Today HP revealed its next-gen WMR headset, Reverb G2. While the original Reverb beat out the competition in resolution, some aspects of its display held it back from really capitalizing on all those pixels. Reverb G2 brings with it brand new displays and lenses which offer outstanding clarity.

‘Clarity’ is a subjective term which I use to try to boil down how sharp and clear the virtual world looks through a VR headset. There’s all kinds of things that contribute or detract from clarity. Resolution is surely important, but so are things like screen-door effect, mura, persistence, color smearing, and plenty more contributed by the lenses. ‘Clarity’ is the ultimate result of all of these factors.

When aiming for optimal clarity in a VR headset, any one of the aforementioned elements could be the bottleneck, so matching all these factors is key.

The original Reverb clearly still has the best resolution of any major consumer headset thanks to its 2,160 × 2,160 per-eye displays. And, arguably, it has the greatest clarity too. And yet Reverb G2, despite having the exact same resolution, has notably better clarity compared to Reverb G1.

But how do headsets with the same resolution, same display size, and same field of view offer different clarity? Even though the common paper specs are the same, the lenses and displays are different.

Photo by Road to VR

Road to VR got an exclusive hands-on with a first-run prototype of the Reverb G2. I’m fortunate enough to get early glimpses of hardware like this regularly; given that things can still change, I often withhold firm judgements until seeing how the final product shapes up. Even at this stage—where some things are still in flux—I’m confident in calling it Reverb G2 the king of clarity.

Recapping Reverb G1

The G1 has a high pixel density, giving it more resolving power than any other headset in its class. But the display and lenses had some issues that were ultimately holding clarity back.

Notably, the G1 displays had a perceived mura effect; this is similar in appearance but wholly different in origin than the more commonly known screen-door effect (AKA SDE). Mura looks a bit like a faint, fine mesh covering the lenses, or like the display is a bit cloudy. On a phone or TV display, mura isn’t much of a concern because the display doesn’t move with your head. In a VR headset, mura—just like SDE—is more noticeable because it moves over the virtual world as you move your head.

In addition to the mura on G1, the headset also had some surprising red smearing. This can only be seen when moving your head, but the effect causes any red colors in the image drag or ‘ghost’ slightly behind the other colors. This is exacerbated when the red is against certain colors and with fast head movement.

And finally, Reverb G1 had a bit more chromatic aberration (slight color separation toward the edges of the lens) than I would have expected. This wasn’t a major factor in clarity, but most headsets exhibit very little chromatic aberration, and, as you can imagine, the better aligned the light is coming through the headset, the sharper the image will appear.

I’m not bashing the G1 here. It’s a solid headset that’s lead the way in resolution and pixels per degree in the latest wave of consumer VR headsets. But it felt like it had some untapped potential in clarity because of these display and lens bottlenecks.

Unlocked Potential

Reverb G2 unlocks that potential by largely clearing up these issues with new displays and new lenses.

The perceived mura has been nearly eliminated, which alone makes a big difference. G1 was the first consumer headset to effectively eliminate the screen-door effect thanks to its pixel density, but you couldn’t be blamed for not noticing because mura took its place to a degree. With the mura gone on G2, the headset is getting a more ‘quality’ out of its pixels.

(Even though SDE is effectively gone, that’s not to say that G2 has “retina resolution;” you’ll still be able to see aliasing at this resolution. Eliminating SDE is different than achieving pixel density which meets the resolving power of the human eye. Maybe for G3—what do you say, HP?)

So, mura goes down and clarity goes up. This is good. But what about the other stuff? As far as I’ve been able to see, G2 has also eliminated the red-smear which is another nice win over the G1. Some chromatic aberration is still there, though HP tells me that the prototype I was testing hasn’t had a final calibration pass, and it expects this will bring further improvements to chromatic aberration, and possibly some other aspects.

Photo by Road to VR

HP also tells me that the redesigned G2 lenses (yes, they’re fresnel) have improved resolving power compared to the G1, which further enhances clarity. You can think of this a bit like ‘sharpening’ the pixels that you’re seeing through the lens.

Like the original Reverb, the displays in G2 are 90Hz LCD. Though HP says they have improved contrast and brightness. That improved brightness has also allowed them to lower the persistence of the display (the amount of time the display stays lit during each refresh). Reducing persistence means the image will look sharper during head movement.

Another win for G2 is a physical IPD adjustment which ranges from 60mm to 68mm, which means that a broader range of people will be able to move the lenses into the ideal position to get the most from the G2’s impressive visuals.

SEE ALSO
Understanding the Difference Between 'Screen Door Effect', 'Mura', & 'Aliasing'

Boiling all of this down, Reverb G2 is the king of clarity, and I feel confident that this will be the headset’s defining factor.

When I fired up Half-Life: Alyx, coming from Index, the G2 nearly felt like looking at the game with new eyes. I was drawn to details that never caught my attention before, like scratches in the shotgun’s metal, letters printed on the side of the pistol, and innocuous stickers covering a gutter pipe. I also quickly noticed that many of the game’s textures don’t quite hold up to G2’s resolution (too soon!).

When I pulled up Bigscreen to see what it was like to use my PC desktop through the headset, it was the first time I didn’t quickly feel bothered by the resolution. The remaining bottleneck for doing typical PC productivity work in VR without compromise is now more in the realm of, field of view, sweet spot, and comfort.

 – – — – –

And that’s really just the visuals of the headset. Beyond that, G2 brings a sweeping list of improvements over G1 and other WMR headsets, like better tracking, controllers, ergonomics, audio, and more, all of which we detailed in our Reverb G2 announcement article. HP also announced that the G2 is available for pre-order starting today priced at $600, with an expected release date in the Fall.

Photo by Road to VR

Clearly there was a lot to talk about with the G2’s visuals, so I’ll save some thoughts on other parts of the headset for a future article. I will say now, however, that I haven’t yet been able to try the new controllers. Beyond that, let me know what else you’d like to know about the headset in the comments below.

