If you want to get away from reality in 2022 (and let’s face it, who doesn’t now?) You’ve got a great catch. HTC Vive Cosmos Elite VR headset set for £649. That’s £250 off list price, as well as back to the price the full VR set will be on on Black Friday. Sure, this is a sweeter deal Tom Cruise’s Christmas cake.
Just to be clear, the deal gives you the Cosmos headset, a pair of HTC wand controllers, and two external base stations, which you install at the edge of your play area for 360-degree motion tracking. This second point, incidentally, is the main difference between Cosmos Elite and standard Vive Cosmos, as the second usage uses an Oculus Quest-style inside-out tracking system. While more convenient, inside-out tracking tends to be less reliable than headphones using external base stations, and this is certainly the case with the Cosmos and Cosmos Elite.
Other than that, the Cosmos Elite is a very good VR headset. Its screen resolution of 1400×1700 provides crisp visuals with minimal display, while the headset comes with a built-in stereo headset and front-facing camera that lets you switch between “in-game” VR and practically without removing the headset.
The big question is, why buy Cosmos Elite instead of Mission 2 or Valve index, are both more popular choices for transitioning to VR? Well, it depends on what you want from your headphones. The Quest 2 is a great all-rounder, especially considering its price tag. But wireless headsets are less reliable for playing higher end VR games like Half Life: Alyx, Boneworks or The Walking Dead: Saints and Sinners, all benefit from a secure connection to your PC. Plus, buying Quest means you’re tied to the Facebook/Meta ecosystem, which isn’t ideal considering the company’s lousy record of tracking and abusing personal data.
As for the Valve Indicator, at regular RRP it is definitely the better headset. This is mainly due to the Index’s excellent controls, which allow full five-finger tracking and realistic grip simulation (i.e. you pick up objects by squeezing your fist around the controller). control rather than pressing a button). These outperform HTC’s wand controller, which is a bit outdated in 2021. That said, the deal makes the Vive Cosmos Elite almost £300 cheaper than the equivalent Index set, so it’s a much more viable mid-range alternative. You can even buy Index controllers, which are compatible with Cosmos as they use the same base station technology and still save around £100 compared to buying the Index outright.
It’s also important to note that the Cosmos is a modular headset, allowing you to swap out the masks for alternative models. Currently, you can only exchange this for the standard Cosmos or the lower tier Cosmos Play. But if HTC comes out with a follow-up headset to the Cosmos, you can probably afford to upgrade your headset for relatively little money.