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Returning Cosmos - not fit for purpose


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I'm not sure how many users are choosing to return their Cosmos - a lot I hope - to send a message to HTC that they should properly test, quality assure, and test again - any product they send to market. The Cosmos in Australia debuted at just on AUD$1300 - the same price I paid for my original Vive a couple of years ago. The Vive just works...the tracking is spectacular, it is reliable, durable and I've enjoyed using it so much both personally and introducing people to VR - I saw very good reviews on the wireless kit and bought it as well - AUD$470 here, and while it has bugged out a couple of times here and there - its usually rock solid and a purchase I am very glad I made.

As soon as I looked in the Cosmos' box and saw the "padding" was just cardboard (rather than the foam for my Vive that I still use today I just transplanted into Pelican case and keeps everything snug still) and parts were wrapped in bubble wrap - it felt cheap - even though it was exactly the same price. I figured the Cosmos would be a unit I could use wired and with it's controllers until wireless was available (at extra cost) and the lighthouse faceplate (at more extra cost) then it would be at a level I would have hoped for from launch. On par with the Vive but exceeding with the innovation since the Vive was released.

Except the Cosmos offers an experience NOTHING LIKE the Vive. The visuals are sharper absolutely - they're great! The Cosmos tracking is so inferior it's embarrasing - moving head side to side stutters and lags, controllers are both L controllers one moment then both R the next, they jump up to the ceiling, then disappear. The HMD says the room is too dark, then too bright.

The Cosmos has very very little compatibility with SteamVR games - controller button mapping in Google Earth even - an absolutely mainstay for VR experiences is wrong labels point to buttons that don't exist, one of my favorite experiences Wave (once WaveVR) doesn't even run anymore because it doesn't even detect the controllers. Having backward compatibility is essential for releasing a new product and HTC couldn't even do that right.

It's been a really disappointing experience, I hope anyone looking to purchase the Cosmos reads this and avoids it - the reality that I've bought a product that will only become "usable" after I've spend who know how many hundreds of $$$ more on HTC accessories - which should only exist as a 'nice to have' not as 'this is the only way Cosmos will work like your Vive' - especially when it was the same price to start with.

I just can't in good conscience recommend anything but the original Vive to anyone - I just pray that Valve will bring the Index to Australia soon so I can actually buy a proper upgrade to my original Vive. I'll find it hard to seriously look at purchasing another HTC headset again to be honest.


Having said this - how have other purchasers experiences been returning the unit? I'm returning mine to a retailer - and of course I can't show them because I'm not dragging my rig into a store with the Vive to give them a side by side comparison to illustrate how inferior the Cosmos is - as an enthusiast and in a way a VR evangelist too this unit definitely doesn't meet my expectations and I can only see future solutions that will cost me more money which is a pretty crappy business model HTC.

Edited by laprid0
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24 minutes ago, laprid0 said:

apologies if this doesn't read terribly well in some parts - I went back to edit but time limit reached or something so I can't...

That's ok mate I think we get the general idea, lol! 

One thing I disagree with is your comment regarding Google Earth VR.  This works great with my Cosmos controllers, basically the same as with my Rift touch controllers.  Also, bumping it's SS up to 1.5 makes it visually look fantastic imho.

I'm also in Australia btw.  When I pre-ordered my Cosmos it was only available from the Vive Australia store.  Where and how did you purchase yours?  Please let us know how your refund process works out.  Thanks.

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The visual system is great - I'll keep on singing it's praises long after I've gotten my money back - but everything else makes it unusable. From the time I fired up Google Earth (after the current fw update) the controllers jumped from being both L to both R then they were in opposite hands. Standing at street level with a lot of tall buildings and texture around turning head left to right fairly quickly - where tracking would have been smooth in Vive - stuttery and jerky in Cosmos. I started to feel sick and was wondering if it was even displaying at 90fps. Even with the "flyscreen" and blur of the Vive compared to current headsets - still a more immersive experience than Cosmos.

HN listed it about a week prior to launch - it still took until a few days ago to come in because they fell short of the number of units shipped apparently - I would have been waiting weeks more if they hadn't found a store with them - I should have taken the "hint" and cancelled.

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@TomCgcmfc so all returned and thankfully my Cosmos journey is at an end. I simply explained how it was unfit for purpose - the tracking just doesnt work, the fact that it is being touted as an "upgrade" from the Vive - but barely any of the titles in my Steam library worked, and that the only way I could expect it to work as well as my Vive would be to wait however many months until when (if) HTC released the lighthouse adapter...at an extra cost...Ive lost $120 by buying a wireless cable for it but better that than a $1300 lemon sitting in a box lol

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BTW, I have finally decided to ride the Cosmos issues out.  At least for the next month or two.  In the meantime I will only use my Cosmos for flight and racing sims (which all work well without Cosmos controllers) and I'll use my good old Oculus Rift cv1 w/2x sensors for everything else.  Fortunately most of my Viveport games work well with my Rift and, with a little super sampling, almost look as good as well.

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22 hours ago, TomCgcmfc said:

Good for you.  Please don't let the door ht you on the backside on the way out, lol!.  Posting more rants is not going to be very useful imho.

On the contrary, posting more rants might even get this thing fixed if it sends the right signals to HTC.

I've also just sent mine back after the apparent lack of progress with the 1.07 firmware. It made me wonder whether the tracking can't be easily fixed and can it be ever totally fixed (I see there is a minor firmware release on top of this now).

I commend you for sticking with it, I do hope they iron out the issues. But the fact they released this as a total mess, plus my return window was about to expire, I had no choice. Like most, I really had high hopes for this headset and would have defended it as far as possible if it was a few quirks, but the fact is that it's been widely panned across the internet and it shouldn't have been released in this state.

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