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HTC announced a number of enhancements to its Vive VR headsets at CES in Las Vegas this week. The biggest news of all was the unveiling of a new headset, the Vive Cosmos.

VIVE Cosmos

The Cosmos is squarely geared towards enticing new customers to give VR a try, promising an easier experience for the more casual VR user, with a lighter, fliptop design, an easier set-up and no need for a bulky base unit.

HTC Vive’s General Manager for the Americas Daniel O’Brien explained the logic behind the new device: “We found that over 85% of VR intenders believe that ease of use and set up is the most important factor. We believe Cosmos will make VR more easily accessible to those who may not have invested in VR before and also be a superior experience for VR enthusiasts.”

The Cosmos will also be the first to make use of the new Vive Reality System. This new portal promises a more immersive experience from the moment a headset is donned, alongside special features that display time spent and battery life.

Developers will get their mitts on the Vive Cosmos ‘early in 2019’ with more info on prices and dates promised to follow soon.

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Vive Pro Eye

Vive Pro headsets, designed with professional-grade users in mind, will benefit from Vive ‘Pro Eye’ technology, which promises users a more immersive experience, allowing you to navigate menus without a controller using your eyes alone.

The new Vive Pro Eye will launch in the second quarter of 2019.

Viveport Infinity

Described as ‘Netflix for VR’, Viveport Infinity will be HTC’s first unrestricted subscription service, letting users play any of the 500+ apps and games available in the library, a significant improvement on last year’s tally of five titles a month for £8.99 fee. These can be played not just on Vive’s own headsets, but also on the Oculus Rift and some other devices. There is no adult content on Viveport and the developers’ guidelines prohibit it, but ‘Entertainment’ is by far the biggest category with over 900 of its 1,350+ titles to date. Prices are to be confirmed, but Viveport’s President, Rikard Steiber, promises ‘one low price.’

This service will go live on 5 April 2019, which HTC is calling Vive Day.

Finally, Vive also announced a partnership with Mozilla to make Firefox the default browser across all Vive products, while a similar tie up with Amazon’s authoring tool Sumerian will help less experienced third party designers create well-optimised XR apps swiftly and easily.

It should be interesting to see how these moves to make VR content more accessible and immersive for a mainstream audience will be noted by content providers in the adult space.

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Rob Tylershevsky
Rob is a freelance journalist based in Sussex, UK, with a strong interest in the intersecting fields of technology, human sexuality, relationships, behaviour and psychology.

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