HTC is working on cheaper VR headset Vive Cosmos Play

HTC announces new variants of its modular Vive Cosmos headset. There will be a cheaper Play model with fewer cameras, an XR variant with full pass-through display and an Elite version with better tracking.

The Vive Cosmos Play has the design of the first Cosmos that HTC showed at the beginning of last year. It is a variant with inside-out tracking with four cameras, two on the front and one on each side. The Play has two cameras less than the Vive Cosmos that is already on sale.

According to HTC, the Vive Cosmos Play is for ‘entry-level VR adventures and applications’ and interesting for museums and companies looking for affordable, easy-to-use VR glasses. However, it is not yet known what the Play variant will cost. HTC will provide more details in the coming months.

HTC Vive Cosmos Play

HTC also comes with the Vive Cosmos XR. That variant has four front cameras that are optimized for pass-through view. That is, headset wearers see the real environment captured by the cameras. Other Cosmos headsets can do that too, but the XR variant can display up to a hundred degrees of image in higher quality. The XR version can thus be used to project virtual objects onto the real world. HTC will provide more details about the Vive Cosmos XR at the GDC conference in mid-March.

HTC Vive Cosmos XR

Finally, HTC presents the Vive Cosmos Elite. This is a variant that works with inside-out tracking and with external tracking via base stations. The headset is therefore compatible with accessories such as the Vive Tracker. The Cosmos Elite comes with an External Tracking Faceplate, two SteamVR base stations, and two Vive controllers. The faceplate for external tracking can also be interchanged with the original faceplate for inside-out tracking.

HTC will release the Vive Cosmos Elite bundle later in the first quarter for 799 euros. The External Tracking Faceplate will also be on the market in the second quarter for 219 euros as a separate accessory for other Cosmos headsets.

HTC Vive Cosmos Elite

All Vive Cosmos variants have two LCDs with a combined resolution of 2880×1700 pixels and a refresh rate of 90Hz. The screens are less affected by the screen door effect because the LCDs have more subpixels than the OLED screens in headsets like the Vive Pro.

Previously released HTC Vive Cosmos with six cameras