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HTC announces trio of modular VR headsets

Image credit: htc

HTC has announced three new virtual reality (VR) headsets for its Vive Cosmos Series, which come with modular parts to change their functionality.

The front faceplates can be easily swapped out to upgrade the headsets in the future.

The new line-up includes the entry-level Cosmos Play headset - aimed at newcomers to virtual reality - alongside the new Cosmos XR and the high-end Cosmos Elite for “VR enthusiasts”.

Every Vive Cosmos features the same display, with 2880 x 1700 pixel resolution, an 88 per cent increase over the original Vive. Pixel density is important for VR users because the screens are held so close to the face users are able to pick out individual pixels more easily than with other displays that are used at a further distance.

Each of the new devices supports modular upgrades meaning users can opt for one of the lower-tier models to begin with, before upgrading the faceplate on their headset to that of higher-end versions to add new functionality.

The Cosmos Elite allows for external tracking through the use of Lighthouse base station technology and compatible face plates.

It also supports Vive’s ecosystem of peripherals including the Vive Tracker and the Wireless Adapter for an untethered VR experience.

HTC chief executive Yves Maitre said the company wanted to give users the chance to “evolve” their VR experience over time.

“Our customers want an incredible VR experience and we are proud to announce a new family of products tailor-made for VR use-cases of all types,” he said. “Vive Cosmos is truly the most versatile headset yet. From consumers just discovering VR for the first time to the demanding business user, Vive Cosmos offers stellar quality, comfort, and the ability to evolve VR and XR journeys over time - from changing faceplates to adding options like wireless.”

HTC confirmed that the new Cosmos Elite bundle - which comes with two SteamVR base stations for movement tracking as well as two controllers, will be available for £899. The Cosmos Play will cost £499, with pricing still to be confirmed for the XR. The company added that those with a Cosmos or Cosmos Play would be able to upgrade to the Elite faceplate for £199.

HTC has shifted its focus to VR as the company’s smartphone market share has slipped amid competition from Samsung, Apple, Huawei and other manufacturers.

The Taiwanese firm launched its first VR headset - the original Vive - in 2016 to critical acclaim.

A number of other firms have since followed the company into the VR market in varying forms, including Sony, Google and Samsung.

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