Tech

Review: HTC Vive Cosmos Elite – Excellence in Virtual Reality

Last month we announced you to the all-new HTC Vive Cosmos, the Cosmos Elite. The Cosmos Elite is an upgraded version of the Vive Cosmos that includes two SteamVR Base Stations for incredibly precise motion tracking, alongside two fresh new Vive Controllers.  As it’s recognized as one of, if not the most powerful virtual reality headset for consumers – you can understand how excited we were to get our hands on a set here at EFTM.

Ripping open the box, we immediately began analyzing the haul – included in the Vive Cosmos Elite box was a;

  1. HTC Vive Cosmos Headset
  2. Vive Cosmos Elite Faceplate
  3. Vive Elite Controllers
  4. Link box for PC connections
  5. HDMI, USB & Headset cables

All of which make up the famed Vive Cosmos Elite, a device that has single handedly destroyed the productivity of our office… thanks HTC.

Setup of the Cosmos Elite is a very guided process, so much so that even the simplest among us (myself included) are more than capable of getting it going. It begins with a download from the Vive site. The software will take you through everything from plugging in your ‘link box’ all the way through to configuring your play area.

Speaking of setting up your play area… using a VR controller to draw a virtual boundary around your lounge room (or in our case the ‘office chill zone’) is awfully satisfying. There are many moments during setup and configuration of the Vive Cosmos that make you stop and reflect on just how far technology has come – and that’s before you’ve even experienced virtual reality.

Once you’ve set the Vive Cosmos onto your head, there’s a dial at the back and a strap along the top that allow you to adjust for comfort. The padding around the forehead and bridge of the nose are surprisingly comfortable, but can leave an impression on the skin (so be sure not to take any selfies directly after playing). The headset gets a solid 9/10 for comfort. I could only make a case against weight – prolonged use would see a little strain on one’s neck, but there’s only so much HTC can do about that until there are further advancements in the technology.

Having setup our playing space and loading up all the necessary software, we booted up SteamVR and dived into some Beat Saber! For those out of the loop, the game is a cross between Guitar Hero and Fruit Ninja – and it’s BRILLIANT. The Cosmos Elite rendered incredible graphics and between the haptic feedback through the controllers and the very responsive tracking of both your head and hands, the whole experience was eerily realistic. 

Virtual reality at this high quality can be a bit disorienting at times, which is what makes the flip-up design of the device so intuitive. With very little effort you’re able to quickly switch from virtual reality back to real life, without interrupting your content by simply flipping up the face of the headset. However if you’d rather remain in the comfort of your headset, the Vive Controllers are equipped with a ‘double-tap’ feature that enables the pass-through cameras to see the world around you – at a glance you’re able to quickly orient yourself in your room.

Speaking of the controllers… The Cosmos Elite controllers are an upgraded version of the standard issue device ones. They’re wonderfully sleek, sit well in the hand and have very easy to use mechanics, especially prevalent in the satisfying pull of the triggers. They look a little like;

Between Viveport and SteamVR, finding content for your Vive Cosmos Elite is all too easy. Personally I found that navigating between these two entities was incredibly easy, but actually downloading/accessing content took quite a bit of fiddling to get right.

At the end of the day, the HTC Vive Cosmos Elite is an incredible headset that provides an exceptionally immersive and all-encompassing VR experience. From setting up your play area, to blasting some aliens or simply enjoying video content – it’s sure to impress. Cosmos Elite retails for $1,699 on the Vive website, but wait! There’s more! The other day we reported here at EFTM that the Cosmos Elite is bundled with Half-Life: Alyx, the latest game in the Half-Life series, poised to be the game of the year! If you’re in the market for a VR headset, I’d strongly recommend lending it your consideration.

Stay tuned for more information on the Vive Cosmos series, as well as the latest in VR Gaming right here at EFTM.com

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Review: HTC Vive Cosmos Elite – Excellence in Virtual Reality
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