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  • mellott124

    So its the G1 with Valve head gear and lenses. Is this really the next generation, no compromise HMD? No steam VR tracking?

    • Jarom Madsen

      No, it’s the next generation WMR headset. The original WMR headsets were a gen behind initially so this is just getting them finally up to speed. Biggest addition is the controller upgrade imo.

      • David Mulder

        As this article seems to make pretty clear they have far more than caught up when it comes to visual fidelity once this is released.

        • Jarom Madsen

          Fair enough. My point was more that WMR have been compromising in other areas (e.g. controller ergonomics) when compared to other current gen headsets. It feels like their statements about it being “next-gen” and “no compromises” relates more to WMR than other headsets. The visuals do sound very enticing though for a very reasonable price.

          • mellott124

            This is probably more true than other interpretations. This does feel like a next gen WMR.

        • mellott124

          We’ll see. Wait until people start trying it and then you can say that. I thought G1 would be as well. Although, I do trust a RoadToVR review more than anyone else.

          • Jon Redcorn

            Dafuq? WMR headsets have had some of the best visuals since they came out, the samsung odysseys were blowing away everything else when they came out, the reverb was clearer than anything else and still is. No idea what you are even talking about.

          • Despite increased resolution, my Lenovo Explorer wasn’t visually impressive, poor lenses and I noticed screen door effect where my Oculus Rift CV1 didn’t, was disappointed with washed out colours, dim brightness and really murky greyish blacks. Thankfully it developed a stuck pixel and went back for refund.

          • mellott124

            Yeah, Odyssey had nice visuals but not sure it was the best. And the rest of the system tanked that anyway. G1 visuals were not enough to buy the HMD and there was significant blurring. I tried it multiple times, as well as many of the other WMR devices. Never kept any of them for very long.

    • kontis

      As everyone was saying before – a no compromise VR headset is technically impossible with today’s technology, so I’m not sure why would you believe in this kind of silly marketing speech.

      PC peripherals have no generations. It’s all in flux.

      • mellott124

        Because they stated it. If its not true, don’t say it. This is usually the problem with marketing people.

        • David Mulder

          The ‘problem’ is that marketing people aren’t judged by how truthful they are, but by sales numbers and opinion polling. And we as a society have accepted that marketing is allowed to lie (there are some limitations and for example the UK is fairly strict whilst in the US you can lie about nearly anything). That’s really more of a political thing than anything.

        • Andrew Jakobs

          It’s just what they mean and you expect with ‘uncompromised’.. Even with the most expensive headset there will be comprimises..

        • Anfronie

          Never focus on the marketing only the specs and user experience with trusted reviewers.

    • Andrew Jakobs

      Well, better displays, better lenses, better tracking, better controllers, and still at a reasonable price. If you want real next generation, you’ll have to look elsewhere then to consumer grade headsets, and we both know that real next generation headsets just start at the same price as this with at least one zero added. And let’s not forget the extra cash you have to drop to drive those NG headsets..

  • Mei Ling

    Exactly the same FOV as the original Reverb, Ben?

    Field of view wasn’t really talked about in this article.

    • Jacob Carlson

      Correct, same 114 deg. FOV as G1

      • Rogue Transfer

        To be precise, the horizontal FOV of the Reverb is only ~95°. HP originally is quoted as saying(in the original hands-on articles, I believe from RoadToVR, though could have been others) that ‘it felt more like 114°, due to the clarity’.

        However, perhaps the new padding and physical IPD adjuster will reach a little higher. I’ve tried removing the facepad and it does give a bigger vertical FOV downwards, but suffered from seeing the edges of the panels sideways if I didn’t keep the headset at the normal distance back from the eyes.

        So, I don’t think you’ll get much more FOV horizontally. For comparison, the Rift S has typically 85~88° hFOV; the Rift CV1 with thin padding: ~94°; and the Vive with thin 8mm facepad: ~108°.

    • Blaexe

      It’s the same FoV, but more people will be able to achieve that maximum FoV due to the mechanical IPD adjustment.

      • Dave

        “but more people will be able to achieve that maximum FoV due to the mechanical IPD adjustment.”

        IPD has nothing to do with FoV! There is nothing maximum about it, the FoV is probably the minimum you can get away with right now.

        • benz145

          IPD does have something to do with FOV, but not as much as eye-relief.

        • Blaexe

          Of course it has. If your IPD doesn’t match the HMDs IPD, FoV is reduced. Especially when your IPD is larger.
          The devs even explained this in the Q&A session.

  • AMAZING! This is true competition for Rift S and Index!

    • mepy

      And Vive Pro.

      • *holds back laughter*

        • mepy

          The Rift S was mentioned, the Vive Pro is superior to this product.

      • Charles

        Vive Pro isn’t direct competition, since it’s currently aimed at people who care most about black levels and contrast.

        • Kevin White

          And want wireless.

    • JesuSaveSouls

      Against Rift S and Index it’s a easy yes for the Reverb but with the Pimax available it just has to many extra’s than a reverb.

      • Tom

        If it weren’t for the Pimax software being garbage and the toilet-tier customer support I’d be inclined to agree with you. Nothing else comes close on paper.

        I have a Pimax 8K. They didn’t get the lens calibration/warping right (in early units at least) and haven’t managed to improve it in any subsequent update so it’s kind of horrible to use. Kills its greatest feature, which is the FOV, since you have to reduce that as much as possible to avoid the ares with horrid lens warp. Feels like the world is swimming around you. It’s also a pain to get working sometimes since PiTool is so unreliable.

        • Thoemse

          You need to learn to wear it right. Yes that means you probably have to mod it a lot. What you are describing many get (I did too) when the headset does not fit. Mine needed double up covers (I used a vrcover from my vive). My eyes were way too close to the lens giving me the distortions you describe.

          If you get it right it is the best headset you can have right now. Nothing compares to iut (putting StarVR aside).

