Microsoft’s endeavour to support the virtual reality (VR) industry with a reference design headset which the likes of HP, Dell and others could build up never really took off. Windows Mixed Reality headsets weren’t bad but the sudden flood of them in late 2017 made for a confusing hodgepodge of devices. HP was one of the companies that stuck to its guns and released a followup in 2019, the HP Reverb, geared more towards enterprise with a much nicer display. Now, HP has teased a new headset currently dubbed the Reverb G2.
Developers, architects, and #VR users – this one’s for you.
— Z by HP (@ZbyHP) March 23, 2020
Very little is know about this new HP Reverb G2 with the website merely stating: “Developed in collaboration with Valve and Microsoft, the next gen HP VR headset delivers a more immersive, comfortable and compatible experience than the previous generation. It’s the new standard in VR.”
Splitting that statement down it’ll still likely be based on the Windows Mixed Reality platform so you’ll get those inside-out tracking capabilities and comfort was mentioned so hopefully there will be better weight distribution. A more ‘compatible experience’ suggests that HP might be leaning back towards the consumer market, possibly even supporting the Index controllers as Valve is involved.
And as this is a next-generation headset that going to set a ‘new standard in VR’ a bump in visual quality is highly likely, and therefore a premium price. Although Valve may not want a direct competitor to its currently out of stock Valve Index, so a higher price would continue HP’s focus on enterprise. There is the small matter that the current HP Reverb isn’t exactly lacking in visual quality. Offering 2160 x 2160 resolution per eye and a 114° field of view (FoV), Valve Index, for example, sports a 1440 x 1600 resolution per eye while the HTC Vive Cosmos comes equipped with 1440 x 1700 pixels per eye. So upping that even further would be quite something.
At the moment its pure speculation as to the possibilities of the HP Reverb G2. Interestingly, it was teased not long after the launch of Half-Life: Alyx, which VRFocus just gave a full five stars to in its review. Maybe this new headset will be easier to get hold of to play the latest instalment? For further updates on HP’s plans keep reading VRFocus.