HTC reveals its latest VR headsets with modular capability

20 Feb 2020

A collection of HTC Vive Cosmos VR headsets and new modular faceplates. Image: HTC

With its smartphone business now on the back-burner, HTC is putting a big focus on its new Vive Cosmos VR headset range.

HTC has unveiled three new versions of its Vive Cosmos virtual reality (VR) system, including modular parts to allow users to enhance the headset over time. The Taiwanese tech firm hopes to make VR more accessible by offering a range of different headsets at different prices.

The new line-up includes the entry-level Cosmos Play headset – aimed at newcomers to VR – alongside the new Cosmos XR and the high-end Cosmos Elite, which is aimed at “VR enthusiasts”.

Each of the new devices supports modular upgrades, however, 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. 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.”

Pricing revealed

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 (€1,069). The Cosmos Play will cost £499 (€593), 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 (€237).

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

– PA Media