          • Tom

            Hi Thoemse, thanks for the input and encouraging words. I’ve been messing with VR since 2014 and as you can imagine own a number of headsets so I’m reasonably well versed in the things that can cause distortion. I have tried all manner of things to get it right, including adjusting distance to the eyes, but I haven’t found a marked improvement. It’s like the distortion profile around the periphery is wildly off what it should be.

            As I understand it, early kickstarter units flat out weren’t calibrated that well and it’s not something that can be fixed in software (at least, we don’t have the means to mess with it as customers). I understand that they’ve since figured it out and headsets that ship now work better. Unfortunately I don’t have any sources for this information as it was a long time ago, probably squirreled away on their old forums or Reddit somewhere.

          • Andrew

            That’s not true, I was also one of the original PiMax backers and the gyroscopic drift on my 4k was corrected in software. It wasn’t great but amazing for it’s time.

          • Tom

            Well that makes sense, fixing an incorrectly initialised/read gyro is absolutely something you could do with a software update.

            Re-calibrating the lens profile once the unit has left the factory? Not so much, apparently.

            You would think that since all the headsets are ostensibly the same they could just figure it out using a headset in the factory and then push the update to the others, but apparently that’s not the way it works (or so I read when it was discussed), they are calibrated individually and so it’s not possible once it’s left the factory.

            I still wouldn’t mind if they tried because I bet it would be better than what I’ve got now, sigh.

        • JesuSaveSouls

          Sorry to hear your troubles but when they do get in touch their usually willing to report access your pc to dive into the problems.Also there are so many pitools to try out to see what works best.

      • Engineer_92

        At $599 for the entire package, I’d say the lack of ‘extras’ is a non argument.

      • D-_-RAiL

        This isnt for someone thats willing to spend 1200 plus on a HMD kit. This isnt for you.

      • Dave

        Its difficult to consider the Pimax, it just looks cheap.

        I bought the original Rift before the touch controllers. The experience, premuim packaging, games it came with, support, everything was great. I’m trying to find a headset which can top that and quite frankly after a few years I’m struggling. Index is probably the closest but there are compromises all around.

        I really want a premium Rift 2.0 with amazing controllers, visuals and better FoV. Something like 2k x 2k screen and 140 degrees FoV with 90Hhz refresh and the depth of field tech Micheal Abrash was talking about would do the trick but we’ve been waiting for ages for this to come out.

        Sadly I feel as the old guard at Oculus have gone, then my dreams of an ‘Apple style’ premium desktop Rift product for the next generation has gone with it.

      • brubble

        Yes “extras”.

    • Diana Medina

      I don’t think the tracking is as good though

  • Adam Broadhurst

    I’m a bit concerned that the article mentions nothing about an improve to the Reverbs displays small sweet spot.
    This was my main bone of contention with the display,mura, ipd adjustment and the other things mentioned 8 didn’t have a problem with.

    • Sofian

      New lenses designed and calibrated by Valve, sweet spot is supposed to be much bigger.

    • James Duckworth

      I can’t actually notice the sweet spot with the Reverb. I could with Lenovo explorer. That was awful. Perhaps I shouldn’t try to notice.

  • Dan O’Neill

    68mm IPD, that’s me out. Shame. I love if manufactures could do 2 variants to capture the all people. 52-64mm (Small heads & Kids), 65mm-76mm (People with larger brains & thicker skulls)

    • Kyokushin

      surprisingly, in the human case, the size of the brain is inversely proportional to the size of the head.
      Think about that ;)

      • vive VR

        Correct I have neither just a fat head and my eyes socially distance from eachother

      • GunnyNinja

        I have YET to see a person with a small head have a larger brain. The brain is almost always inside the skull…

        • Mradr

          Well if you see someone brain outside their head – that might be another problem… but we are seeing thicker skulls thus the brain is smaller for that person as the brain size fits the open space.

          • GunnyNinja

            I’m simply pointing out that “inversely proportional” may not be what he thinks it is…

          • Mradr

            lol yes we know:3 we’re just having a little fun with your words, just laugh with us:3

          • D-_-RAiL

            Pretty sure GunnyNinja was also making a joke in the first place if not it was hilarious the way he worded it to me.

        • Mei Ling

          “The brain is almost always inside the skull…”

          Almost always? Please do explain :)

          • GunnyNinja

            sigh…

          • Zardelx

            Depends on hard you blow your nose. ;)

      • gotcha220
    • Andrew Jakobs

      making 2 different headset is not feasible, the market is still too small for that. It could be done in one headset, but it would mean the headset will be larger to accomidate for the extra space it requires.
      And bigger head doesn’t mean larger brains……. just look at a T-rex which had an enormous head, but a peanut brain… :p

      • David Green

        this prick again!

        • Andrew Jakobs

          You mean ‘this realist again!’.. And as I said in my other response, all current main headsets don’t support more then 72mm, most even only below that..

          • David Green

            wrong quest supports 74!!

          • Andrew Jakobs

            Still not your claimed 76mm, and the quest only has a separation of max 72mm, which IS suitable for people up to 74 (but still nog ideal for people with 74mm)..

    • homey kenobi

      My ipd is 73. I was excited about this VR headset too. Oh well.

      And is my brain larger than a ipd of 60?. if the ipd of 60 is on a 6 foor 4 inch tall giant then probably no, they must have so thick skull and so small brain …lol

  • kontis

    VR specs slowly get over the acceptable thresholds of what most consumers accept.

    There is that minimum baseline for VR HMD to be even usable for anyone (like 80 deg FOV barrier that was broken by Rift DK1), but then there is a whole range of improvements that make it good enough for wider audience.

    2K x 2K per eye seem to be quite a big deal for many people.

    Tether is another important one. It was supposed to be a solved problem 2 years ago, but Gaben was wrong again ;P

    • The tether is an ongoing pestilence for my PCVR ownership. Considered it was the most important immersion upgrade for Vive in 2016, but here we are in 2020, still shackled to the PC.

