There’s a de facto Vive Cosmos price cut on the way, though by how much we’re not sure.
HTC is introducing two new models of the Cosmos to sell alongside the original $699 model. The first is called Cosmos Play.
Vive Cosmos Price Cut (Sort Of)
This package contains the headset with a four-camera faceplate for inside-out positional tracking as opposed to the six-camera solution seen in the initial Cosmos package. It also comes with two Vive Cosmos controllers but ditches the side-mounted headphones seen in the original Cosmos bundle. HTC’s Dan O’Brien told us the company will sell the headphones as accessories should you want to upgrade, but you can use your own headphones/earphones too.
There’s some confusion over the Vive Cosmos Play’s price, however. In a meeting earlier this week, HTC told us that the bundle would be priced at $499. However, the company later removed that price tag from the accompanying press release and told us that, as the model doesn’t have a final release date yet, the cost “may be updated”. So Play may end up being either more or less than $499, but HTC says it’s hoping to keep the price “consumer friendly as possible”.
At $499, the Cosmos Play would be $100 more than the $399 Oculus Rift S and half the price of the $999 Valve Index. We don’t know, however, how accurate Cosmos’ inside-out tracking will prove to be with two of the cameras removed, though HTC says its remains committed to improving the kit’s capabilities.
The second Cosmos package sits the other side of the original model. The Cosmos Elite, as it’s called, is a $899 headset that comes with the SteamVR tracking faceplate we introduced at our Holiday VR Showcase late last year. It also includes two SteamVR 1.0 base stations and the original Vive wand controllers.
HTC says this package is offered to “meet the needs of today’s most demanding enthusiasts”, though Cosmos Elite is $100 more than the original Vive that supported the same tracking solution (albeit without ear phones and a bulkier design). This faceplate will work with SteamVR 2.0 base stations, too, but it’s just the original versions in the box. It launches in Q1, though the faceplate will be sold standalone in Q2.
The move comes after what O’Brien characterized as a “rough start” for Vive Cosmos, which launched in late 2019. O’Brien didn’t offer any sales stats, but Steam Hardware Survey results indicate that there are currently less Cosmos units being used on the platform than there are Oculus Rift DK2s (which was the company’s second development kit released in 2014). Instead, O’Brien pointed to complaints about the kit’s tracking issues and other problems the device encountered at launch.
So there you go. It’s technically not a Vive Cosmos price cut, but it is a cheaper Vive Cosmos. Do you think that’s enough? Will these changes to the Cosmos line-up sway you into buying one? Let us know in the comments below!