Images published by known Microsoft leaker ‘WalkingCat’ have revealed a new VR headset sporting the HP logo, which looks very similar to the company’s previously revelead G2 Windows VR headset teased back in March.

First announced as a collaboration between HP, Valve, and Microsoft, the new G2 is said to be a “more immersive, comfortable and compatible VR experience,” an HP spokesperson told Road to VR in late March.

At the time, we hadn’t seen more than a shrouded image of G2. If the image below can be believed though, we have a bit more information on our hands as to what the G2 may actually entail.

The apparent HP headset appears to have four camera sensors, two front-facing, and two on the sides, which would hypothetically allow for a wider controller tracking volume. As Microsoft is known to be a collaborator on the headset, we expect the G2 will be a Windows VR headset; it would be the first among Windows VR headsets to use more than two cameras for tracking.

Image courtesy WalkingCat

A physical IPD slider can also be seen in the lower left-hand corner of the headset, something HP’s Reverb headset didn’t have when it finally launched in 2019.

The headset also appears to use two very Oculus Touch-like motion controllers, which are seemingly more ergonomic than the ones previously bundled with Windows MR headsets; the button placement suggests its offers input parity with Touch and HTC Vive Cosmos.

SEE ALSO
Microsoft Says it Hasn't Given up on the VR Side of Windows Mixed Reality

Windows MR controllers were largely maligned for poor tracking and flawed ergonomics when the first set of headsets launched in late 2017, so seeing a more refined design could be a smart step forward, should the images be believed.

Image courtesy WalkingCat

WalkingCat has a history of authentic leaks, including some of the first photos of HoloLens 2 before it was revealed. That said, the photos may also be unofficial renders that could be no more than educated guesses at what HP has up their sleeves. We don’t have independent confirmation so we’re taking this as a rumor for now.

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  • Kyokushin

    Buttons ABXY same as on the MS XBOX pad – compatibility with nextgen console?
    I am curious about finger tracking – a top of controllers looks similar to knuckles at some point.

    • Jistuce

      Doubtful the buttons are any indication of any sort of compatibility. Aside from the XBoxen, they match Oculus Touch, as well as Nintendo Switch. ABXY is just standard button naming since Super Nintendo(unless your name is Sony).
      I’d wager that Oculus is the relevant touchstone here, though. If they want more compatible controllers, that’s the place to look for inspiration.

  • NextGenVR

    It looks like it has Index’s ergonomics. Depending on how good the specs are, I might get it. I hope we can get the headset by itself.

  • Torsten Balle Koefoed

    It’s great to see some standardisation on the controller layout. It will make game development quite a bit easier going forward. It also says something about how well thought-out the original layout of the touch controllers were (is).

    The headphones look a lot like the Index’ ear speakers. Hopefully they are just as good.

  • Mei Ling

    Looks great but it appears to be a very compact device like the original Reverb so this may be concerning for the FOV..

    • mellott124

      I’ve wondered if they’ll do pancake optics. There were a few at CES this year. That limits the FOV to about 90 degrees if they do. But the clarity is much better than the Fresnel lenses they’ve been using now. No god rays either. Pico showed the best pancake optic I’ve ever seen this past CES.

      • Mei Ling

        I’m sorry but in the year 2020 anything less than 110 degrees FOV for what is supposedly a new enthusiast HMD from HP is completely unacceptable even if you take slightly better picture or clarity into account.

        Also they did mention “no compromise” and “next generation” which doesn’t in any way, shape or form, coincide with a FOV of 90 degrees or less.

        • silvaring

          It depends what you’re using VR for. Narrow applications (like watching traditional movies in your home cliffhouse private cinema) will be perfectly fine if the comfort level is there (i.e you can lie down comfortably while in VR).

  • hugolima

    Looks awesome ! The biggest problem with WMR was the controllers (tracking and ergonomics), if they improve it and it has a competitive price, it will be a great alternative to Rift S (or Cosmos)

  • Sven Viking

    (Rift S has five total cameras, of course.)

    Always possible Reverb G2 could have five as well, since we can’t see the top of the headset, but there was a rumour from early January that they were working on a four-camera version of Reverb and I’m guessing that’s more likely.

