HP’s 2nd-gen virtual reality headset is coming this fall for $599. The HP Reverb G2 features inside-out position tracking, support for gesture support, spatial 3D audio, and a resolution of 2160 x 2160 pixels per eye, a 90 Hz refresh rate, and a 114-degree field of view.
But a headset is only as good as the software that it works with, so the most important thing about the HP Reverb G2 may be the fact that it was designed in collaboration with Microsoft and Valve, which means it offers support for Windows Mixed Reality and SteamVR.
The headset features 4 built-in cameras for position tracking and six-degrees of freedom (allowing you to move throughout a space without relying on external sensors). And it comes with a pair of handheld Bluetooth controllers that let you interact with VR apps with gestures or button presses.
HP say the new headset should also be more comfortable to wear than its predecessor, thanks to an improved face mask cushion. You’re still going to have to strap a 1.2 pound device to your head and run a long USB cable to your computer to use the HP Reverb G2, so “comfortable” is a relative term. You can also now adjust the interpupillary distance for a more comfortable viewing experience.
The new headset has a higher resolution display than the Valve Index headset (which sells for $749 if you opt for a headset + controllers). But despite the Index having 1440 x 1600 pixel display panels, Valve’s headset has a wider field of view (130 degrees) and higher refresh rate (120 Hz).
But the HP Reverb G2 is cheaper than a Valve Index, and some key components, including the lenses and speakers, were designed with input from Valve, so you’re sort of getting Valve-approved hardware at a lower price.
The HP Reverb G2 goes up for pre-order today, and should begin shipping this fall.