The four new devices are the successors to last year's PC-driven Vive Cosmos headset, and they share much of the same technology found in the original Cosmos. They also share the same modular design language, which extends HTC's strategy for getting VR headsets into as many hands as possible.
Vive Cosmos Play
The Cosmos Play is the entry level headset in the new Cosmos lineup. There's no price or official release date yet, but HTC says it will be the cheapest Cosmos headset in the bunch. It’s the basic model, so it lacks the advanced features you’ll find on the other headsets; It has four sensor cameras instead of the six that come standard on the mid-range Cosmos headset.
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You still get inside-out tracking, so you won’t need to worry about setting up external sensors around the room to track your position in the virtual world. However, room-scale experiences aren’t going to be able to discern your position within the space as accurately with just the four sensors.
All of the new Cosmos headsets are modular, the Play included. So if you buy this headset and, after spending some time with it, decide you’d like a more immersive VR experience with better sensing, you don’t need to go out and buy a whole new headset. You can just pick up a new faceplate with some extra sensors and snap that onto the Play. Also add a couple controllers, and you've effectively turned your Cosmos Play headset into the more powerful standard Cosmos headset.
They're self-contained, so you're not attached by a cable to a computer or game console; they track themselves in space, obviating the external sensors required on earlier systems and freeing you to move about in VR just as you move in real life, with a range limited only by your physical environment; and they extend the headset's “six degrees of freedom” to the hand controllers as well, allowing for realistic use of virtual objects like swords and flashlights.