HP is set to release a new version of its Reverb G2 PC VR headset, taking on community feedback and making improvements to the headset’s tracking, design and compatibility.
The Reverb G2 launched almost a year ago, with a display that beat the Quest 2 and Valve Index, along with two additional cameras compared to the original Reverb and improved lenses and audio, produced in partnership with Valve. In our review, we noted that the headset itself had an incredible display, but was let down by less-than-ideal controllers and fairly consistent tracking issues.
A year on, HP is looking to address some of those concerns with an updated G2 model that makes a few hardware and software changes that it hopes should bring the headset back into the limelight. In the press release, HP admitted that “when it comes to controller tracking, good isn’t good enough” and therefore have “refined” its tracking capabilities with an upgrade that increases tracking volume “by 30% compared to our original headset and resolving blind spots above and below the waist.” This change will also apply to the Reverb G2 Omnicept Edition.
There’s no more specific details on exactly how this change has come about — given it’s a new model being released and there’s been an increase in vertical tracking capabilities, it seems like a physical hardware adjustment to the tracking camera, but the release doesn’t confirm that specifically.
One confirmed physical change to the new headset model is an “all-new facemask design that enables users to adjust their eye relief distance to ensure they can better dial into their visual ‘sweet spot’.” It also now includes a spacer that can be removed, which wasn’t previously an option on the original model — with the spacer in, eye relief distance is 15mm (the same as the fixed amount on the original G2), with it out, that comes down to 9mm.
In terms of compatibility, HP says it worked with AMD and “developed a solution that has resolved connection issues that some users experienced” with a redesign version of the 6m connection cable. This will be included with all new G2 models, but is also available to purchase independently for existing G2 owners.
In terms of software, HP outlined changes that Microsoft has made to the Windows Mixed Reality platform, with the new settings and features in Windows 11, such as a new virtual home environment that is less resource-intensive and better for performance. Three’s also a setting that lets you bypass the Windows Mixed Reality home environment on startup and launch straight into SteamVR, which goes a long way to fixing our frustrations with the headset’s attachment to the stagnant WMR platform from last year.
You can read the full release with further details on the new G2 changes here. HP says that new G2 purchases should include all of the upgrades listed above.