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HTC's Vive Cosmos VR headset arrives in Singapore on 8 October

By Koh Wanzi - on 12 Sep 2019, 8:34pm

HTC's Vive Cosmos VR headset arrives in Singapore on 8 October

HTC Vive Cosmos

HTC has finally given us a release date for its next VR headset. The Vive Cosmos drops 8 October in Singapore at S$1,229, but the best part is that it will work with your PC without you needing to set up any external sensors at all. Unlike the original Vive, which relied on separate Lighthouse base stations, the Vive Cosmos features six inside-out tracking cameras built into it.

One benefit of this is that there aren't any minimum space requirements if you're standing or seated, although you'll still need a 2 x 1.5m area for room-scale mode. 

The Cosmos also has flip-up goggles so you don't need to take the entire headset off when you need to dip back into the real world. There's even an integrated passthrough camera that lets you see the outside world without having to flip up the headset. It's enabled by stepping outside the bounds of the virtual world or double-tapping the Vive button on the controller. 

In addition, the displays now use dual 90Hz 3.4-inch LCD panels instead of HTC's usual OLED. This is in line with other newer VR headsets, such as the Valve Index. The combined resolution now sits at 2,880 x 1,700 pixels, an 88 per cent increase over the original Vive, according to HTC. The LCD panels are supposed to reduce the distance between pixels as well – by increasing the sub-pixel resolution – which helps minimise the screen-door effect. This refers to the impression some VR headsets give of viewing the world through a mesh screen, and it's the result of empty spaces between pixels when seen up close. 

The headset comes with a new set of controllers as well. These offer six degrees of freedom tracking and look quite similar to the Oculus Touch controllers. 

One nifty feature is the modular faceplate, which will let you customise the headset with extra functionality. This could be the ability to link the Cosmos up with a smartphone, as previously hinted, but at the moment this just means the bundled Vive Motion Mod and External Tracking Mod. The latter is sold separately and adds compatibility with existing Lighthouse base stations to the Cosmos, so you get full 360° tracking and support for Vive Tracker. 

This will be HTC's first VR headset to ship with the Vive Reality System instead of SteamVR. This is a completely new software experience for a Vive product, and it's supposed to be more immersive and make you forget that you're doing something so mundane as launching an app. Dubbed Lens, the new interface will let you navigate XR and Viveport Infinity apps and a new, dynamic home space called Origin, where all your VR apps will live. 

Pre-orders run from 12 September to 7 October. Customers who pre-order will also receive a code for a free 12-month Viveport Infinity membership worth S$155.88 and a shooting game called Aeon

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