Today we got very lucky and were given the latest HTC VIVE Cosmos Virtual Reality Kit to try out, so we could see for ourselves what this new VR Headset can do, and how it compares to the current king of the VR hill – Vive Pro.
The new Vive Cosmo is a lot more travel friendly, gone are the lighthouse stations we needed to use our Vive OG & Pro VR systems, this has been replaced with a fancy new inside-out camera system that allows the headset to track itself, and for the wearer to be able to see what’s going on outside the headset with a push of a button on the headset – you just tap it to go into live view (You can also double top the right controllers Vive button for this).
Setup is a breeze, with the instructions placed right on the lid of the box when you open it up. These will take you through all the steps including configuration of the VR space you’ll be playing in, and access to all the games available via the Viveport and Steam services.
Excited to play, we rushed through all of the instructions so we could get right to the good stuff – this caused us a couple of “how to?” moments a little later in the journey though – so below are the two important pictures, just in case anyone else gets stuck for a moment like we did 🙂
With those quick setup notes out of the way let’s jump in and play some games!
The first stop for most will likely be to jump into the Viveport service, included in the box is a special code for this store that will activate a special subscription (or similar) so you can try out a bunch of different virtual reality movies, games and experiences.
You can also jump straight into Steam, the VR store here is crazy good to and contains all our of current favourites that we play on the Vive Pro.
So our Cosmos VR adventure begins with a bit of Blade and Sorcery, and it’s a perfect place to start as nothing tests get the blood pumping more than a furious telekinetic battle against warrior and wizard 🙂 It’s also the best game for checking out the movement tracking differences that come with the new design style of the Cosmos – after all it’s got to keep up with all the dodging, weaving, hacking, slashing, grabbing and running for our lives that happens in the game!
As the VIVE Cosmos is still super new, with some game titles you’ll have to setup a custom controller layout to play everything right away – the Cosmos controllers are already loaded into the Steam Controller Mapping tool for us to tweak + with community layouts available to use and edit as needed.
For those new to VR controller mapping you can do this with the headset on, or from the desktop. Quick screenshots guide below showing our specific mapping for Blade & Sorcery!
All setup it was time to go! Before we jumped in those we set Nvidia Shadowplay privacy settings to allow desktop capture so we could capture and share the test – see our YouTube video below as we check out the Vive Cosmos controllers in action while trying to stay alive in the medieval village battle! (system specs and more info about the test are in the description of the YouTube video)
Well, that escalated quickly!
Exhausted from our energetic battle we looked for another great game for testing – this time to check how the high resolution Vive Cosmos display handles text in a game – No Mans Sky – and we’re happy to report it’s all looking great.
It’s also a solid standing room VR system, and although not quite as good as the Vive Pro, which we kinda expected considering the significantly lower price of the Cosmos Virtual Reality Kit… Overall the Vive Cosmos is likely the best option price/performance wise if you’re looking to make a simulator VR setup, with its very high quality visuals and oh so easy tracking.