New-and-improved hardware offers a no-compromise VR experience for $599.
Today, HP made its official reveal of the Reverb G2, a new-and-improved follow-up to last years HP Reverb. HP worked closely with Valve and Microsoft to ensure that the headset would deliver a stellar VR experience using cutting-edge optics, inside-out tracking, spatial 3D audio, natural hand gestures, superb comfort for longer sessions, and plug and play support for Windows Mixed Reality and SteamVR.
With a surplus of headset manufacturers currently pushing their way into the market, HP designed the Reverb G2 to stand out from the crowd. To do this, they took a look at current VR headsets, including their own Reverb G1, to see what features and designs resonated with consumers.
Let’s dive into the official details.
The HP Reverb G2 features the same high-resolution LCD and lightweight design featured on the original Reverb. Other than that, every other aspect of the powerful PC VR headset has received an upgrade. The new Valve-designed lenses promise to provide an absolutely stellar visual experience powered by improved optics and reduced mural full RGB stripe, delivering a resolution of 2K by 2K per eye. This means objects will appear more crisp and realistic, allowing you to more easily read text and differentiate various textures. The Reverb G2 also features a 114-degree field of view, surrounding you with these crisp visuals and immersing you further into your experiences.
As opposed to employing on-ear speakers or relying on third-part headphones, The Reverb G2 features two high-quality speakers that sit 10mm off the ear. This design is intended to provide additional comfort for longer play sessions while simplifying the set-up and removal process. Support for Microsoft spatial audio as well as HP Labs’ new AI and psychoacoustics spatial audio format enhances the in-headset experience even further, offering intense 3D soundscapes impossible to recreate with in conventional stereo.
The G2’s controllers have also received a redesign. Upgrade include an optimized button layout, wider application and game compatibility, and the ability to be pre-paired via Bluetooth® for easy set-up. Using its 4 on-board cameras, the Windows Mixed Reality headset also enables 1.4X more movement capture with six degrees of freedom (DOF), minus the need for external sensors or lighthouses.
“The Reverb G2 takes total advantage of the inside-out tracking technology in Windows Mixed Reality for full six degrees-of-freedom movement and spatial audio,” said Mark Bolas, partner director of incubation at Microsoft. “With four cameras, the controller tracking feels even more like an extension of your hands, making the sense of immersion that much stronger.”
The HP Reverb G2 is designed to provide a more comfortable experience than the previous generation thanks to an improved facemask cushion that helps with weight distribution for extended VR sessions. There’s even an optional replaceable face gaskets for ease of cleaning between VR sessions. You can easily flip the facemask 90-degrees when moving back and forth between the real and virtual worlds.
In an official press release, Jeremy Selan at Valve said, “We’re happy to see the expansion of the VR ecosystem in a way that is great for high-fidelity gaming,” Selan adds, “Providing customers with another quality option that includes some of Valve’s technology is good news for the VR community and we are happy to support that.”
“The power of collaboration is on full display with the HP Reverb G2, and along side Valve and Microsoft, we engineered a no-compromises VR headset that’s immersive, comfortable, and compatible across Windows Mixed Reality and SteamVR,” said Spike Huang, vice president and global lead of VR, HP Inc.“The time is now for VR and HP Reverb G.
The HP Reverb G2 VR headset is scheduled for availability starting Fall 2020 for $599 (U.S.). US pre-orders are available now via HP.com, the SteamVR homepage, and select channel partners. Pre-orders for select countries will be available over the next few weeks.
Image Credit: HP