The headset has a 3.4in 2880 x 1700 LCD with combined pixel resolution that HTC says is 88% more than the original Vive. With a 90Hz refresh rate, 110-degree field of view and ergonomically improved fit, we really hope it’s a worthy successor to the original, which blew us away at launch.
But it’s still a little unclear how much of an upgrade the Cosmos is, given the additional existence of the iterative update that was the Vive Pro.
The Cosmos has a more accessible flip up design so you can bring yourself and your eyes back to actual reality quicker and without having to fling cables everywhere and remove the whole thing. It packs integrated in-ear headphones, redesigned controllers and is compatible with the Vive Wireless Adapter for wire-free VR.
The Cosmos has a modular design that will allow buyers to change the faceplate, though the only confirmed mod so far is the External Tracking Mod. It lets you use existing Vive Lighthouse tracking systems with the new headset – but it’s not available until Q1 of 2020, which is unhelpful if you’re someone in that situation.
HTC had earlier teased the pre-order update in an unsubtle Twitter post before confirming pricing:
Get ready to liftoff and head for the cosmos. The #HTCVIVECOSMOS pre-order starts September 12th. This week we'll be sharing more on COSMOS, Vive Reality System, & media previews. Visit https://t.co/AYq4ewlC8C on September 12th for preorder information, specs and special offers. pic.twitter.com/udXiPRMCEf— HTC VIVE (@htcvive) September 10, 2019
Some of the replies to this tweet from Vive fans bemoan the fact that there has been so little detail about the headset until now, eight months on from its announcement. But HTC is confident it will be a success - a much needed one for it given the decimation of its once golden smartphone business.
“Since Vive began our VR journey, we’ve continued to refine and improve on what a premium VR experience can and should be,” said Thomas Dexmier, ANZ Country Manager, HTC Vive. “Cosmos offers an unmatched experience and is also our most versatile headset yet—with inside-out tracking, options in the future for different faceplates, unlimited content in the box, and the new user interface, we see limitless possibilities for XR customers.”
Included with every Vive Cosmos pre-order is a 12-month Viveport subscription for access to high-end games and video content through HTC’s content portal.