      Just yesterday….after experiencing mild snow and disconnection issues during past couple of sessions, it started snowing heavily, flashed once and then was no more. (damn glad I have spares).

      Vive Pro with wireless module is really tempting despite those lenses, I’ve thoroughly enjoyed using Vive Pro Eye with wireless at events.

      If they released wireless module for Index I’d pay serious money.
      https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/fefdf368943e7e05a41739b547fddea1df7f3947ed4558ed15aa2135460bf46b.jpg

    • wheeler

      At the time the only 802.11 standard for decent wireless VR was expected to be approved and so there was good reason to expect wireless VR. However it’s been delayed year after year ever since then

      • Rupert Jung

        60 GHz Wireless connection has been standardized for years now.

    • Dave

      I think there are two camps, those who want to explore a 3D space and those who want to see a 3D space.Teather will not make the slightest difference if you are sitting in a cockpit, behind a wheel or watching a movie.

      • Gonzax

        It’s cool not to have a cable but I honestly don’t care, it doesn’t bother me. A higher FOV is what I want more than anything else. I love my Index but I keep dreaming of a time when my whole view is covered and I can feel 100% immersed in the game.
        If this had a higher FOV or at least as good as the Index I’d even consider buying it. It looks like a great headset nonetheless, second best after Index IMO.

        • Anfronie

          I don’t know about WHOLE VIEW. You still have to look through lenses with VR and that will never have the full human peripheral view in my opinion. We need laser projection on the eyes ;)

          • Gonzax

            Apparently the StarVR headset does have full view, acoording to MRTV’s review from 2 days ago.

          • Anfronie

            I just don’t see how you can get the full human visual range while still looking through lenses.

          • Leon

            Huge lenses. That is how

          • Bob

            Which requires a huge form factor :)

          • Leon

            In thought out would but it’s around the size of the Index. (MRTV review)

          • Bob

            It depends on how close the lenses are to your eyeballs, and primarily vertical FOV.

            StarVR one does not have full human FOV; it lacks in the vertical department.

            There’s also the nose area to consider. Humans have different sized noses so some will be better off than others in achieving a more complete FOV.

        • Andrew

          If you can spare a kidney for the cost, go and have a look at the XTAL with it’s full panel coverage. It’s the only display out there that ( in my own view ) makes the Reverb look bad.

          • brubble

            You dont say? Its also over $6000.

    • savvydigitgrades

      A cable doesn’t make much of a difference when you don’t have a space large enough to tangle yourself in the first place ;p

      • Bob

        That depends on how you interact with VR; seating or standing.

        Even with both types of interaction, not having to worry about a thick cable dangling down from the side of the headset is surprisingly liberating.

  • Sofian

    By the time it’s out, if no 4k OLED is announced then I will get the HP.

    • mepy

      Honestly I will probably fork out $600 for it even as a Vive Pro owner. The extra resolution is worth it even if it’s a second (third) headset.

      • Andrew Jakobs

        Me too, especially if it has much clearer lensen, because that’s still the biggest problem I have with the Pro (I know about the clear lens mod, but it’s my only decent headset at the moment so not gonna do that, and it’s my dev headset so it should be as others see through it).

      • Csongor Szíjjártó

        And I’m still waiting for my first VR set to be bought. Honestly, why do people need 2 or 3 sets? One is better for one game and the other for other applications?

        • mepy

          Well I would want the HP Reverb for simulator games, 360 videos and such. While the Vive Pro works for gaming because of content and wireless. While the Quest is portable and well you know.

          • valkolton

            Haha i have same 3! But im waiting for a killer non SDE and FOV solution too someday

        • Fundamentalist Daleks

          Because it’s fun and we already spent years with our other sets.

    • Mei Ling

      Samsung do have something in the works and they are a company known for sticking with OLED on portable screen technology. Hopefully this will translate to their VR HMD range.

      • Sofian

        Yes this is the one I am waiting for.

      • mfx

        Yeah but if Samsung, it’ll be oled Pentile, even if it’s 4k (2k per eye), that will still be sharp like a 1400px RGB screen, so don’t wait for them to produce a better display headset basically.

        • Rogue Transfer

          Worth noting that Samsung produces the full RGB-stripe OLED for Sony’s PSVR: https://www.roadtovr.com/playstation-vr-psvr-teardown-disassembly-samsung-display-lenses/

          • mellott124

            Didn’t know that. Interesting! Thanks.

        • Morgan Pike

          “even if it’s 4k (2k per eye)”… I keep hearing this. Could someone please explain to me how each eye looking at a 2k screen logically translates to 4k? Does this mean that my 4k tv is actually 8k since each of my individual eyes are looking at a 4k image? If each of my eyes is looking at a 2k image, then that image is 2k, not 4k. All that VR is doing is simulating perspective due to ipd. I just don’t get why people keep saying this.

          • Anfronie

            I think it is because it is stereo vision. It’s essentially looking at a 4K image but 2K per eye. Someone please explain further if I do not have that right. I think that is the gist though.

      • Andrew Jakobs

        Yeah, but it’s now almost 12 months ago when they said they would present new VR hardware in a couple of months, and we haven’t had any official news (except back in januari/februari some gossip about the fly-eye headset based on a patent, but then again, more than a year ago (I think even 2 now) there was a patent for a samsung curved vr display and also no news on that)

  • So when you look at the little video they have for this on Steam, it shows the SteamVR logo at the end. What does this mean exactly? Does it work natively with SteamVR? Or do I still need to run two runtimes? Why does it lot list a WMR logo?

    • Blaexe

      Nothing has changed in that regard. It’s a WMR headset with SteamVR support.

      • So, it is meaningless? You could put the same logo at the end of a video showing off the Oculus Rift S and it would mean the same thing. Right?

        • Blaexe

          It means “you can play SteamVR games”. Same would be true for the Rift S, yes.

        • Andrew Jakobs

          Who cares if you need to run 2 runtimes, the system handles it for you..

