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HTC Vive Cosmos VR Hands-On Experience: Solid Upgrade At A Premium Price Tag
The exciting world of virtual reality will now be more accessible to the Indian consumers with the launch of HTC Vive Cosmos. The new virtual reality platform was first showcased at CES 2019 and has been announced n India at a premium price tag of 89,990. The VR platform goes live today (i.e. October 25, 2019) on HTC Vive e-store and Amazon.in with free 12-month VIVEPORT Infinity membership.
HTC Vive Cosmos brings powerful specifications for consumers who are eyeing a full-fledged home-virtual reality setup. However, you have to pay a hefty price for that. The successor to the original Vive VR platform brings some noticeable upgrades to step up the VR game.
It addresses the accessibility and ease of use issues. The PC-based virtual reality (VR) system features a modular faceplate design, which is removable and makes it possible to install mods to customize the VR experience.
Hands-On Experience With HTC Vive Cosmos
We got a chance to experience HTC Vive Cosmos during a press briefing in New Delhi, India. The first thing we noticed is the improved tracking system. In addition to a modular design that adapts to the needs of VR customers, the Cosmos also offers an all-new Vive tracking system. It feels more fluid and responsive than the previous iterations. The new tracking and motion controllers are fast and ensure speedy movements even during the action-packed VR games.
The VR startup experience on the Cosmos has also gone through a change. There's a redesigned user interface Lens which allows you to easily navigate XR and Viveport Infinity applications. The home space is now called Origin and serves as the launchpad for VR applications and interactive experiences.
3.4-inch LCD With 90Hz Refresh Rate
The setup has also been simplified to quickly get into the VR environment. The VR headset features six camera sensors for wide and accurate inside-out tracking. The HTC Vive Cosmos features a dual 3.4-inch LCD that offers a combined resolution of 2880 x 1700 pixels, an impressive 88% increase over the original Vive VR setup. The LCD covers 110-degree field-of-view. As the display runs at 90Hz, the graphics were crisp and colors looked vibrant. The Vive Cosmos also comes equipped with built-in headphones; however, they are not a proper fit and fail to produce immersive audio.
Modular Design, No Minimum Space Requirement
The HTC Vive Cosmos features a modular faceplate. The Vive Motion mods ship with Cosmos and the Cosmos external tracking mod will be made for purchase separately. Thanks to the flip design, you can comfortably switch between virtual reality and the real world.
The headset is pretty comfortable to wear and can be worn for at least an hour without any discomfort. There is ample cushioning around the forehead area and the eyes where the headset rests on your head.
HTC has also addressed the space requirement issues for VR tracking. As the VR setup requires no external base stations, it has no major space requirements for standing/seated positions. You would just need 2m x 1.5m spacing for a room-scale mode VR setup with the Vive Cosmos. We were able to play a fast action-paced VR game and experience an immersive museum environment in the aforementioned spacing with the Vivo Cosmos.
Experience Mixed Reality HTC Vive Cosmos
Importantly, the Vive Cosmos also features a mixed reality mode that allows you to see through the surroundings even without flipping the headset. The six-camera sensors project an electronic image of the real world onto the LCD screen so that you don't have to remove the headset for a quick break. The world is gradually moving towards the ‘Mixed Reality' where the virtual elements will converge with the real world.
With the Vive Cosmos, you can experience a range of upcoming mixed reality projects right in your living room. The spokesperson at HTC informed us that several projects are being developed for the Vive Cosmos that will give you a better sneak peek into the exciting world of mixed reality.
Virtual Reality Content For HTC Vive Cosmos
HTC has unveiled the Vivo Cosmos with a year's worth of Viveport Infinity subscription at free of cost. The package will give you access to a huge repository of games and real-world VR experiences. Some of the popular content includes- A Fisherman's Tale, Fujii, Ninja Legends, and content from GoPro, Discovery channel, and Animal Planet.
Should You Buy The HTC Vive Cosmos?
It is too early to give a verdict on the HTC Vive Cosmos as we haven't got a chance to fully explore the content library. We would spend some more time with the new at-home VR setup to evaluate its performance in detail. The price is quite steep but the specs, features and the VR experience that the Cosmos brings to the table is immersive and elevating.
HTC informed us that the team might also plan VR demo zones for the Vive Cosmos at select retail outlets across India. This will give users a chance to experience VR environments before investing in a hefty amount. HTC Vive Cosmos will be made available on HTC Vive e-store and Amazon.in from today onwards with free 12-month VIVEPORT Infinity membership.