    • GunnyNinja

      There are other images of this. Nothing on top

    • James Cobalt

      Unfortunately, WMR2 was already known to be a 4 camera system.

      • Sven Viking

        Where was it known from? I wasn’t aware a WMR2 was even confirmed before now, although the rumour I mentioned certainly implied it.

        • James Cobalt

          Well, not from-the-horse’s-mouth known, but earlier leaks, patent filings, and hints in the source code (as it uses the same codebase as Hololens) made it pretty clear it was going to be four cameras. I recall one of the leaks was an interview with a VR engineer (maybe an attendee at VR Dev Days? not a MS employee) who, not thinking, made a throwaway comment about doubling the cameras in future headsets. It was a long time ago (maybe over a year) and I can’t find it now.

          • Redditor on WMR subreddit working for big corporate, mentioned visit from HP reps in November with presentation showing multi camera roadmap for WMR.

  • wheeler

    Looking forward to roadtovr’s impressions. I want to hear what you guys think of the lenses–you can’t trust very many reviewers when it comes to VR lens quality.

  • GunnyNinja

    I see IPD adjustment which makes this worth watching.

    • ShaneMcGrath

      Agree, It should be standard on all headsets,Regardless if it’s budget or high end.

    • Marc L.

      an adjustment with only 3 positions… this is not an IPD adjusfment…

      • Blaexe

        This is very likely an analogue slider.

      • GunnyNinja

        Do you realize that the Rift clicks if you don’t push it in? There are more settings than there are detents. The marks are for reference, not positions. Nothing to stop you from putting it between, but that’s irrelevant to me since I’d be at one end anyway. Might want to read the articles as well, “A physical IPD slider can also be seen in the lower left-hand corner of the headset”

  • mellott124

    Hoping for better optics this time. Their tease was this was going to be a no compromise HMD. That’s quite a tall order. Looks like now they say its next gen and the new standard in VR. Lets hope that’s true.

    • Blaexe

      Marketing. Of course there will be compromises. We’re probably 20 years away from something that is close to a “no compromise” VR headset.

      • G-man

        i dont think you get what no compromise means.

    • Andrew Jakobs

      Oh if it has clear lenses (which I highly doubt) it would be high on my list.

    • silvaring

      Better optics, I take it you mean the size of the sweet spot? That was the only issue with the optics I found, but it was partly my fault because I wear glasses while in VR.

  • Mike

    They said no compromises and it’s still wired lmao… What a waste of time and resources.

    • kuhpunkt

      And having a limited battery life is no compromise?

      • Mike

        Ever heard of swapping? You can cycle 2 or 3 batteries and keep playing non-stop. Besides, most people are done after a solid 4 or 6 hour session.

        • G-man

          thats a compromise, swapping batteries? why does ti come with a 12 hour battery that weights negative weight so it makes the headset lighter? and does it make me a sandwich?

        • kuhpunkt

          No.

    • “I really want wireless” transforms to “What a waste of time and resources”?

      Loudly overstating things based on your personal preferences?

    • wotever99ninynine

      I’m happy wired.

    • G-man

      i dont think you know what no compromise means.

      i dont wat to have to charge batteries to use my mainheadset. i dont want a wireless module built into it that adds weight and has to have a a high bandwidth transceiver.

      is your monitor requiring a hdmi cable a cmpromise? you want something to magically subvert the laws of physics for it to not be a compromise?

  • 144Hz

    My body is ready.

  • Finally, more cameras! Of course, they should position them like the Quest, as I’ve never found them lacking. At least it’s a step in the right direction.

    I just upgraded to a 2070 Super, so now using a higher rez HMD is really possible. But I never liked Lighthouse tracking on the VIVE, nor the price of the Index. I’m hard up enough to try the Rift S, but I feel like there should be a better option. The CS version of the Rift has just been so dependable and comfortable. Where would I go from here?

