HTC Vive Cosmos Assessment | PCMag


The Vive Cosmos is HTC’s newest VR headset, providing a major improve from each the unique Vive and the pricier Vive Professional. It fully removes any want for exterior sensors, and its redesigned movement controllers are an enormous step ahead. Nonetheless, its $699 price ticket is difficult to abdomen when the Oculus Rift S might be had for $399. And, as a PC-powered, tethered headset, you continue to need to wrestle with a clunky cable if you play in digital actuality, and after utilizing the totally standalone Oculus Quest, again to relaxation. It is onerous to let go, irrespective of how highly effective a tied system might be.

headset

The Vive Cosmos appears to be like a bit extra colourful and playful than the Vive, with a darkish blue outer physique lined in a triangle sample, and two forward-facing cameras paying homage to the eyes (related to 4 extra cameras). that are mounted on the highest and backside sides of the entrance, and on the left and proper sides of the visor). A pupillary distance knob sits under the right-facing digicam, and an influence LED and button sits under the left-facing digicam.

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HTC Vive Cosmos

Your complete visor is mounted on a single hinge that connects to the massive plastic arch on the entrance of the three-point headband. The scarf extends behind your cranium with a second plastic arch with a click on wheel that loosens and tightens it. If plastic appears chilly and onerous to you, don’t fret; Each arches are padded with foam and lined with fake leather-based. An elastic strap loops from the again arch to the entrance, and attaches itself to hook and loop fasteners to make sure a safe match.

A set of on-ear headphones relaxation on brief arms on the edges of the headscarf, and might flip up and down and slide vertically to accommodate your ears. Sadly, the arms are a bit extra versatile, and the hinge is a bit looser, so you have to attain for the hinge and press down firmly to click on the headphones over your ears. Should you attempt to pull the headphones up in opposition to your ears with out manually clicking the hinge, they are going to merely pop off.

The Vive Cosmos shows a 1,700-by-1,440-pixel decision image in every eye, ditching the 1,600-by-1,440 resolutions of the Oculus Quest and HTC Vive Professional. It is not fairly as sharp because the HP Reverb’s 2,160 by 2,160 pixels per eye, however it’s nonetheless fairly good. The 90Hz refresh price matches these different headsets, and retains motion clean.

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New, improved movement controller

With a wholly new set of movement controllers, HTC is lastly catching as much as Oculus’ ergonomics for controls. They’re decidedly Oculus Contact-like, with rounded grips, curved triggers that conform to your index and center fingers, and analog sticks as an alternative of touchpads. They really feel very snug within the fingers, and are much less inflexible and upright than the Vive’s controllers.

A thick plastic ring extends upwards round every controller’s buttons and analog stick, very like the Oculus Contact. The rings have translucent bands across the edges and geometric patterns within the center, which mild up when the controllers are turned on. They appear flashy and vaguely Mesoamerican, and assist the headset’s cameras monitor the place of the controllers.

HTC Vive Cosmos

Connections and Necessities

The Vive Cosmos connects to your PC by way of a Hyperlink Field that comes with the HTC Vive Professional. It is a small, grey plastic field in regards to the dimension of a mobile phone. There are energy, USB, and Mini DisplayPort connections within the again, and a connector for the Vive Cosmos within the entrance, which plugs into the top of the headset’s 15-foot cable.

The Hyperlink Field must be related to a pc with a USB 3.0 cable (included) and a mini-DisplayPort-to-DisplayPort cable (additionally included; Mini DisplayPort connects to the top hyperlink field), and plugged into an influence outlet with the included adapter. A full-size DisplayPort connection seems to be required, which suggests you will want a desktop PC with a devoted graphics card; Attempting to arrange the Vive Cosmos on a gaming pocket book that in any other case meets all the headset’s necessities, however solely has a Mini DisplayPort, resulted in errors.

Coming to the necessities, you want a reasonably highly effective PC to make use of the HTC Vive Cosmos. The headset requires at the very least an Intel Core i5-4590 or AMD FX 8350 CPU, 8MB of RAM, a DisplayPort 1.2 output, a USB 3.0 port, and an Nvidia GTX 1060 or Radeon RX 480 graphics card (although HTC’s at the very least The lesser one recommends Nvidia) GTX 1070 or Radeon Vega 56).

HTC Vive Cosmos

Head monitoring with out base stations

The six cameras on the headset mark the most important change the Vive Cosmos made to the Vive and Vive Professional. These cameras monitor the place of the headset by monitoring its environment, fully eliminating the necessity for any exterior base stations or sensors. This makes setup so much simpler, slicing out the tedious step of correctly positioning two base stations at key corners of the room. It is new to the Vive, however Oculus beat HTC by half a 12 months; Each the Oculus Quest and Oculus Rift S already use related exterior digicam techniques, and neither requires exterior cameras to the unique Rift. This leaves the Valve Index and PlayStation VR as the one main VR headsets that also require exterior sensors to perform.

