

Normally, you just have to remove the band at the back of the head and lift the whole device up, so simply taking off your VR headset can be cumbersome. Vive Cosmos allows you to flip the front lens components up without having to adjust the bands, so you can move to the real world before going back into virtual reality.

So far, HTC Vive has confirmed that Vive Cosmos will be compatible with PC systems. However, at January CES 2019, the officially released phone image was displayed on the screen. It's not clear if the phone will be supported at launch, but it will eventually "run beyond the traditional gaming PCs."

improvement

Vibe Cosmos

Vive Cosmos is not designed as a closed platform headset. Instead, you can fix this with the HTC Vive family of “likely to grow” over time. The face plate mentioned earlier will be the first of these modes.

HTC Vive is not yet willing to talk about the degree of other modifications or what to do for Vive Cosmos. Eye tracking technology is available with Vive Pro Eye. When asked if Cosmos users can take advantage of this technology with the addition of UploadVR, Vive GM Daniel O & # 39; Brien simply said, “More will come out” about the module characteristics.

HTC Vive said that compared to the headsets of the past, Vive Cosmos will feature an "clearest screen" and use an RGB display with a "minimum screen door effect," which exists to some extent on PlayStation VR and most VR displays. It is.

The resolution of the Vive Cosmos is 2880 x 1700, which is almost twice the resolution of the original Vive, with 40{7be40b84a6a43fc4fae13304fce9a2695859798abfc41afd127b9f8b21c5f9c5} higher lens clarity than the original system. Vive Cosmos can achieve frame rates up to 90 frames per second.

New Vive Cosmos Controller

Vibe Cosmos
Dan Baker / Digital Trends

Vive Cosmos innovations are available not only on the headset itself, but also on the bundled controller. The over-illuminated controller is designed to track every single motion with the headset's camera. The design for this is a kind of lightning bolt, perhaps the camera will be better recognized in various scenarios.

The button itself is similar to what we've seen with touch-style VR controllers in the past, but it is ergonomically checked and is fully compatible with previous VR titles. The thumb stick is very similar to the Xbox One's controller and is recessed to better hold your thumb in place.

The shoulder buttons and trigger are located at the top of each Vive Cosmos controller and are equipped with wrist straps so you don't have to send your plane through the monitor during a virtual boxing match.

Vibe Reality System

Vive Cosmos will be the first device to use HTC's Creative Labs Vive Reality System. Designed to replace traditional menu screens, the Vive Reality System walks you through the virtual world from the moment you turn on Vive Cosmos. Initially, it is loaded into an environment called "Origin" which acts as a station for accessing other environments. When loaded, you see different content each time, including artwork changes. It also serves as a social hub for interacting with friends before deciding on a game.

Drew Bamford, vice president of Creative Labs, said at CES 2019, "I want VR to feel like stepping into the world, not launching an app."

Based on this philosophy, the Vive Reality System also includes a feature called "lens." Acting as a kind of quick menu, Lens lets you quickly see time or battery life and doesn't have to run a separate app. Traditional menu. Mozilla can use the VR browser for the Vive Reality System, and some pages are designed specifically for VR users along with existing web pages.

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Unlike Oculus Quest, which has its own compatible game library, Vive Cosmos is compatible with games purchased on Steam. In other words, if you have a second Steam-compatible headset, you don't need to purchase additional titles to use it. It is compatible with OpenVR and SteamVR, but using this feature may prevent you from accessing the new Vive Reality System interface.

Vive Cosmos is also compatible with the Viveport Infinity subscription service currently available on many other headsets. There are over 500 titles in the vault and you can play as many titles as you want, as long as you maintain your membership. The games range from AAA blockbuster experiences to shorter indie titles. The subscription fee is currently $ 13 per month.

Release date and price

CES 2019 HTC Vive Press Conference Round-Up Cosmos V2

HTC Vive has not yet set a final release date for Vive Cosmos, but the team is currently targeting the third quarter of 2019. HTC Vive says the developer kit will be released in early 2019, meaning June.

The final price has not been disclosed yet, but it will be less than $ 900. As with Oculus Quest, given the price of the Lift S is less than half, we hope to be far below this. A spokesman for HTC Vive said that with regards to Road to VR, it would offer "great value" in the final product without having to predict the price of the headset.

In a separate interview with UploadVR, Vive GM Daniel O & # 39; emphasized the “scalability” of the headset and used it for various types of customers. This may be a reference to what you use on both the phone and the PC, but it may also mean that the price is located between these types of headsets.

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