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The HTC Vive Cosmos VR headset is now $100 off

HTC's newest VR rig with inside-out tracking is selling for a tempting $600.

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The HTC Vive Cosmos is now on sale for $100 off. 

Angela Lang/CNET

The competition among VR headsets is really heating up, and the HTC Vive Cosmos -- an unambiguous improvement over the original Vive in every way -- is not the no-brainer purchase HTC was hoping it would be. After all, you can now get a standalone headset like the Oculus Quest that delivers an experience very close to what you get with the Cosmos for less money and with a less complex setup. But there's a case to be made for the Cosmos, and if you're persuaded by that argument, you can now get an HTC Vive Cosmos for $600, which is $100 off the usual price.

Based on CNET's look at the HTC Vive Cosmos, this is a great VR headset. It's sharper and has a less pronounced "screen door" effect than the original Vive thanks to better resolution -- 1,440Xx1,700 pixels per eye compared to the 1,080x1,200 pixels you'll find in the original Vive. Perhaps more importantly, this headset offers inside-out tracking, so you no longer need to affix Lighthouse tracking sensors to your living room wall. 

And while Oculus's Quest has all its processing and memory onboard, the Cosmos still relies on your PC, which lets it play more demanding games. It's also compatible with your existing library of games you've already bought for the Vive. The only downside? Unless you spend $300 on a wireless adapter, you still need to step on, over and around the cable that tethers you to the computer.

So, it's not a slam dunk in favor of the Cosmos, but there are still really good reasons to want one, especially if you already have a library of Vive games or want  better performance and graphics than you can get with a standalone headset. Is the Cosmos a worthy purchase, especially at $100 off? I'm curious what you think about the current crop of VR headsets. Let me know in the comments.  

Now playing: Watch this: HTC launches the Vive Cosmos VR headset
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