HP has partnered with Valve and Microsoft to bring a new Windows Mixed Reality Virtual Reality headset, the new Reverb G2, to the market. As the successor to the Reverb G1, the new headset was developed for gamers and combines improved graphics, audio setup, inputs and ergonomics for an even more intense mixed reality experience. Pre-orders are available today on HP.com. The price is $ 599. It will be published in autumn this year.
According to HP, the Reverb V2 is the VR headset with the highest resolution in the world. It offers a resolution of 2,160 x 2,160 per eye as well as improved LCD lenses. The LCD lenses designed by Valve are mura-free, eliminating the effect that gives the impression that you are viewing a virtual image through dirty lenses. The displays still have a similar field of view to the original, but have now improved clarity, contrast, and brightness.
HP also worked with Valve to improve the angular resolution of the panels. There is a mechanical IPD dial on the bottom that allows you to center the lens on your eyes for a more intense VR experience. HP says it also reduces VR disease.
Elsewhere, the Reverb V2 has a new face mask pillow. It still has a Velcro design, but the pillow allows the headset to sit and hold better on the wearer's face. It also has a 90-degree flip function that allows wearers to flip up the headset like a visor to see their real world. Further subtle changes concern the cable that leads from a double pipe to a single pipe, USB-C for the power supply.
The cables can also be disconnected directly in the headset to facilitate use during use. After all, the Reverb V2 no longer has a fabric finish like the Reverb V1 to make cleaning easier.
"It's been an amazing experience this year between the Valve-designed lenses and the new LCD panels," said John Ludwig, senior product manager at HP, during a virtual press conference.
In terms of input improvements, the Reverb V2 has twice as many cameras as before – from two to four. This improves controller tracking of the previous generation because cameras on the side can now track the natural inputs with the controllers.
In collaboration with Microsoft, HP is introducing a new Windows Mixed Controller for the Reverb V2, which should be familiar to those of other virtual reality headsets. The new controller no longer has a trackpad, but the A, B, X and Y keys, although the menu and Windows keys are still there.
"Between the new ergonomic controllers and the additional cameras that need to be tracked, we promise our customers a much more natural and intuitive experience," said Ludwig.
With improved audio, HP and Valve have taken over the speakers from Valve's own Valve Index headset and integrated them into the Reverb G2. The speakers support spatial audio and sit 10 mm from the ear to increase comfort. They have BMR speaker drivers and two microphones for excellent bass and response times. However, the last generation 3.5mm headphone jack is removed.
HP also worked with Microsoft on the new headset because Microsoft's Windows Mixed Reality platform offers six degrees of freedom for inside-out tracking and seamless plug-and-play integration with Steam VR.
HP believes the headset can even keep up with the Oculus Rift S, and says it offers 2.5 times the resolution per eye, more arm movement tracking, clarity, and higher audio quality.
"We feel that we have built the headset for ultimate immersiveness. VR is going great and there will be many places where people want to use VR in different ways," said Ludwig.