HP’s Reverb G2 virtual reality headset is the culmination of a partnership between Valve and Microsoft, with each company adding its own expertise into the mix.
You can order the G2 now for $599.99, with orders shipping this fall.
Valve — the company behind Steam, one of the top digital game stores — helped design new lenses that improve clarity and brightness. Each lens will provide 2K resolution, making things like text clearer and easier to read. In total, you’ll have a 114-degree field of view.
Valve also contributed to the audio experience on Reverb G2, bringing the same speakers from the Valve Index over to HP’s new VR headset. The speakers don’t sit tightly on your ears but leave a gap, so you can still hear ambient noise, like someone in the room, while not missing out on any of the 3D spatial audio in the game or VR world you’re visiting.
For its part, Microsoft’s Windows Mixed Reality tracking will ensure your movement is properly represented in the VR environment. There are now four cameras — up from two — to track the controllers. The Reverb G2 uses six degrees of freedom (6DoF) tracking and doesn’t require any sort of external sensors to track your movement.
Fancy new speakers and tracking features aside, one of the more important aspects of a VR headset is how comfortable it is. After all, you’re not going to want to use it for very long if it hurts your face or head.
With the Reverb G2, you can make manual adjustments to the interpupillary distance to line up the display’s IPD with your pupils, easing eye strain. Additionally, the Reverb G2 has an improved face mask cushion with double the surface area to spread out pressure from the three-strap design.
The headband includes 90-degree rotation, letting you rotate the headset up and back down, hopping in and out of the VR environment, without having to completely remove the headset.
A 6-meter cable is included with the Reverb G2, which should be more than enough to use the headset in an average-size room.
Naturally, with Valve and Microsoft partnering with HP, the Reverb G2 will have access to the SteamVR catalog, as well as Windows Mixed Reality.
Note: The prices above reflect the retailer’s listed prices at the time of publication.