          • GunnyNinja

            It tries…

        • Rogue Transfer

          The difference is that with HP & Microsoft headsets, these companies are providing the compatibility with SteamVR(through the WMR SteamVR driver on Steam, that you need as well as SteamVR). So, the support is guaranteed to remain due to this icon.

          With Facebook’s Oculus headsets, Facebook doesn’t provide any compatibility with SteamVR – it’s all done by Valve, without official agreement.

          This means that (although unlikely) Facebook could block SteamVR support, if they decided to remove their ‘third party sources’ option from their driver. Esp. if they get overwhelming majority share of the market and decide they want sole access to store profits, in future. Rather than continue to lose software profits to Valve’s Steam.

          • Mradr

            Even if they do – people would drop them or you will be a really large split between the two much like we see with Android and Apple devices. Even then – it be really hard for them to keep that up.

          • Rogue Transfer

            Facebook’s market focus will be solely standalone by such time(it practically already is now). The number of people they cut off still using PC devices or streaming from PC will be miniscule.

            Right now, PC matters to bolstering their fledgling standalone. In future, when standalone titles become sufficient quality(in a couple gens) for the casual user to not be wanting(ie. like the overwhelming majority of smartphone users today aren’t wanting for PC or even console power), cutting loose from the PC(which loses profits to rival stores) won’t matter, if a minority percentage of users drop their devices.

            This would be a long term strategy, on the order of 5+ years. In theory, once they move to their own OS(as Facebook are building now for VR to get away from Android), their own chip hardware(again, they’re building up the infrastructure for making their own chips), and their profits come from their store to support all that, the business sense in cutting out losses to rival PC stores, when most users only use their standalone titles will make sense and work fine for them.

            The birth of a new console ecosystem.

            Last year, Facebook’s Jason Rubin spoke about how they’ll eventually break compatiblity with current systems & software, when they
            introduce new (hardware) features. Then, it’d be an ideal time to cut off their PC ecosystem, down the line.

          • Mradr

            Yes and no, while I agree that can happen – the likely hood of them not having at store on the PC and/or allowing others to buy software from other stores would still be VERY bad for them. While you say “once they have enough” – it wont matter. People like choice and if they don’t have a choice it’ll cut the value of that product hard. While some will stay on the platform because they bought into it – they will be shredding more than just the PC users off – they be shredding anyone that doesn’t agree to a fully close platform. We saw a kick back of this happen when they “by mistake” broke HTC users off their store with many threatening to just leave Oculus altogether (both HTC and Oculus users). So while they will continue to be what they are now – I dont see it going well if they completely shut it off in the next 5 years. OR even the next 10 really. It took Apple well over 15 just to get where it is at with its own PC line up and another 15 on top of that for phones. While VR wont need as long of a time frame to play catch-up – it will be under a lot more pressure across the board to be open up as possible with more headset players come online and more stores open to sell more games. Oculus isn’t the only player in the standalone space nor does it have the best technology or even price. Even still – the headsets cost them money to sell. If they are smart – they will keep the cost of the headset either are cost or under cost while pushing more software sells instead to anyone that wants to buy their software as its free “Work” for them to sell software at and to get more users in with cheaper headsets.

  • Does anyone know if it is possible/easy to combine SteamVR trackers with WMR? It is possible, and not too difficult with Rift/Rift S.

    • Rogue Transfer

      It’s exactly the same process as with Rift/Rift S.

  • mepy

    HTC, where is the Vive Pro 2? There are excellent higher resolution OLED screens to be bought from JPI, LG or Samsung. So what exactly are you waiting for?

    • Andrew Jakobs

      Yeah, and use clearlenses please, the mod for the original vive(pro) proves it does work with non tailormade lenses, so the few problems the mod has can be handled with tailormade lenses.. I’d be happy to pay the extra bucks it might increase the price.. Personally I like my HTC Vive Pro headset in comfort (nice and tight and easy to put on..

    • Rogue Transfer

      With the failed launch of the Cosmos(and I doubt the Cosmos Elite will retain their market share), I’m expecting something announced from HTC possibly next year’s CES. That’s when they always like to do so and is probably the earliest to expect a new headset so soon after the Cosmos range.

      Could be they are slower, and take until 2022 though. But, I can’t see how they can sustain their market share & business with all the competing options now that outdo them both in consumer, enthusiast & commercial realm. E.g. HP Reverb G2, Pimax 8KX, StarVR One, XTAL and Index.

      • Mradr

        Cosmos was a failure for them. They release way too early knowing the problems of their tracking. It should’ve never release or they should’ve used already working methods of tracking like WMR or Steam VR and not some type of mix match system that causes more confusion.

        For business they are still ok with the Pro Eye model allowing them to get a technology lead for still with in a price point that fits between.

        Other wise, HTC is in trouble with the customer market. I dont see how they can even come back to the customer market at this point. They are bleeding money left and right as a whole company and a lot of what HTC was offering with the Vive and Pro was just too costly and overwhelming. Some of it not their fault with the cost of Steams Tracking costing a flat 500$ on its own and they still need to make a profit.

      • mepy

        I’m still expecting them to release a Vive Pro 2 this year. Changing the screens is not a big manufacturing problem, so as long as they have a supply of screens it should be easily doable.

  • David Green

    74 ipd fucking bullshit another headset i cant use!!!

    • Andrew Jakobs

      You can’t blame these companies for not catering to a small percentage of users. Enlarging the ipd comes with a lot of other enginering problems.

      • David Green

        come on man be real dude!!! there are already headsets out there that do support up to ipd 76!!! many older people who can afford headsets like this new one are left out, fuck hp..and fuck you for defending them!!!

        • Andrew Jakobs

          Not any of the main headset supports up to 76mm, quest is on 72mm and the rest is below that.. So the headsets that support up to 76mm are probably some of the more expensive headsets..

        • brubble

          Yeeesh, smoke a joint, youre too tense.

