HP Reverb G2 Review-IGN

The HP Reverb G2 is a gradual upgrade of the 2019 Reverb G1 VR headset. It improves the VR experience in some important ways, but less often deals with others. If this was 2018, we would be having a completely different conversation now. However, the G2 originally arrived a few months after the Oculus Quest 2, and comparisons with much cheaper headsets are often not flattering. The question we need to answer: Does the Reverb G2 make sense for everyone? If so, does it make sense for everyone?

HP Reverb G2 Review

HP Reverb G2 – Design and Features

Let’s get this out of the way in advance. The Reverb G2 delivers a high resolution of 2160×2160 pixels per eye, a maximum refresh rate of 90Hz, and a field of view of 114 degrees. I think that’s the main reason why VR gamers are interested in this headset in the first place. But if you can be both impressed and overwhelmed at the same time, well, here it is. Objectively, these are formidable specs. For comparison, Oculus Quest 2 places 1832×1920 pixels in front of each, but now it’s also 90Hz. Still, the Reverb G2 wins in overall performance.

Keep in mind, however, that these have the same specifications as those found on the Reverb G1. It’s not leaning forward, but HP has recycled existing hardware without increasing resolution.The HP Reverb G2 is a tether headset that uses inside-out tracking. This means you need to connect it to your gaming PC via the included 20ft cable. A headset is a dumb terminal that relies on a PC for processing. Instead of a wall-mounted sensor, the headset has a camera mounted on it. Understand its position in space and hold the table in the controller.

First and foremost, the G2 has improved both of these design elements over the original G1. HP has slimmed down the cables so you don’t have to worry about chasing after them while playing. It also doubles the number of cameras and adds a pair of side-mounted cameras to the two forward-facing lenses for improved tracking range and accuracy. ..

The headset is the most comfortable I’ve ever worn. For example, there is no comparison with either version of Oculus Quest. Both are considered very aggressive and unpleasant and can only be considered intentional. Compared to the Valve Index, which I found reasonably comfortable, this headset is significantly better.

The face pad has a soft cushion around every surface that comes in contact with the head, so you can sit comfortably on your head with just the right amount of tension. It weighs only 1.2 pounds, so you can hold your head in place with light tension. And because it doesn’t house a computer or battery, it won’t get out of balance or make the front heavier. Adjust with 3 velcro straps. It may look a little behind the tension dial, but it’s easy to find the right one so you can wear it for long sessions without getting tired.

The G2 also has genius features that will soon become essential. You can see the outside world with the headset facing up, so you don’t have to remove the headset completely to avoid talking or tripping. dog.

If you have a small speaker hanging from each strap and you need to hear something in the real world, you can rotate it up out of the way. These speakers, which have the same design as the valve index, provide good audio, but don’t cover your ears like headphones do.

The only other feature on the outside of the headset is the IPD slider. Unlike Quest2, which is limited to three fixed presets, the G2 uses a continuous slider so you can dial with the most comfortable and accurate interpupillary distance.

The controller is virtually the same as the one that comes with most other headsets. They feel a bit weird-they’re ridiculously heavy with an oversized tracking ring-but with four button (two action buttons and a menu and a Windows button) trigger, a grip button, and a thumbstick, it’s easy to use. is. They work with a pair of AA batteries and seem to provide long battery life.

HP Reverb G2 – Setup

Setting up the Reverb G2 is a lot easier than a first-generation outside-in headset, but it’s more cumbersome than starting out with something like Quest 2. This is a tether headset, so you need to connect the headset to your PC. Your PC must be running a Nvidia GeForce GTX 1060 or higher. However, we do not recommend it. Good performance was obtained during testing, but even the GeForce RTX 2060 Super and Intel Core i7 combo was rarely interrupted.

The DisplayPort and USB cable are disconnected from the small breakout box. The USB port does not provide enough power for the headset, so you need to connect the box to the AC adapter. The resulting rat wire nest looks like a sci-fi movie prop from the 90’s.

