The Valve Index Virtual Reality Headset has great screens, fantastic speakers, and very comfortable finger-tracking controllers. There isn’t much not to like—except maybe the $999 price tag. That’s why it’s exciting to see HP partnered with Valve to make a similar headset, dubbed the Reverb G2, at a more affordable $599 price.
The HP Reverb G2 isn’t just a rebadged Valve Index, however. It shares DNA with both the Index headset and the original HP Reverb headset. While you won’t get the Index’s finger-sensing controllers, you will get speakers that look practically ripped from the Valve headset. The Index’s speakers are pretty fantastic, so that good news for Reverb buyers.
For $599, you get 2,160 by 2,160 per eye resolution (which matches the original Reverb), Valve designed lenses, a 20-foot cable, and two controllers. The Reverb G2 includes Microsoft’s spatial audio platform and a new spacial audio format designed by HP labs.
The G2 headset houses four cameras for inside out tracking, so you won’t need to place additional sensors around your room. And HP claims it redesigned the headset to do a better job of distributing weight for comfort. When you need to, the lenses flip-up 90 degrees so you can see around you.
You’ll still need a VR-ready PC, of course. But at $599, you’re getting something more powerful than the $399 Oculus Quest and more affordable than the $999 Valve Index. HP says the Reverb G2 should ship in Fall 2020, and it’s taking pre-orders now.