    • Csongor Szíjjártó
    • Bob

      What are you? A fish?

  • Travis Loker

    Anyone figure out how to place a pre-order yet?

    • Anfronie

      I put an email address in but other than that nothing. I did that 30 minutes after the announcement.

      • Travis Loker

        I must have gone to the page as the announcement hit or something. I was able to register to be notified. I did not even realize today was special when I did it. Not until I saw this article an hour later….now I am refreshing that HP page like crazy.

    • David Green

      if that you in the picture no way in hell you are 68 ipd and under!!

      • Travis Loker

        62.5 per the optician.

  • Lucidfeuer

    I can’t stand time-wasting article not talking about the most important spec, FOV, if I wanted op-ed or advertisement I’d look directly at the press release…

    • Anfronie

      Sounds like this is more of an announcement of major improvements and an indepth review will be coming soon.

    • David Mulder

      If they don’t mention it, then just assume it to be the same as the old version (fairly average as far as I know)

    • benz145

      This isn’t an advertisement, we don’t accept money for editorial content ever.

      I’m sorry this wasn’t the centerpiece of the article, but I did mention:

      But how do headsets with the same resolution, same display size, and same field of view offer different clarity? Even though the common paper specs are the same, the lenses and displays are different.

      Full specs are here: https://www.roadtovr.com/hp-reverb-g2-announcement-pre-order-price-release-date/

      I’m also sitting here willing to answer your questions, but sometimes I second guess myself when I’m being accused of time-wasting and shilling.

      • Ace of Spadеs

        Hello,
        Please dont forget to email me tomorrow, we have your 378.22$ check ready.

        Best Regards, HP Shill Compensation Department

    • GunnyNinja

      FOV is not the most important spec if all you see is more bad visuals…

  • Rudl Za Vedno

    Is sweet spot wider than with Reverb G1?

    • benz145

      I didn’t have enough time to feel it out, but I will be looking at this carefully when I have a chance. For what it’s worth, HP claims the G2 sweet spot will be larger than G1, but we’ll see.

  • Foreign Devil

    new king of the consumer VR HMD?

  • Anfronie

    This is looking good. As long as the tracking is there and the controllers are at least as good as the Rift S I’m in. I would like to know the field of view though. Side note: was anyone able to actually preorder? I was only able to put in an email address! :o

    • benz145

      FOV 114 degrees diagonal, according to HP, which is unchanged from G1. There’s poor consensus in the industry on FOV measurements unfortunately, so it’s hard to know what 114 really means, but G1 and G2 are pretty much on par with Quest/Rift.

      • Mei Ling

        Wrong reply to the wrong person, Ben? ;)

        Edit: Sorry read wrong!

  • Bob Smith

    For enterprise solutions, I see how this could be a real step up–but not for entertainment/consumer use. The biggest issue I’ve had with VR is the cramped/binocular like FOV. It just never feels remotely immersive to me. I’m looking at screens a few inches from my eyes, and that’s it. For all its problems, Pimax is the only consumer-grade company I’ve seen willing to really push the boundaries here, which is why I bought one and continue to support what they’re doing despite issues with customer service and quality control, etc (yeah, go ahead and downvote me). It also pairs perfectly with Knuckles and Index base stations to produce the best VR experience available at the non-enterprise level IMO. Before this I had a CV1 and might have gone with another Rift but not when I saw they had actually reduced FOV instead of improving it. 170 degrees is now the baseline for me and I won’t go backwards.

    Here’s hoping Samsung pushes forward in this area as well since the Oddy+ was a nice headset apart from the whole WMR thing.

    • David Mulder

      Yeah, what is and isn’t immersive really does depend on the person. Based on some work I read a couple of years ago the most likely reason why you perceive most headsets as just screens might be because of amblyopia if I remember correctly, as in that case the stereo vision doesn’t impact your brain as much as it does for others. Still, perceiving it as ‘screens a few inches from your eyes’ is highly unique. Did you ever try wearing ski goggles? Does your brain end up perceiving the world also as screens in that case? Or it might be because of the relaxed eye state when focusing in the distance (due to the lenses), but that causes a small group to perceive it as a cinema screen in the distance, still not what you’re describing. Honestly fascinating.

    • Andrew Jakobs

      Don’t count on seeing another headset with such a wide FOV for quite a while.. Yeah, we’re now all looking forward to what Samsung will come up with, but it’s almost a year now when they said they would present new VR hardware in a couple of months, 12 months later and still no official news….

      • Mradr

        Agree – it was a silly outages size for an FOV, but with that said – I think/feel like generation 2 headsets really need to start moving towards the 130 FOV range. Its a modest position going forward.

  • James Duckworth

    I have the G1 Reverb. My headset doesn’t have chromatic aberration or mura. It’s a warranty replacement as the first one I got did have significant mura. Just saying it’s not that all of them do, but the chance is probably fairly high.

    • Rogue Transfer

      I’ve had 3 Reverb G1s and they all didn’t have significant mura(only if you really looked for it on a large white or blue area). The latest one I have, it’s really hard to even tell if its there or just imagination.

      As to chromatic aberration outside the sweetspot, that was noticeable of all three units I had.

      There definitely is variability with the displays, with some being brighter and more colourful than others(perhaps, older panels in some refitted, unsure).

      • James Duckworth

        Yeh I think I got lucky in that case.

        I’m looking forward to seeing what the new panels are like. Not all LCD panels are equal as I’m sure you know: I changed my TV to a Sony Bravia and the difference was clear between my previous TV.

      • Andrew

        Unfortunately, chromatic aberration is going to continue to be a problem as long as they keep using fresnel lenses to approximate larger ones. Valve are using a different design, compound lens, to HP so I’m hopefull.

