HP Launches Improved Version of the Reverb G2 in the US
The updated version includes various commonly requested improvements. The new edition of the Reverb G2 should also provide better controller tracking, thereby solving the most criticized weak point in the Reverb G2 V1.
HP has today launched an updated version of its Reverb G2 headset for the US market with improvements in eye-relief, controller tracking and AMD compatibility. On top of the headset’s improvements, there are also changes in the Mixed Reality Portal software in Windows 11 that are geared towards streamlining the experience for SteamVR users and improving the performance.
When it was launched in 2020, the Reverb G2 was a major upgrade over the headset’s predecessor. It had better image clarity, improvements in the ergonomics and the audio but it still fell short on the controller tracking coverage and lacked eye-relief adjustment that limited the field of view of the headset.
HP now says its updated Reverb G2 takes care of some of these concerns but the improved version will only be available in the US market for now.
HP says that it has adjusted the headset’s cameras resulting in a 30% improvement in the vertical coverage, particularly for “resolving blind spots above and below the waist.” The company has also said that there is a hardware change in the cameras and some software changes though it did not divulge what this change entails.
Eye Relief and Field of View
For the eye-relief, the updated Reverb G2 will feature a new facepad that has a removable spacer. The eye-relief is set to 15mm with the spacer attached just like in the original Reverb G2. It is, however, reduced to 9mm with the spacer removed and this will enable wearers to realize a maximum field-of-view. A difference of 9mm and 15mm may not be significant but it will certainly help.
When the original Reverb G2 was launched last year, it exhibited some spotty compatibility issues with AMD hardware. According to HP, the updated Reverb G2 now has a new cable to provide for “increased compatibility with AMD systems, resolving connection issues.” The company didn’t divulge much details on what has changed or the previously problematic AMD hardware that the new update addresses.
The new cable is set to ship with the updated HP Reverb G2 hardware although you can still buy it for use with the original HP Reverb G2 to address the AMD compatibility issues. However, if you have recently purchased a Reverb G2 headset, you might even get one with a warranty.
Windows 11 Improvements for the Mixed Reality Portal
Virtual reality users still using the Reverb G2 headset or any other Windows VR headset as SteamVR headsets will notice that the Mixed Reality Portal feels a little bulky/cumbersome and is almost like an obstacle that stands between the VR headset and the SteamVR library.
Microsoft is now shipping a number of updates to the Mixed Reality Portal with Windows 11, aiming to streamline the software, particularly for SteamVR users.
Users will, for instance, be able to practically bypass the Mixed Reality home environment and head straight into Stream VR.
However, users who want to use the Mixed Reality Portal home environment now have a new space known as Infinite Expanse which, according to Microsoft, has been designed to utilize less system resources so as to maximize the performance when it is running other virtual reality applications.
The improved Windows 11 Mixed Reality Portal software also provides users with greater control over when the software will launch itself. Previously, the software would normally launch any time the headset was connected or when it was power-cycled. The update brings a new option that enables users to change that behavior making the software launch once the proximity sensor of the headset has been triggered.
Availability of the Improved Reverb G2
HP revealed that the improved version of Reverb G2 will be shipped for any new purchases of the Reverb G2 headset in the US market from today. The company has also conveniently discounted the headset by $50, down from its MSRP of $600. HP hasn’t indicated whether it will sell the updated Reverb G2 headset outside the US market.
It’s clear whether users will be able to physically differentiate the original Reverb G2 from the updated one.