Surprising Vive Cosmos price gives Oculus Rift the edge

Both the price and release date for the upcoming HTC Vive Cosmos have finally been revealed, with the VR headset launching for £699 on 3 October in Europe. 

The upcoming Vive Cosmos headset looks to replace the original, boasting boosted specs and some game-changing features including the inside-out tracking, which removes the need for external sensors for simpler and speedier setup. 

Modular support for faceplates will also allow you to upgrade or tweak the headset, with the first official mod called the Vive Cosmos External Tracking Mod – coming out Q1 2020 – allowing use of the existing Lighthouse base stations if you prefer the traditional tracking method. 

Related: Best VR Headset 2019

A combined 2880 x 1700 pixel resolution for the two displays in the Vive Cosmos sees an 88% increase over the vanilla HTC Vive headset, improving the visual fidelity of texts and graphics. The 90Hz refresh rate and 110° field of view are unchanged from the previous headset however. 

A new design for the Vive Cosmos also ensures a more comfortable fit, while integrated stereo headphones mean you won’t need to bother hooking up your own buds. 

The Vive Cosmos will also feature a flip-up design so you can easily flip up the goggles in order to look around the room, pick up accessories and chat to your friends in-between intense sessions of virtual world gaming.

Related: Oculus Quest Review

Vive Cosmos controllers

The Vive controllers have also seen a makeover, as they now emit bright lights. Not only does this look great, but HTC also claims it will improve the accuracy of tracking. 

Unlike the Oculus Quest, you’ll still need to connect the Vive Cosmos to a computer to play, but this gives you access to a larger game library and the capability to run more intensive titles. 

Unfortunately there’s no integrated wireless connectivity, so you’ll have to traipse a computer-connected cable around unless you buy the external Vive Wireless adapter.

The specs see the Vive Cosmos directly challenge the Oculus Rift S. A big sticking point though, is that the Cosmo will cost a staggering £300 more. The advantages you’re getting over the RIft S aren’t quite clear other than the improved resolution and flip-up design, but we’ll reserve our final verdict until we’ve tested it in the coming weeks. 

Preorder the Vive Cosmos by 2 October, and you’ll get 12-month subscription for Viveport Infinity bundled in, giving you access to hundreds of games and apps including Doctor Who: The Edge of Time and Ninja Legends.

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