HTC to Sell Cosmos Elite Headset Separate from Controllers & Base Stations

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HTC announced that it will begin selling a headset-only package of Cosmos Elite priced at $550. Though Cosmos Elite became available last month, it was only sold in a package that included controllers and base stations for $900. Offering the headset by itself makes Cosmos Elite a more attractive option for those who already own controllers and base stations.

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.

CountryOn Sale
KRLate April
TWLate April
JPTo 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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