    • gothicvillas

      Lighthouse tracking is the best. What are you talking about

    • “Buy I never like Lighthouses tracking on the VIVE”

      Can you explain why you didn’t like it? Having owned Oculus, steamVR (1.0 and 2.0) and WMR systems I’ve always found steamVR very performant and extremely robust

      Although the triple camera setup on my CV1 was also impressive and arguably more accurate at dead centre of my playspace than steamVR 1.0, however a real headache of extension cables, cable trunking, signal booster and usb card for PC.

      steamVR was beautifully simple to install in comparison just requiring power.

      https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/d98fc69ffa8d3bb38702776f4031f5b3523824c2895626045d5a586032cd05ea.jpg

      • Henry Ford

        I agree with him after a year of inside out tracking I would not return to base station even if you gave me a index for free

        • I’m interested to hear of issues you’ve had with steamVR tracking (base station / lighthouses), perhaps mounting problem (drilling into wall)?

          Oculus insight tracking is impressive but steamVR 2.0 is very exact, WMR tracking on controllers wasn’t so impressive and felt retrograde after Vive and Rift CV1. Interested to try new Reverb 2.0 if 4 cameras are true.

          I like steamVR for scalability, this was experiment from early 2017 pushing it to limit (we got 9 metres diagonal gap between base stations)

          https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/8051f58456fe0c7c763b3627587f7f83ebcfcd56e3c0e554d48fefaa3e779b08.jpg

          • Rosko

            Valve lighthouses are great, very easy to set up & no tracking issues, they are substantially better than the Oculus CV1 tracking.

        • Andrew Jakobs

          What’s the difference with base stations (at least if you have if set up permanently in your room (like I have)). I wonder how the inside out tracking is in low light (as I have most of the time.. Also tracking of the controllers is still the largest problem if the headset is to track them (once inside-out would be part of the controller itself, there wouldn’t be a problem).

        • James Cobalt

          I had pretty spotty tracking from my 1.0 base stations. The 2.0 work better in a lot of problem environments like mine (too many reflective surfaces!). However, if your property has vibrations (from traffic, subways/trains…), there’s not much you can do.

          • Thank you. I was about to rip this rando a new one. Lighthouse tracking drove me NUTS, as, out of nowhere, hands would fly off. Sometimes my head would take a trip and leave my body behind. I mounted them up in the ceiling, as suggested, aligned them, I really put in alot of work for such POOR RESULTS.

            Compare this to Oculus Rift’s cameras. Because they don’t mark them well, I actually spent the first 2 weeks with one of the cameras turned backwards, so only one camera was actually tracking me, AND STILL HAD BETTER RESULTS THEN LIGHTHOUSES. Once I turned the other camera around, it’s been rock solid ever since.

            My only experience with inside-out tracking is the Quest, and it too has been very dependable. When I start it up, it can sometimes slip for a few seconds, never more then 3, but then it’s rock solid too. The only issue it has is in poorly lit rooms.

            The Index seems like the best of the best headsets, but I just don’t think I’d be willing to invest the time in trying to get those Lighthouses to settle down.

          • James Cobalt

            The ceiling you mounted them to – is there a floor above that people walk on? If so, depending on the give of the joists, those vibrations would throw off the tracking like that too. It’s better to secure them to the walls. When it works, nothing else comes close. When it doesn’t work, your VR avatar is violently quartered to the four winds.

          • mirak

            Never had issues like that with lighthouse, you must have some reflexions or something.

          • G-man

            sounds like you had reflective surfaces in the room

      • Mradr

        1) Setup is always going to a problem. You simply can’t just place them – you have to manage where they have to go
        2) Easy of use in terms of just putting on the headset and going
        3) Easy of play space – you again can go someone elses places – hall way – or living room with no setup and easy in and out.
        4) No dealing with base stations if there are problems
        5) Less cables (power, data, etc)
        6) Base stations add cost – thus doesn’t scale well either way Index could cost more like 800 than the 1000 it is.
        7) Less things that can wear our (Vive base stations have moving parts)

    • mirak

      Just wait, I am still on the Vive 1.

      Also games are not magically better with better resolution, they are still the same games with same mechanics.

      If I was playing a lot of simulations probably I would have changed though.

      • Rolf Berge

        Yes the immersion is better with higher resolution and better optics. I have the Reverb and the Odyssey+, and the immersion is better on the Reverb cause it has much clearer image thanks to higher resolution and better optics.

  • Jeremy Dias

    I just hope HP makes this available in the UAE at a competitive price. VR isnt very popular here because HTC is ruining it with overpriced VIVE COSMOS products. Oculus doesnt even exist here.