On the other hand, one cable from the breakout to the headset is so thin and light that it’s very easy to insert and remove, so unplug the headset and wrap the cable near your PC and elsewhere. headset. It is inserted behind the face padding and magnetically slides into place. In fact, it’s pretty elegant.

To get started, just connect your headset to your PC. The G2 relies on Windows 10’s Windows Mixed Reality (WMR) capabilities, so your PC must recognize it immediately and automatically install and run the required software.

However, before we get into VR, we need to define a playspace. Unless, like me, you’re doing it alone and your space is behind your PC, it’s not that hard. The problem is: WMR, like all the tether headsets I’ve used, assumes the playspace is in front of the PC and doesn’t consider any other configuration. Using the skills of the gymnast, he had to hang his headset in the air in the middle of the playspace and at the same time lean around his desk and monitor to complete the PC-based setup using the keyboard. This process didn’t make me admire the Reverb G2, especially as the painless setup of Quest 2 was still fresh in my head.

If you want to play (and play) Steam VR games, you need to install the Steam VR app. Once configured, you can launch WMR or Steam into VR, but the two experiences are different and different.

HP Reverb G2 – Games

Whether you’re on the WMR portal, playing SteamVR games like Half Life: Alyx, or in mixed reality with titles like Racket: Nx, the screen effect is gone for all intents and purposes. .. Identifies a clear grid structure that distinguishes individual pixels.

In fact, I went back to a game I hadn’t played for a while and noticed that I saw them again through a new, sharper eye. Remember Audioshield, the predecessor of Beat Saber? The background is gorgeous. Have you ever played the final assault of a great RTS game or solved puzzles in the fascinating Rooms: A Toymaker’s Mansion? Everything is so crisp that it features a whole new ultra-realistic texture. And then there’s Alyx-at the beginning of the game, I was able to endlessly be amazed by the cityscape of Dystopia. Then, underground, the graphics were so intense that I had serious problems playing the game. (I don’t like jump scare in VR. Please appeal.)

Unfortunately, when you see the title of the inside action, it’s clear that HP’s inside-out design isn’t perfect. Only four cameras are installed, and if you get too close to your body, you will not be able to see behind or directly in front of you. This means that the headset’s controller tracking can get too far off the rails and affect gameplay. .. It was not uncommon for BeatSabre to lose track of the controller from time to time. And when I apparently blocked the beat to the other side, the aforementioned audio shield was often overlooked.

If that’s the whole story, I could still forgive the Reverb G2. After all, it wins in resolution and comfort. But the fatal flaw in the G2 is not the tracking of the controller, but the underlying design. It’s the fact that it’s a tethered headset. For example, the number of trips to a cable is not counted. And reliance on WMR complicates everything without really paying off. For example, redrawing the border is a challenge. You can do it with a quest in seconds.

And where are the new features that make you want to choose Reverb 2? Quest offers complete sci-fi caliber hand tracking, not to mention an integrated health and fitness dashboard. The G2 WMR portal, on the other hand, is a home that looks like 2016 Abandonware.

While some might argue that reverb gives you access to richer and deeper games than standalone headsets like Quest, Oculus Link gives you all the options you can do with reverb. ..

That said, I think you understand why it’s okay for HP to release Reverb G2 for the first time in 2020. This headset is not for you or me. Of course, this is optional. Especially for gamers who can’t sign in to their Facebook account to use the quest. But more importantly, HP is playing corporate with Reverb G2. An extended version of this headset, the Reverb G2 Omnicept Edition, includes internal sensors such as eye tracking, pupil measurement, face cam, and heart rate sensor. Leveraging these tools, HP’s Omnicept software allows developers to create VR applications that can respond to users in real time. For example, in a training scenario, the evaluator can monitor the user’s reaction in real time and change the complexity of the simulation accordingly. This is a truly great application for VR, and HP is pioneering this exciting new market with the Reverb G2.

The consumer version of the Reverb G2 is sold in gravy, so compared to some competing products, the G2 feels like a product that has been trapped in amber since 2017.

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