HTC’s original Vive headset was a groundbreaking product that helped shape virtual reality as we know it today. Shipping with motion controllers for hand tracking and room scale for player movement, the Vive set a high bar for consumer VR that left rivals playing catch-up. But a lot has changed in three years and, despite some notable improvements over the original, HTC’s first true successor to the Vive — the Cosmos — ultimately falls short of its rivals.
The $1299 Vive Cosmos is the latest in the line of tethered PC-based VR headsets, slotting somewhere between the more affordable $649 Oculus Rift S and the premium $1600 Valve Index which is yet to make its way to Australia. You get a great display, top notch build quality, a super comfortable design, excellent audio with the built-in headphones, strong ecosystem of supported accessories and a unique modular faceplate system that allows you to alter the headset’s capabilities.
However, the tracking out of the box is the weakest of the bunch and the bulky controllers are a step behind the competition, making the high asking price difficult to justify.
The headset itself looks like a piece of tech from the future with a slick dark blue and black aesthetic punctuated with hollow triangles all over the front faceplate. The headset has more heft to it and overall looks and feels like it can take more of a beating than its competitors.