  • 3872Orcs

    This looks Index like so not next generation but an update with all the good stuff from first generation put together into one. This looks good for certain. Though I’ll not get my hopes up until I see more specs. I’m worried about field of view and refresh rate.. Index has shown me how much more immersive just a bit more FOV and higher refresh rates can be. I’m sure it will have a similar resolution to the Reverb which is a big plus over the Index though. Also for some people optical tracking is a plus over the Valve base stations. This headset could offer some real competition to the Index depending on the specs. We’ll see.

    I also hope they’ll sell it to all of the developed world unlike Index :(

  • Looking closely at the images, perhaps this is using the index lenses and IPD adjustment assembly, along with BMR ear speakers, face cushion and rear headstrap?

    Basically an index with higher resolution display and WMR 2.0 tracking.

  • gothicvillas

    I’m in the market for 2nd headset and cant wait to see unveiling of this one. HP and Microsoft to hold some press announcement on 28th May. Could it be this??

    • silvaring

      I’m waiting for something like Huawei Glass which eliminates the need for prescription lenses (glasses / contact lenses). That will be a big step up as not all of us want to wear contact lenses just to be comfortable in VR.

  • Sofian
  • Adam Broadhurst

    I’m currntly in possession of a HP Reverb which i’ll be returning for a refund.
    The only thing it has going for it it the best in class display resoultion.
    Everything else from the small sweet spot,dodgy WMD software,heavy cable that constantly tugs the headset doqn to the left,hopeless controllers and a general cheap feel of everything makes it a bad purchase.

    I am however very interested in the G2,if they can fix all or most of these issues whilst retaining the high res display.

    • Charles

      Throw in OLED and I’m sold.

      • MeowMix

        Not if it’s Pentile OLED.
        RGB pixel layout or bust

        • Charles

          Just add 100-200 extra vertical lines of resolution to compensate for Pentile. Or it’s possible they could actually use RGB OLED, like the Playstation VR.

          LCD black levels and contrast are horrible for VR immersion.

          • lnpilot

            200 extra scanlines is not enough.
            You need to almost double the resolution of a pentile display to reach the same image quality as RGB stripes.
            A 1440 x 1440 RGB stripe display will beat a 2k x 2k pentile display, especially when red and blue objects are visible (on pentile, green is about full resolution, but red and blue are half resolution).
            Pentile is a huge waste of GPU (and battery power on a mobile device). You have to render at a much higher resolution and push more pixels through the cable for the same image quality.
            It’s not ideal, but I’ll take the lower contrast of an RGB LCD over a pentile OLED.

          • lnpilot

            I’ve been designing and building VR headsets and tried several RGB stripe and pentile displays. I have 1600×1440 per eye pentiles right now and the red / blue “honeycomb” is so annoying, I’m going back to LCD (until I can get RGB OLED panels).

          • Charles

            It’s true that you waste some GPU power compared to an equivalent-detailed RGB. But based on comparisons I made, you only need like 15% more resolution at the most. The honeycomb pattern goes away at high resolutions or with a diffuser like in the Odyssey+. And in many scenarios, the honeycomb is easier to ignore than the straight lines of RGB, since human vision is evolved to easily detect straight lines. And again, LCD black levels make dark and dim environments completely unconvincing, and dulls bright environments. I consider OLED to be a basic necessary component of convincing VR.

          • lnpilot

            @charleschuckcharlie:disqus I couldn’t disagree more. According to my comparisons, you need almost 2x resolution with pentile to approach the same quality as RGB stripes. My 1600×1440 pentile displays are worse than my old 940×1080 per eye RGB stripe panels.
            And, on the contrary. Honeycomb is a lot more jarring than step artifacts. Nature has a lot of straight and near-lines and the honeycomb pattern creates a messy zig-zag pattern on lines that jumps around as the angle changes. It looks awful.
            SHARP used to sell TVs with honeycomb subpixels and you could spot them from the other side of the store by the ugly artifacts around lines.
            They stopped making those for good reason.

          • Any pictures you can share of your headsets?

