HTC Now Selling Cosmos Elite Headset-only Option & Separate SteamVR Faceplate

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HTC is now selling a headset-only package of Cosmos Elite priced at $550. Released in March, Cosmos Elite was initially only sold in a package that included controllers and base stations for $900. To boot, you can now also buy the Elite Tracking Faceplate separately too.

Update (May 2nd, 2020): HTC is now selling its Vive Cosmos Elite headset-only package for $550, targeted at users who already own base stations and controllers. This includes a pre-installed External Tracking Faceplate on the Cosmos headset.

The company is also now selling its  External Tracking Faceplate for $200, the module that allows all versions of Cosmos to be tracked by SteamVR base station versions 1.0 or 2.0, original Vive or Vive Pro controllers, and Valve Knuckles controllers.

Original Article (April 1st, 2020): In an op-ed last month I outlined the confusing positioning of HTC’s various VR headsets and noted how the modularity of Cosmos wasn’t practical when considering the pricing structure. Among those issues is the fact that HTC left no clear path for its existing Vive owners (who already own SteamVR Tracking controllers and base stations) to buy into the Cosmos headset without re-buying controllers and base stations:

This modularity would make a bit more sense if HTC would sell the Cosmos headsets separately. After all, that way people who bought into their VR hardware with the original Vive (which means they already have SteamVR Tracking base stations and controllers) would benefit from that investment by simply buying the Cosmos Elite headset by itself to use it with their existing hardware. Instead, HTC has left no clear path for loyal, existing VR customers to choose Cosmos.

By only selling the headsets bundled with controllers and other hardware, HTC has created a roundabout path where—if you already have SteamVR Tracking base stations and controllers—your best option is to buy Cosmos Play for $500 and then add the Cosmos Elite faceplate for $200, effectively getting you the Cosmos Elite headset for $700 (instead of $900), but still leaving you with two Cosmos controllers you don’t want but had to pay for anyway.

By announcing that it will sell the Cosmos Elite headset by itself for $550, HTC has created a much more welcoming path for anyone who already owns base stations or compatible controllers to pick up Cosmos Elite without paying more for hardware they already own.

HTC is launching the headset-only Cosmos Elite package on a rolling basis in different regions:

Country       Pre-Order       On Sale
CN        N/A       16-Apr
TW       1-Apr       16-Apr
EU       7-Apr       27-Apr
UK       7-Apr       27-Apr
CA       1-Apr       1-May
US       1-Apr       1-May
AU        N/A       May
KR        N/A       May
NZ       N/A       May
JP      To be announced      To be announced
KSA       1-May       18-May
UAE       1 May       18-May

HTC has also announced the regional release dates for the Cosmos External Tracking Faceplate, the $200 add-on faceplate which brings SteamVR Tracking to the base Cosmos headset.

Country On Sale
KR Late April
CA 1-May
US 1-May
EU 15-May
UK 15-May
AU May
ME 10-Jun
TW Late April
JP To be announced

HTC is also including a digital code for Half-Life: Alyx with the purchase of any package of Cosmos Elite or the External Tracking Faceplate.

Though this change makes it far more practical for owners of existing SteamVR Tracking hardware and peripherals to consider Cosmos Elite as their next headset, at $550 it’s still got a price disadvantage compared to Valve’s Index headset which is sold by itself for $500.



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