  • mfx

    This is the most exciting announcement since the Index.
    Company should not even expect positive feedback if their headset is inferior to this one on these points:
    -2k+ rgb screens
    -inside-out tracking
    -stardard controlers (it’s very nice to see everyone settle with touch like design)
    We all are expecting for the following improvents:
    -bigger fov
    -eye tracking
    -cristal clears lenses
    -dynamic focus point

    • Rogue Transfer

      Though, cameras-on-headset tracking still remains the inferior(and more limited) tracking system in all systems that use it. For example, no full body tracking is possible; pool/snooker, sailing-by-rudder-control, football/soccer and potentially other game actions aren’t possible with it. It’s inherently limited going forward, without another means of supportive tracking(e.g. electromagnetic).

      So, there will remain an important place for headsets that use a superior tracking system, but they all do need to catch up in terms of the resolution from now on. Having 2160×2160 per eye is a breakthrough resolution in terms of detail, near non-existant SDE, solidity and text readability(desktop use, just about, with better lenses).

      • Rupert Jung

        Zero tracking problems at all with Oculus Quest. And yes, I had a Vive once.

        • kontis

          You don’t get these capabilities a stationary tracking offers.
          This is enthusiast grade vs mass market grade like in many other industries. It’s not better or worse.

          So mfs claiming that tracking with fewer capabilities should be baseline is ridiculous. For mass market – sure, but it’s not for the whole VR industry. Resolution is a different matter – more universal issue.

          • Rupert Jung

            No seeing any difference in tracking quality. It just works.

    • kontis

      inside-out tracking

      Absurd. This is a trade off similar to choosing full audiophile headphones or tiny wireless earphones or shooting photos with iPhone vs DSLR.

      One is far more convenient and much more portable, but you get worse quality.

      • Rupert Jung

        Can’t confirm this. And I know and owned both (Vive, Rift + Quest). Samsung Odyssey was a little bit worse, PSVR is a bad joke in terms of tracking. But Quest is working flawless. The only problem left is controller tracking out of FOV.

  • deHavilland

    Question about the (obviously improved) “compatibility across both SteamVR and Windows Mixed Reality” platforms (citing HP website): Will it be possible to synchronize HP WMR and Vive “spaces”? Examples of such a use: With a pair of lighthouses can I track a Vive Tracker and use it for walking (Natural Locomotion) or motion compensation (OpenVRInputEmulation)?

    • Andrew Jakobs

      Or use the index controllers ofcourse, that would be a great thing.. Shame HP didn’t get to use the same controllers as the index but then tracked the same way as the WMR controlers do. As the finger tracking is done by the controller itself, not lighthouse, so in theory one should only have to add some tracking cone to the controllers..

    • benz145

      As far as I know, the foundation of WMR SteamVR compatibility has not changed. It’ll function just as it has, though there have been some smoothing of rough edges over time.

      • Kevin White

        I haven’t used WMR since late January 2018, but the buggy and frustrating SteamVR implementation was probably the biggest single factor in my returning the Odyssey first gen. I may have to read up on some of this smoothing.

  • JesuSaveSouls

    If this was the only 4K hmd it would be a no question buy.But let’s not forget Pimax…5k and 8k units with wide fov and many hz options up to 144.

    • redi

      Man stop with your pimax spam, we know you work for them. Nobody right in his mind will buy a Chinese pimax. You don’t believe me? Try to send them an email they’ll never answer you. 0 support 0 help 0 quality expensive price.

      • Rogue Transfer

        Pimax headsets are also sold on Amazon, who have fantastic customer support. So, there are options. But, in reality, only the Pimax 8KX really competes with the Reverb G2(& G1) in terms of similar pixel density, but with a much wider FOV.

        So, it all depends what people want and where they buy, as to whether they’ll get a good warranty. For example, in the UK and Europe, your support contract is with the retailer you buy from, not the manufacturer, and the retailer must offer a repair/replacement for up to 2 years.

        • mellott124

          I think buying Pimax on Amazon is the only way to go. But 8k and 8k X aren’t on Amazon, last I looked. Otherwise redi is pretty much spot on. Their customer support is what is preventing Pimax from becoming a top contender. And when you finally do get a response, it may not make any sense at all.

          Seems like that should be the easy problem compared to the HMD. Their tech is impressive but they fall short. Also, arguing with customers in public forums is NOT a way to win new customers.

    • dz11

      Pimax 8KX is $1000 more and has added distortions which will make it unusable for many people.

  • Steve G

    60-68 – that is terrible. The software goes down to 59

    58-78 would be better.

    I have a Reverb and the clarity across the lenses is bad, only a sweet spot and the FOV is small.

    So
    (1) physical IPD great but… why cut off the masses ?
    (2) across the lense clarity, and still motion blurring… hmmm
    (3) still small FOV.

    Just not seeing an upgrade when really not much is fixed

  • wheeler

    How is edge to edge clarity / the size of the “sweet spot”? (not the “adjustment sweet spot”)

    How is pupil swim and distortion? This has always been a problem for me with WMRs, but I can only imagine that Valve got this right

  • Beastlyfern

    Do you know what the max width for glasses is in this gen 2. Mine fit in the gen 1 headset, is it at least as wide inside?

  • Ace of Spadеs

    Time to sell my Rift S

  • Alextended

    So, HP’s Reverb G2 is basically WMR 1.5 but a really nice high quality
    implementation, like Samsung’s Odyssey was in its time. Hopefully the
    tracking matches Oculus in quality. Still, I doubt this thing will be
    worth it for most, especially if Oculus drop the price of the S (it’s
    already ~200 less for its lower resolution and lesser audio), though
    it’ll probably kill HTC’s VR with their Cosmos mishaps. Hopefully other
    companies will follow suit and provide their own take on WMR 1.5 for
    varying price ranges that can compete, down to the $200 of last gen WMR
    models but with the base improvements seen here, just different
    HMD/screen/build quality specs and stuff. Otherwise if you’re gonna
    spend a premium you might as well go full Index. Although it can also be
    a great choice for simmers as it has really great resolution for that
    $600 it costs, not like a Pimax or XTAL kit (though simmer games like
    DCS and IL-2 struggle for performance already).