          • lnpilot

            Sure. Here’s the old OLED version. The 2k x 2k per eye version is even smaller (no pic yet).
            http://equinox3d.com/VisoR1.html

          • mirak

            This is only true if you can’t address the subpixels directly.
            Carmak discussed about that for the gear vr.
            If you can address subpixels directly it means you can let the GPU do better scaling rather than letting the screen doing it dumbly.

          • lnpilot

            Yes, you can improve bandwidth efficiency if you can address the subpixels, but it makes the GPU-side more complex and the data link less standard. You’ll have to know and match the subpixel layout of the particular display, your framebuffer layout will be more complex, texture caching, off-screen render targets and fulls-screen effects would all be a lot more difficult, and so on.

            It would be a huge pain in the behind and you’d still have the annoying red / blue honeycomb artifacts. That’s a lot harder to antialias than full-RGB subpixels, so it’s a lot more trouble than it’s worth.

          • Fabian

            Image quality is more than sharpness. When it can’t display black it’s bad no matter how sharp it is.

          • mfx

            Pentile wastes a third the definition, so to have the same-ish clarity as a RGB 1000×1000, you need 1500×1500.
            Pentile is one of the worst thing ever created.
            So your 100-200 line fix will work if your screen is around 200-400 pixel large.

          • Charles

            It’s only a third if you ignore the reason Pentile was created in the first place: it’s designed to make it almost look the same as if you had all the subpixels. Yes, it looks a lot worse in VR at low resolutions, but it works better at higher resolution. I’ve compared side-by-side RGB 1440p and Pentile 1600p – the detail level looks about the same. 160 line difference. At 4K, I’d say 250 extra lines is definitely enough to compensate.

          • lnpilot

            That’s interesting I can see a huge difference between RGB and pentile at those resolutions.
            A 1600×1440 pentile display to me looks worse than a 960×1080 RGB stripe panel and much worse than a 1440×1440 RGB panel.
            On the pentile, I can see the red and blue subpixels separated by large black gaps. It looks very distracting.
            For me, it takes about 3k resolution per eye before I have a hard time spotting the difference.
            I guess, it’s a matter of how good your vision is.

          • Charles

            The visual trick Pentile is based on works poorly at lower resolutions, but the 1600p Vive Pro is good enough that the SDE only looks like a fine cloth pattern. A fine cloth pattern is less immersion-breaking than straight lines that the eye is optimized to detect. At 4K, these lines go away, and the cloth pattern likely would too. With the Odyssey+, its diffuser almost completely eliminates the cloth pattern even at 1600p. Also it’s important to differentiate sharpness and low-SDE from legitimate image detail.

          • Charles

            There’s a simple solution to this never-ending debate: release two versions of the headset. Identical specs, but different screen technology. I don’t see any reason HP can’t do this.

          • mirak

            Pentile on the contrary is supposed to optimise the number of subpixels by exploiting the higher sensitivity of the eyes to green luminance.

            But at such low resolution where you can see the pixels, this is more detrimental probably.

          • mfx

            Pentile was invented in collaboration with the marketing teams from Samsung to find a way to pretend smartphone have crazy high screen definition when their manufacturing process was not able to really make true RGB screen with such definitions. So, to still pretend at HD screens, they invented Pentile pretending than human eyes anyways doesn’t need all colors to be reproduced, which is false since the Pentil screen loose the ability by example of creating homogeneous vertical lines! Pentile is a marketing scam and when very high definition screen manufacturing issues won’t exist anymore, it will disappear, but for now it cost way more to create a 2k RGB oled display than a fake 2k Pentile one, and if people continue to believe that it’s ok, why would they stop ?

          • lnpilot

            @mfx123:disqus – That’s exactly what pentile is. A marketing scam! You hit the nail on the head!
            Same for bayer camera sensors. The manufacturer tells you it’s a 16 megapixel sensor, but it’s really only 4 megapixels, because every pixel has a single color filter (e.g. RGGB).

          • mirak

            I don’t like it but it’s not a scam.
            And of course Samsung as marketing interest in doing that.

          • mirak

            You are a fucking idiot.

            Pentile was invented by Candice Brown Eliot in early 2000 https://www.linkedin.com/in/candicebrownelliott/?locale=fr_FR long before Samsung aquired that company.

