HTC Announces $549 Headset-Only Cosmos Elite (With Free Alyx)

Two weeks ago, HTC launched its Vive Cosmos Elite headset at $899. This week, its revealing some cheaper alternatives.

The full Cosmos Elite kit comes with the headset, the SteamVR tracking faceplate, two SteamVR 1.0 base stations and Vive wands controllers. Starting in April, however, HTC will be shipping just the headset and the faceplate for $549. That’s a huge reduction in price but, obviously, you’ll need some existing base stations and controllers to use it. It might be a feasible upgrade for existing-Vive owners, though we haven’t got final impressions for ourselves just yet.

As for existing Cosmos owners, the company will also be shipping the standalone faceplate for $199. We originally got a glimpse of this option late last year. Of course, you’ll already need a Cosmos for this option.

Both options will be shipping to the US on May 1. You’ll be able to pre-order the headset on April 1. Delivery in other regions will vary, as outlined in the official Vive blog. “Given demand, we are releasing these to markets as quickly as we can given supply chain challenges associated with the ongoing health crisis,” the company wrote.

Whether you’re buying the base headset, just the faceplate or getting the entire kit, Cosmos Elite still comes with a free copy of Half-Life: Alyx (which is very good). There’s also six months of free access to the company’s VR subscription service, Viveport Infinity. This lets you access a wide library of games and experiences at no extra cost.

We’re still waiting on news about Cosmos’ cheaper option, the Cosmos Play, which comes with a faceplate for four-camera inside-out tracking. HTC had suggested a $499 price point for the kit, though that’s not set in stone right now.

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