A few weeks ago HTC has finally announced the release date and price HTC Vive Cosmos : 3 Oct for $ 699. David Django and uploadvr.com about a week had a new headset and have prepared a complete and final review:
“Honestly, Vive Cosmos is in a difficult position. What was supposed to be the starting point for the new flagship device from HTC VR, given that it was officially announced at CES in January, quickly evaporated. Even before the launch of Space faced with severe competition: c Oculus, and Oculus Rift Quest S, $ 399, and Valve Index for 749 dollars, Vive Cosmos has a lot to prove.
Comfort, flip-up, design and audio
Vive Cosmos — it is the most comfortable headset that HTC have ever made. As someone who wears glasses I’ve never liked how the original Vive, Vive Pro and Vive Pro Eye placed on my face. It makes you feel restricted to a large extent. Fortunately, the new design of the strap completely eliminates it.
Functionally it works the same way as Rift’s or PSVR: you loosen the knob, pull it around the top of the head, tighten and adjust front part that hangs down so that it fits close to your eyes. The main difference is that Vive Cosmos also can be flipped, allowing you to easily check your phone, computer, talking with someone, or just an easy to access reality. This is a cool feature, but a compromise, it seems, is that the visor does not fit so close to your face.
In Rift’s and PSVR on the bottom side there is a button that you press to move the visor closer to the eyes to increase viewing angle and eliminate much of the nose gap. From Vive Cosmos-absolutely nothing. So I noticed a distracting light leakage coming from the bottom, and it just never touched my face the way I wanted unless I pushed hand. By itself, the design of the packing are very good.
I’m not a big fan of the front panel in the style of ventilation. Honestly, it looks a bit silly. Mechanical IPD adjustment works the same as in the previous headsets Vive, so if you are outside of the range suggested for Rift’s, it may be more convenient.
Included with the headphones hang down and hover you have precisely just like the original Rift and Vive Pro. The sound quality is about the same as Vive Pro, without any perceptible differences, but I appreciate the feel and durability of the headphones.
Specifications and lenses
Technically speaking, Vive Cosmos is one of the best virtual headsets on the market, but its specifications do not give the full information. The panels have a dense resolution of 1440 x 1700 in one eye and RGB LCD substrate tragically design. Field of view basically the same, about 110 degrees, which is unchanged compared to the original Vive. Because of the design of the halo-band it can get a little closer to some of the faces that will lead to a higher perception of sight.
My main problem with Vive Cosmos is the design of the lenses. Supposedly they improved compared to their previous headsets. For some reason I couldn’t deal with it during the preview session, but now after spending more time with a headset at home, I realized that the lenses there are two main problems. First, it is very noticeable rays during high-contrast scenes (it causes a sort of blur of light, where bright colors on a dark background beam along the edges), especially the black background and bright colors, such as loading screens.
While I didn’t get Vive Cosmos directly into your head, I have often found the images a little blurry. And even if it sits right with my pupil, recruited directly along the center of the lens, if I move my eyes beyond this Central spot, everything becomes blurred. This is especially noticeable after you have spent time on other recently released headsets like the Oculus Rift’s Oculus Quest, and especially on the Valve Index which seems to avoid this problem. Valve Index you can move eyes everywhere without losing clarity, which is a huge boon to immersion.
However, Vive Cosmos, of course, feels like the most complete and comprehensive headset that HTC still released.
The new controllers Vive Cosmos
I love and hate the new controllers Vive Cosmos. On the one hand, I love the design. They are comfortable and remind me of the real console gamepad and not on the relatively cheap feel of the controllers and the Oculus Rift’s Quest. They have the same high build quality as the original Vive, but in a new form factor.
Analog joystick feels great, the buttons are pleasant to the touch, and the R1 / L1 and R2 / L2 quite “spongy” and very easy to use. The capture button is also a big improvement. It is obvious that HTC drew inspiration from the controllers Oculus Touch.
While I still hate them. They use two AA batteries each and are only about two or three hours on new batteries. It’s not enough to get me through one full game session. And what’s worse, they are too heavy. As soon as you add two batteries, each one will weigh about two times more compared to the controllers, Oculus Touch. I noticed that I was much less accurate in Beat Saber using controllers Vive Cosmos, because the weight really threw me off.
Vive Cosmos completely eliminates the need for base stations, instead deploying a tracking system, similar to Windows VR headsets and the latest Oculus Rift Quest and S. the Main difference here is that the Cosmos actually built six chambers. The headset delivers what seemed a great and reliable tracking. In particular, it has a camera pointing down on the bottom edge of the front panel, which means that it must not lose your controllers as often when they’re just sitting next to you.
The camera requires a little more time to move your controllers when they return to view. It’s not a big problem, but in games such as Beat Saber when you often pull the hands very low or very wide, or if you’re reaching behind and over the shoulder to make a grab, it can cause some difficulties.
As someone who is not particularly concerned about having the best and most accurate tracking as possible, I appreciate an easier setup and the flexibility of using a headset compared to a dedicated base station of the previous system, Vive. Cosmos still uses the switching unit to supply power, which is nice because you only have one wire going from the headset and the block that splits it into a power cord cable Display Port and USB 3.0.
The tracking system inside-out has some quirks that sometimes appear, for example, to work correctly requires a lot of brightness. The day when my blinds were open in my office, this has not caused me any problems, but in the evenings, if I was burning bright with a closed door in my office, there was a feeling of excessive darkness.
Given that I’ve used my Rift’s in the dark in the same room a few times and used my Quest on the street after sunset, it’s a bit annoying. Need a light is one thing, but that doesn’t work, if the room is not a lot of bright light. Another reviewer with whom I spoke, couldn’t even get their own Space to study during the evening.