        • Ashok0

          I’ll take Pentile OLED over LCD any day of the week. The colors on the Index are horrible, I instantly RMA’d mine which is a shame because I wanted to love it.

          • Jonathan Winters III

            Not to mention the immersion breaking problem of blacks appearing as grey on LCD displays.

          • mirak

            lol

            Anyway I played Alyx with the Vive, and at least I experienced it with OLED.

            It’s weird they did a game with a lot of dark places.

        • Fabian

          Even with a pentile matrix I’d prefer OLED any time over LCD.

        • Mradr

          RGB > Pentil for sure for OLED. But if it comes to straight up lets jump the gun to the next res and higher FOV – I would live with a fast switch LCD 4k per eye just fine though. Esp over 130-160 FOV. As for the future of Displays -> Samsung has already stop production of LCD as their main focus and started working on pushing Q-Dot for a lot of reasons – thus the future will be Q-OLED.

  • wotever99ninynine

    Maybe there is finally a headset worthy of upgrading from my Lenovo explorer, although I will sorely miss the flip up headset, and I hope those headphones are removable 8f I want to use my own. Also not entirely sold on the loss of the touchpad, technically I only used it as a d pad, but still. That’s four buttons per controller as opposed to the new 2. Buttons are more ergonomic etc though. Hope it has good controller tracking, especially up close for holding guns for iron sights/ads. And a high res minimum 90hz display.

  • LoneWuff326

    if its priced at 300-500 usd the rift s amd htc vive cosmos could be cooked

    • gothicvillas

      I think this will be more premium than the ones above you mentioned. It probably will cost less than Index but dont expect Rift s bargain.

    • Andrew Jakobs

      Don’t count on it, it will probably be around the same price as the original Reverb ($600+)

    • James Cobalt

      It seems, based on netizen response, reviews, and the estimated sales figures, Cosmos is already cooked.

  • I liked a lot the original Reverb, so I’m very intrigued for this

  • Alextended

    I feel like it might be photoshopped with a mix of WMR and Oculus controllers and some Index features. Maybe. But even if it’s real, keeping in mind it’s meant to be some “premium” ie high priced product I’m not sure it will be worth it over the Rift S (or the Index unless for some reason you really really don’t want to have lighthouse bases). It’s bound to have lesser tracking, the side cameras will help somewhat but not when playing FPS games which WMR has trouble with lining up the two controls for two handed rifles and such. It’d only really be worth watching if it cost about the same as a Rift S (then again Oculus can easily drop the price a bit if this proves to be a contender) and has something to counter the tracking deficiencies, like higher resolution or whatever (the audio alone won’t cut it). Knowing it’s going to be more expensive it’d only be worth it if it had Index-like controllers or something instead of these Oculus style ones.

  • deHavilland

    What I really wonder is whether and how the new Reverb will fit into the Valve lighthouse ecosystem. E.g., will it be possible to use Vive trackers? Current Reverb’s playspace would not synchronize with the Vive’s playspace.

    • Alextended

      No, it’s not lighthouse tracking, it’s inside out tracking, like WMR. Even if this render is fake the previous photos show that much at least.

  • mfx

    Now we are talking, WMR !

  • Smokey_the_Bear

    I was interested…until I noticed the cord, never mind.

    • G-man

      good luck waiting ten years then

  • JesuSaveSouls

    Bigger fov which doesn’t seem will be there.The res doesn’t seem like it will increase since the screen size will most likely be the same.More cameras will be great for better modern tracking.A optional wireless standalone would of been cool like the quest.

  • LastduaL

    My Odyssey+ is still going strong, but if the G2 delivers the Reverb’s resolution plus the Index’s refresh rate with manual IPD adjustment and better controllers, then I might have a hard time resisting the purchase.

  • kaaput

    HP vr headsets r great right from beginning.
    The only issues I found were:
    1. weight : Hope tech. will solve it eventually
    2. tethering cable : what I would prefer is only a small USB power cable for a powerbank kept in pocket & the headset itself to be WIFI capable.
    3. distance from eyes : should be close to eyes

  • Bumpy

    If the resolution is the same as the current Reverb but other things are improved all for a mid market price, it will be a huge winner.

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