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HTC Vive Cosmos VR: We have the price, release date, and first hands-on

SEATTLE—After nearly a year of teases, HTC has taken the full wraps off its next PC-VR headset, the Vive Cosmos. The company invited me to its American Vive headquarters to confirm a release plan: starting October 3, HTC will begin selling the full system for $699, and this system finally dumps the old HTC Vive “lighthouse” tracking boxes in favor of built-in, “inside-out” tracking cameras.

However, HTC also invited me to test the Cosmos in a few VR games, and while I didn’t test for long enough to put together a definitive review, I’m currently left wondering whether HTC’s latest VR system has what it takes to compete with either the pricier Valve Index or the best of the industry’s cheaper, inside-out tracking headsets.

One step forward, one step back?

On a technical level, Vice Cosmos introduces a new pair of VR lenses that take a one-step-forward, one-step-back move compared to similar lenses in the HTC Vive Pro. Cosmos reportedly has a slightly increased “combined” resolution for both eyes, up to 2,880 x 1,700 compared to the Vive Pro’s 2,880 x 1,600 resolution. HTC reps insist that this new panel additionally beefs up the subpixel resolution to reduce the inherent “screen door” effect seen in older VR headsets.

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