HP Reverb hopes to solve a problem other VR headsets haven’t cracked
The headset is compatible with Steam VR and Windows VR titles.
One of the issues plaguing VR‘s mainstream adoption (besides the high pricing) is the “screen-door effect,” which is caused by you being close enough to the screen to see the gaps between each individual pixel. This is a minor inconvenience at best, but for people like myself, it makes using VR insufferable. HP has almost cracked the problem, with their new Reverb VR headset that’s aimed at professionals.
The $600 HMD (head-mounted display) has a 2,160 x 2,160 resolution per eye (making it a 4K headset at 4320 x 2160 combined), with a field of view of 114 degrees. With most people having a field of view of 170 degrees or so, it’s not quite up to the lifelike vision, but it’s a marked improvement over console or PC viewports, which are often set at 60 degrees and 90 degrees, respectively.
Interestingly, those screens are LCD when most of the competition (Samsung’s Odyssey, HTC Vive Pro, etc) are using AMOLED screens to reduce the screen door effect.
There’s also going to be a $649 Enterprise-focused version of the HMD, which comes with a leather facemask instead of the fabric one of the cheaper version, plus a 0.6m cable that’s custom made to connect to HP’s backpack PC. Both versions use the same wireless controllers as the prior Mixed Reality headset ($279), which follow the specs laid down by Microsoft for Mixed Reality headsets. They’re pretty good at tracking position, although neither of the new models has either room sensors or eye sensors, something that other HMDs of a similar price do include.
The 1.1 lb weight of the HP Reverb will likely win it some points with Beat Saber fans, as the headset is compatible with Steam VR and Windows VR titles. Both models have included inbuilt headphones, that can be removed if you prefer to use your own set.
The HP Reverb will be available in April, starting at $600.
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