The functionality of pass-through is working very well. When you first put on the headset, you see a slightly blurry (but colorized) image of the real world and draw its border on earth, in the same way as in the process of setting up Rift’s Quest. Then at any time you can double-click the right button with the logo of the Vive to see the real world, or if you cross the border head, it too will disappear.
Platform Vive Origin
Along with Vive Cosmos, HTC also launches its own branded home VR center called Vive Origin. This is very similar to the SteamVR Oculus Home and Home, except that they are directly tied to their store Viveport. I’m surprised it took them so long to produce its own home space.
It works as if you downloaded to this small round island with a tree in the middle, and there are several stations, with which you can interact in space. One station causes radio controlled car with remote control, the other allows you to view a collection of sculptures and statues with informational bubbles, like a Museum, and the other shoots into the sky and flashes like fireworks, and slowly transforms around you 360 diamond image. It’s a great effect, but I was disappointed, the image is completely static and not animated at all. Look at the Golden Gate Bridge, surrounded by static water, waves, frozen in time, it was a little strange.
On one side of the island has a waterfall and fish pond and lilies, and on the other hand — cozy apartment. It’s a nice place, that seems homey, and it even has a headset Vive Cosmos, which you can put on on the face, while in virtual reality, through for a quick preview, which is nice.
And that’s all. No settings, no multiplayer games (however, they said that probably it will happen later) and no way to launch apps directly from Vive Origin. The only way to do this is to press one of the menu buttons Vive, to open Vive “Lens”, which is just round the menu that appears in the air where you can configure settings and run the game from Viveport or SteamVR.
If it started with Vive in 2016, everything would be okay, but I expected a bit more from the “home” space after 3.5 years of development HTC in VR. As far as I can tell, Origin only in Space, but, most likely, will soon appear for other headsets Vive. While working with the Space I chose to simply run Viveport and stand on the edge of the balcony, to see the game. At least it’s functional.
Viveport and SteamVR
I was quite critical towards Viveport in the past. When he started, he was super buggy and just not very pleasant. But spending a lot of time using it last week with Viveport, I slightly changed my mind. The library is not so reliable as the Steam or Oculus Home, but she still has a great selection of games and apps and subscription packages Viveport Infinity crazy. If you pre-ordered Space, you will get a full year free. If you buy the Space after launch, it still includes six months free, and after that you can continue for just $ 12.99 per month.
Some of the best games offered in the subscription Infinity, which means that they are completely free to download and play while you are a subscriber, include Arizona Sunshine, Sairento, “Apex Construct”, “Witching Tower” BoxVR the Final Assault and many others.
With all this, in order to use Infinity, you do not need Cosmos or even noise cancelling headphones. It works fine with Valve to Index WMR and headsets Oculus and sometimes include special promotions.
But if you don’t want to use Viveport, it is not necessary. SteamVR working just fine, and you can easily access the SteamVR Home if you want or even just to run games SteamVR directly from the menu Vive Lens without even opening the overlay SteamVR at all. It works smoothly and is intuitive.
HTC has presented modding as the main distinctive feature of Vive Cosmos. Front faceplate can be removed and replaced by alternative versions, which provide different functions. Design with the latch/detach works well.
In the beginning of 2020 HTC will launch the front panel that will allow you to connect an external base station SteamVR Tracking, so if you already have these base stations from the previous Vive, this app should allow you to use it in this environment initially. This means that HTC promises future support Vive Wands, controllers Index Knuckles, trackers Vive and the rest in the near future.
The ability to nourish your Vive Cosmos using the phone instead of the PC function, which hinted at CES in January, when the Cosmos was presented, mysteriously missing. When I asked HTC about this feature, they just said that it is included in the plan and is not yet being discussed.
It is a big disappointment. The prospect of using the headset, able to switch between virtual reality on the phone and the PC performance is extremely interesting and was one of the key marketing fundamentals for Cosmos, which excited many. Now Oculus Quest gets a reverse function, and Oculus Link will turn it into Rift’s only a month. And Yes, it will work with SteamVR.
As I understand it, the lack of discussion of this function deals a significant blow to the universality of the Cosmos as a whole.
HTC has just announced that the wireless adapter Vive, which they released earlier, will be compatible later this month, but you will have to buy another set of nozzles for $ 50 more battery for it to work, in addition to $ 200 for the wireless adapter Vive. It’s another $ 850 to get a wireless Vive Cosmos.
Overview of the HTC Vive Cosmos: the final verdict
If Vive Cosmos came out a year ago or even six months ago, it would have been a very different review. Technically speaking, Space is far from a bad device. The resolution is very close to the top of the market, it is convenient to design halo-strap, includes six cameras track finally gets a controller with analog joysticks and has more value in your subscription Viveport Infinity. But too late, too late.
When in January HTC announced the Cosmos at CES, they hinted at a portable mode, which will work on your smartphone, making it a stand-alone device. Since then, Oculus has released its own standalone device Oculus Quest, which will have the opportunity to connect to a PC and, in fact, will be the Rift’s in a month. And Quest and Rift’s almost half the price that HTC is asking for Space. And no external monitor mod, nor the possible attachment of the smartphone do not have release dates at all.
To be absolutely clear: I do not like the Cosmos as a whole, and I probably will from time to time to use it for games SteamVR because personally I have no Valve Index, but at this stage this is not enough to allocate space in a crowded place. A market that is still struggling to attract new consumers. At a price of $ 699, without any of the included extra features, I don’t think I can recommend to buy Cosmos, if, instead, you can get Rift’s Quest or almost half the price”.
Vive Cosmos Video