    I like seeing new VR models that don’t overhaul stuff too much though,
    lol, first Cosmos, now this use a very similar controller layout, it
    only means Oculus controllers/features remain competitive and on par
    longer (it’s crazy they got it so right in ~2016) and I don’t need to
    upgrade except when some real sweet stuff arrive for modest prices: VR
    2.0 with eye tracking for foveated rendering/gameplay features and
    finger tracking smoother than index for less moneys or whatever. Maybe
    wireless connection to PC if that becomes possible already (without
    crazy extra costs like the Vive wireless adapter). I feel like Quest 2
    should have proper wireless (5G?) for PC finally, not the laggy homebrew
    stuff. But not the other things, too premium to sell any time soon
    unless they also maintain Quest alongside it and that becomes Quest Pro
    rather than 2, using its power to run the same games at higher
    res/hz/settings until they abandon the first.

  • Adderstone VR

    Would love more info about the sweetspot – IIRC all the first impressions of Reverb G1 complained about a very narrow sweetspot – is this improved?

  • Anon

    *Sigh* This is a sponsored Article by HP, it is definitely doctored to HP’s liking

    • benz145

      You’re right to be skeptical of the information you consume, but this is not a sponsored article and we don’t accept money for editorial content ever.

  • JesuSaveSouls

    Price point of 600 may be fair for a innovative hmd but better to sell more for less.So @ 600 you sell 10k units and make a small profit.Sell rather for 400 distributing 100k units and easily make a bigger profit.

  • Lark R

    Can you change out the cloth on the back strap? I play a lot of beat saber and I feel like that would get nasty quick.

    • Bob

      It seems like you can. For this headset they’ve taken all the lessons learnt from a high quality product like the Index and applied them to this new iteration.

  • GunnyNinja

    Looks like Valve’s contribution is audio. Seems to be the Index speakers here, which I wasn’t a huge fan of.

    • Bob

      The lenses have been designed by Valve as well.

      • GunnyNinja

        I hope the sweet spot is better than Index, then.

  • JesuSaveSouls

    In my opinion I think it’s a very smart purchase.

  • Vikram Vaka

    Fantastic article Ben Lang. Here is the most important question that you can ask HP. Ask them if it is compatible with hdmi 2.1. If they confirm it will be, then ask them if there is any chance that since Microsoft helped design it, if it will be compatible with the Xbox Series X.

    Anything short of a complete denial is a great sign. If this headset is compatible with hdmi 2.1, then Microsoft’s announcement of it (and all Windows MR 2.0 headsets) being compatible with the Xbox Series X is imminent.

    • Anfronie

      These are good and intriguing questions!

  • Vikram Vaka

    They really need to release a 802.11ay IEEE WiGig 2.0 wireless adapter for $399 for this headset (HTC still charges $299 for the WiGig 1.0 VIVE Wireless adapter!).

    Current WiGig 1.0 is barely able to keep up with Vive Pro’s resolution. The Index and this new headset just requires too much bandwidth for current gen WiGig without massive compression. And that much compression somewhats negates the benefit of having such high-resolution screens.

    Making a WiGig 2.0 wireless adapter is the first step to wireless tether free VR with insane clarity.

  • getget

    what about sweet spot, i dropped g1 reverb in favor or index because the sweet spot on g1 is joke that you can only see high res picute in effectively 10 degree of fov , comparing several times larger sweet spot on index, can you confrim how g2 improved on this,

    • Anfronie

      New valve lenses and calibration makes the sweet spot bigger. All around better lenses and optics even compared to the Index by the looks of it.

  • Rupert Jung

    That’s all great but I’ll not buy any wired headset ever again. Provide 60 GHz Streaming and I’m in. :)

  • dz11

    What are the black levels like compared to the G1? Does it have better contrast and brightness?

    • Anfronie

      They stated the screens are updated and have better color and contrast. Also mura was pretty much eliminated and the pixels have lower persistent time. Sounds like a decent upgrade in the screen department.

  • ImperialDynamics

    I’m not excited at all. Ever since i used the Oculus Quest I don’t want to hear about wired headsets ever again. Wired headsets belong to the past.

    • Fundamentalist Daleks

      along with Oculus funding big games

  • uKER

    What controller does this thing use? The only thing keeping me from considering a Vive Index is those atrocious controllers.

  • MatBrady

    I’d love to see a full comparison between this and the Index.

  • MatBrady

    Can I use Valve Index controllers with the HP Reverb G2 to play HL:A?

    If the answer is yes, then awesome.

  • Tom

    As someone with a narrow IPD of about 56mm, I’m very interested to see how the G2 will work for people with IPDs lower than the hardware adjusts to. I’m currently using a Rift S, which is fantastic for the price, but could be better. If the G2 will work comfortably with both eyes properly in focus in my case, it’s a clear upgrade.

  • brubble

    Well, here I am jumping back on the “potential 1st time VR buyers” train. This one looks like it might finally be a winner for me. We’ll see with reviews.

  • Romulo de Castro

    I had a Vive and traded for a Rift S. I can say for sure the tracking on the Rift S is better in my room. I had some irritating jitters with the Vive, maybe because of some reflective surfaces. My controller is never out of the tracking area in any game I have tried. I am playing HL Alyx and loving it. I wish the Reverb G2 had a 5 or 6 cameras instead of 4 thou.

  • alxslr

    This headset (with this price) is what HTC should have made for it’s new VIVE in order to survive.

    Instead they made the VIVE Cosmoss :-/

  • polysix

    LCD sucks, grey blacks kill VR. I don’t want to have to resort to candy coloured cartoon worlds (i.e not actually “VR” by any stretch of the imagination) for the rest of my days to avoid bad black levels.

    Likewise… god rays? how are they on this? Another killer.

    My DK2 had amazing blacks and no god rays, PSVR had no god rays, my Rift CV1 and Vive had OLED for good blacks… why are we going backwards?