HP Reverb G2: 16 things we know about the next-gen VR headset

Courtesy of HP

HP has already released its own VR headset called the HP Reverb. Soon, it will release its next-gen virtual reality headset called the HP Reverb G2. It has partnered up with Valve and Microsoft to improve the viewing, audio and gestures, and it will work seamlessly with Windows Mixed Reality and SteamVR platforms.

John Ludwig, HP’s lead product manager for VR, was able to give details about the upcoming product during an online briefing, and here are 16 things we know about the upcoming VR headset.

1. 2K by 2K Resolution per Eye

The resolution will be 2K by 2K per eye (same as the previous generation), but it still has the highest resolution for a VR headset among major vendors.

2. New LCD Panels

Courtesy of HP

It features newer LCD panels, with improved brightness and contrast over the previous generation.

3. Reduced Mura

With the previous generation, you would sometimes see an off-putting pattern in the world. With the new lenses, it will reduce mura.

“With these new panels, we’ve gotten rid of that perceived Mura altogether,” said Ludwig. “Instead of looking through a world through some dirty goggles, now you’re looking directly into the world.”

4. 114-degree Field of View

The new lenses are designed by Valve, and it has a similar field of view as the first generation. What makes this one different is the focus on angular resolution and keeping clarity out to the edge.

5. Mechanical IPD Adjustments

People come in all shapes and sizes, and that includes their eyes. The interpupillary distance is the distance between the center of your eyes, and with the mechanical IPD adjustments, you can match the center of your eyes to the center of the optics. The range can be adjusted from 60mm to 68mm.

6. Valve Designed Speakers

Courtesy of HP

“These are the speakers from the Valve Index,” said Ludwig. “We worked again with Valve to take the speaker drivers and calibration for the audio, strip it off the Valve Index, and get it on the Reverb G2. If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.”

And like the Valve Index, the Reverb speakers are located 10mm off the ear, designed to add more comfort when putting on or removing the headset. It also allows users to hear outside noise and talk to people in the same room as them.

It features dual microphones and BMR drivers, and the new audio will be ready for spatial audio, which will immerse users in the 3D space. It will support the Microsoft spacial audio and HP Labs spatial audio format.

7. 4-Camera Tracking

Courtesy of HP

Like the Oculus Quest, the HP Reverb G2 headset will have 4 cameras. The cameras on the HP Reverb G2 will be able to capture 1.4x more movement compared to its predecessor while maintaining 6 degrees of freedom without the need for external sensors or lighthouses. Using the 4-camera Window Mixed Reality tracking, the controller tracking volume is over 2 times, allowing users to have wider and more natural hand movements.

8. New Controllers

The accompanied controllers are more ergonomic, and HP worked on the new pair with Valve and Microsoft. It will feature new intuitive controls including optimized button layout, and it will be able to pre-pair via Bluetooth for easy setup. The buttons replace the previous trackpads, and this makes locating them easier since they are similar in function to other VR controllers. Buttons and controls include the A, B, X, Y buttons, thumbstick, menu and windows buttons. Another change includes the analog grip buttons.

9. Increased Facemask Cushion

The HP Reverb G2 VR headset features increased facemask cushion for more comfort. It’s designed for better weight distribution, which makes long VR sessions less of a pain.

10. Replaceable Face Gaskets

The upcoming headset will feature optional replaceable face gaskets, making cleaning easier between sessions.

11. 90-degree Flip Feature

Courtesy of HP

Some headsets will allow you to see in real life via the cameras on the headset, but sometimes it’s preferable to see the outside world quickly with your own eyes. The HP Reverb G2’s facemask can be flipped at 90 degrees, giving users an easier way to switch between the real world and the virtual world.

12. 6-Meter Cable

The cable has been improved for comfort. It’s longer with a single-barrel cable instead of a double-barrel cable. With the single barrel, it’s more flexible and will have less of a dragging feel. The cable connects to DisplayPort 1.3, and the headset will ship with the full size and Mini DisplayPort adapter.

Since the headset requires more power, it will be using USB-C. Users plugging into a USB slot that can deliver 6-ish watts will be ready to go. If it’s a USB port that can only deliver 4.5 watts, users can use the included power brick that can be plugged into the wall.

13. Windows Mixed Reality and SteamVR Support

Users can experience Windows Mixed Reality and SteamVR easily with a simple plug and play experience.

14. Pricing

The HP Reverb G2 VR Headset will retail for $599 (U.S.)

15. Availability

2020 is an exciting time for next-gen gaming, especially with PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series X launching later in 2020. The HP Reverb G2 VR Headset will also be released around that time, with a scheduled launch in Fall 2020.

16. Pre-orders

Today, VR enthusiasts in the United States will have the option of pre-ordering the HP Reverb G2 VR headset via HP.com, SteamVR homepage, and select channel partners. Availability in select countries will be available in the next few weeks and months.

Additional HP Reverb G2 Specs

  • Two 2.89″ LCD
  • 2160 x 2160 resolution per eye
  • 90 Hz
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