HTC have announced they're going to be bundling in free copies of Half-Life: Alyx with every Vive Cosmos Elite VR headset today - and that includes everyone who pre-ordered the headset as well. The Vive Cosmos Elite, which launches worldwide today, is HTC's latest high-end PC-based VR headset and will come with a redemption code for Half-Life: Alyx in the box, which will then unlock the game when it launches on March 23rd next week.
The Vive Cosmos Elite is one of the newest members of HTC's Vive Cosmos family, and gives users the option of playing games with more accurate external tracking via its two SteamVR base stations as well as the wire-free internal tracking offered by the regular Cosmos. This is thanks to the Elite's modular external tracking face plate design, which it comes pre-installed with in the box. Then, if you'd rather switch to internal tracking for other games and VR experiences, then all you need to do is pop the external tracking face plate off and stick the regular Cosmos face plate on instead.
The Cosmos Elite is quite a bit more expensive than its non-Elite sibling, going for £899 / $899 compared to the regular Cosmos' asking price of £699 / $699, but it's still a bit cheaper than Valve's Index headset (which will also be bundling in a free copy of Half-Life: Alyx as well). While the Index headset by itself only costs £459 / $499 at the moment, the complete Index VR Kit (which includes the two Knuckles controllers and two base station trackers you'll need to actually start using the headset) will set you back £919 / $999 - and will take between 8-10 weeks to get to you as well after stock levels ran dry early last week.
The Cosmos Elite, on the other hand, is available to ship right now, and comes with two Vive controllers, two base stations and both types of face plate in the box. It's also compatible with the original Vive and Vive Pro controllers, as well as their base station versions 1.0 and 2.0, and it also supports the Vive Wireless Adapter and their Vive Tracker peripheral, too.
Alas, the offer only extends to those buying the complete Cosmos Elite headset bundle at the moment, as the standalone external tracking face plate that HTC were planning to offer for existing Cosmos owners wishing to upgrade has now been delayed due to the ongoing coronavirus situation. Originally set to launch for £199 / $199 sometime between April and June, it will now likely launch toward the end of that period rather than closer to next month.
"As you know, many companies are expecting impact to their hardware supply chain timelines due to the coronavirus," HTC told me in a statement. "While we will have the full Elite sku ready to ship by the on-sale date of March 18, the availability of the External Tracking Faceplate will now be later than planned due to supply chain delays. We are taking every precaution to ensure that our employees and manufacturing partners are staying safe during this time. We will continue to update you on timings, but we are still aiming for Q2 availability."
I'll be taking a closer look at how the regular Cosmos compares to the Index early next week, but for now, here's everything you need to get ready for the launch of Half-Life: Alyx, including all the different headsets' PC requirements and how they compare to the game's minimum spec as well.