Is The HP Reverb A Good Headset For VR Gaming? Let's Find Out!
Today I am testing out the HP Reverb Windows Mixed Reality VR headset. I want to thank HP for providing me with the hardware for this review. Since this is a long video I have broken it into sections for those who wish to skip through certain parts:
0:47 – Unboxing
5:57 – First impressions
13:49 – Testing in Elite Dangerous
18:16 – Musical Interlude because I’m nerdy and couldn’t resist! [;]-)
21:16 – Final thoughts and Reverb G2 speculation.
Overall the Reverb is billed as an enterprise facing VR headset that is intended mostly for simulation and training scenarios. It was designed as a headset for use cases where having a higher resolution but less precise tracking is OK. However with a price tag of $649 that puts it somewhere between an Oculus Rift S at $399 and an Index at $999 so with its impressive specs and decent price the Reverb has caught the attention of gamer’s as well.
The biggest question I had going into this review was, “Can the Reverb be a good headset for VR gaming?” and after using the Reverb for a few weeks I can say the answer is both yes and no. So why yes and no? Well… first the pro’s of this headset. The visuals on the Reverb are great and only rivaled IMHO by the upcoming Pimax 8KX! The 2160 x 2160 per eye displays blend nicely to form an image that is both crisp and colorful with decent black levels and minimal SDE. The next thing I loved about the Reverb is its form factor. The design of this headset is almost identical to the Oculus Rift CV1 and I found it very comfortable and familiar because of this! I will also say that this is the lightest weight headset I currently have out of 10 others to compare it to. When adjusted properly it almost feels as if I am wearing a slightly heavy baseball cap and for me that was very comfortable.
Now on to the con’s of the Reverb… Well as I eluded to earlier in this review the Reverb’s biggest drawback is that fact that it is a 2 camera inside out tracked Windows Mixed Reality headset. I found that for most FPS and action games that the tracking of the controllers and shortness of the cable made it difficult to get immersed in the VR worlds. Because of these two issues with the Reverb I just don’t feel it is a viable headset for stand-up and room-scale gaming. Another slightly annoying aspect of the headset was a small amount of warping in the direct center of my vision. I really don’t know how to describe it other than being a very slight bubble or fish-eye distortion. Overall it was easily overlooked after a while and TBH I rarely noticed it in games where the action had me moving my head quickly.
So overall I would say that for the price the HP Reverb would be a great headset for Sim gamer’s to look into if visual clarity is the most important thing. This is a great headset to ingest your favorite flight or driving sim and other sit-down games as well as movie and TV watching. If you are looking for a headset for shooter games and hack n slash dungeon crawlers and FPS then the decision on this headset would really come down to how tolerant you are with tracking glitches.
I guess the big question is would I buy the HP Reverb as a VR gaming headset right now? well that really depends but personally I would wait to see what HP is cooking up with the recently teased HP Reverb G2. From the teaser it looks to be a new reverb that was co designed with both Microsoft and Valve! Could this be the first WMR/SteamVR hybrid headset to hit the market? Even if HP managed to just get Steam VR external tracking added to the original Reverb that would be an amazing headset and one that I would reach for time after time!
I will be keeping an eye out for more news on this new headset from HP and hopefully we can get one here on the channel to review once more details become available so stay tuned! -)
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