During its VIVE press conference earlier today, HTC has unveiled its next virtual reality headset called VIVE Cosmos. The device itself is relatively similar to the Vive Pro, HTC's professional high-end tethered fare, but there's one key new feature that could make all the difference to how we interact with, and even render, VR worlds.
When looked at from a gameplay perspective eye-tracking is great for player engagement, whether that's with another human player or an NPC (non-player character). HTC has revealed that the Vive Pro Eye VR headset will be launched in the second quarter of 2019, however, details about its pricing are yet to be revealed.
For this device, HTC made new VIVE controllers work seamlessly with VIVE tracking system.
Cosmos, which appears to be a middle-of-the range headset, will be HTC's third line of Vive-branded headsets, following the Vive (and Vive Pro and Vive Pro Eye) and Vive Focus.
HTC has a new PC HMD on the way in the shape of the Vive Cosmos. It's possible that the release of the Cosmos could lead to a further discount of the Vive, making high-quality VR accessible to more people, but we'll have to wait and see what HTC has planned. What is foveated rendering? How do you feel about the new Vive Pro Eye and Vive Infinity? This partnership enables a truly optimized browsing experience in VR for quick and easy searches, access to their favorite websites in VR for shopping, researching, surfing, watching videos and more. HTC does usually head to Mobile World Congress in Barcelona with VIVE and has a huge booth dedicated to VIVE (very little area for smartphones, though given HTC's recent past, that's not too surprising) demos and products.
However, out of all the VR headsets, the HTC Vive has also seemed the most promising. Like the previous Vive headsets, the Cosmos will also support motion controllers. Fans can experience the new Vive Pro Eye starting in 2019. The new Viveport Infinity subscription now grants access to its massive game library rather than just giving five at a time. We'll keep an eye out for any more tidbits of info from CES, but failing that? Look for the upgraded Viveport Infinity on April 5.
At the same time as the hardware announcements, HTC confirmed that it was expanding its Viveport software subscription service to include the all-you-can-eat Netflix-style option which was missing at launch.