The digicam array is actually useful from a {hardware} standpoint, however it proved too finicky in testing. Whereas establishing a take a look at location, the headset stored giving an error saying that the surroundings was too darkish to trace movement (regardless of monitoring movement effectively). The Vive Cosmos began working correctly solely after we opened all of the shades and curtains to get mild from outdoors, and but it gave occasional lighting errors. Our take a look at studio has sturdy overhead lighting and white partitions, and there is sufficient for each different VR headset we have examined, so this drawback is new. Fortunately, HTC not too long ago pushed out a software program replace that permits you to dismiss mild error messages and use the headset with out warning.

HTC Vive Cosmos

Viveport and SteamVR

SteamVR drives a lot of the Vive Cosmos connection together with your PC, with HTC’s Viveport software program layered on high for content material unique to the Vive. The Viveport makes use of its personal pop-up menu system, the Vive Lens, to assist you to do what you need in VR with the press of the Vive Menu button on the proper controller (you’ll be able to entry SteamVR’s personal interface in addition to the menu button on the left). can name) controller). It is a pretty easy interface that shows a floating menu inside most digital experiences, with tiles representing obtainable software program that may be scrolled by way of an analog stick.

Viveport has its personal VR software program retailer separate from SteamVR, however the two platforms work along side one another so to simply entry SteamVR video games on the Vive Cosmos. It additionally allows the usage of HTC’s VR subscription service, Viveport Infinity. For $12.99 per thirty days (or $7.99 per thirty days should you purchase a full 12 months), you get limitless entry to over 600 video games obtainable on the Viveport, together with Indignant Birds VR: Isle of Pigs, Fruit Ninja VR, and I Count on U. Is. to die. This doesn’t embrace a number of the higher video games obtainable on the Viveport, akin to Accounting+ and Superhot VR, nonetheless; you have to purchase them One la carte (and within the case of Beat Saber, get it by way of SteamVR since it isn’t obtainable on the Viveport).

expertise of the universe

I examined the Vive Cosmos with a handful of VR video games, and it labored effectively sufficient regardless of some irritating quirks. The above lighting error is among the largest; Once I turned away from a window, a message that the environment wasn’t brilliant sufficient stored popping up. This interrupted the stream of the gameplay, although it did not harm the top monitoring. The brand new controllers additionally appear surprisingly restricted in some video games. The Menu button introduced up the Vive Lens and SteamVR menus, however I could not carry up the in-game menus of most of the titles I examined with those self same buttons.

HTC Vive Cosmos

Superhot VR, one in all my favourite VR experiences and one of many few that I contemplate essential expertise, performs effectively on the Vive Cosmos. Head monitoring is so correct you’ll be able to dodge bullets with ease, and the movement controllers really feel so pure that you may simply throw ninja stars and bottles at attackers.

Beat Saber, performed by way of SteamVR, performs decently on low problem settings, however controller monitoring has issues maintaining with onerous settings. When the controllers transfer too shortly up or down the vary of the headset’s cameras, they disappear from the sport for a second and have to be retrieved for the cameras to perform correctly once more. Whereas the headset makes use of the identical expertise for movement monitoring because the Oculus Quest and Oculus Rift S, it clearly cannot sustain with practically in addition to the frantic drifting.

Accounting+ labored on Vive Cosmos with none actual points. The comedy journey/puzzle recreation lives on with very exact monitoring of each the headset and controllers, and pretty easy environmental interactions which are constant and pure.

cursed by cable

All of those experiences endure from the identical drawback confronted by the Vive, Vive Professional, and Rift S: cables. As with a bodily tethered headset, you want to pay attention to the place of the cable between you and your pc, and watch out to not tug on or journey it. The cable is lengthy, and it is also a bit stiff, so it is simple to seize by itself.

Having used the Oculus Quest, one way or the other coping with cables looks as if an enormous step again, regardless that Tether allows a extra highly effective graphical expertise due to the facility of the related pc. HTC presents a wi-fi adapter for $299.99, however it’s a hefty expense that requires a free PCIe slot in your pc to work.

Treasured and highly effective, however with compromises

The HTC Vive Cosmos is a technically spectacular VR headset, however it’s not sufficient to justify the $700 price ticket. It has considerably greater decision, higher movement controllers, and would not require any exterior sensors. Nonetheless, the Oculus Rift S presents a really related expertise for $400, and the HP Reverb boasts a a lot greater decision (although Home windows does disappoint with combined actuality points) for $600.

Then there’s the cable. It is the identical sort of cable utilized by the HTC Vive, Rift S, and HP Reverb, and it would not get simpler to deal with over time. After utilizing the Oculus Quest and having fun with untraditional digital actuality to the fullest, going again to tripping over a tough wire whereas enjoying video games looks as if an enormous step again. With the excessive value, it turns into onerous to advocate the Cosmos over the Rift S, and I might nonetheless select the Oculus Quest’s wire-free characteristic over each.

professionals

  • Exterior sensor will not be required.

  • Higher velocity management.

  • intense efficiency.

  • Massive software program library with Viveport and SteamVR.

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Backside-line

The HTC Vive Cosmos VR headset is a technically spectacular enchancment over the unique Vive, however it’s much more costly and you may nonetheless need to cope with a cable.

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