Oculus isn’t giving up on PC-based virtual reality yet. It’s been three years since the original Oculus Rift launched, and you’d be forgiven for thinking Oculus’s attention was elsewhere. All we’ve heard about the past year and a half was its standalone headset, the upcoming Oculus Quest, due to release this spring.
But as it turns out, Oculus has two headsets releasing this spring. Announced this morning at GDC, the Oculus Rift S is the Quest’s PC equivalent and the Rift’s proper successor, a slightly higher-end headset at a relatively affordable price.
That dreaded low-resolution “screen door effect” that’s dogged virtual reality imaging since its inception just got blown off its hinges by HP’s Reverb VR headset.
Announced Tuesday at HP Reinvent in Houston, the Reverb boasts twice the resolution of its predecessor—2,160×2,160—plus a wider 114-degree field of view. The Reverb is the highest-resolution HMD (head-mounted display) that’s shipping among “major” makers, the company said.
That caveat of “major” HMD makers obviously excludes such smaller projects as Pimax’s 8K headset. Even so, HP’s Reverb will likely ship ahead of Pimax’s unit.
Microsoft’s HoloLens 2 is a technically amazing device. In a matter of minutes, the device was comfortably strapped to my head, my eyes were scanned, and a small hummingbird was fluttering in front of my face and “landing” on my outstretched hand.
Then I looked to the right, and the hummingbird disappeared. Microsoft made a big deal of HoloLens’s two-fold increase in field of vision (FOV) over the original version’s, but it’s still small enough where I was very aware of the edges of the frame. It might look and feel like a VR headset, but it doesn’t behave like one at all. It’s not really anything like the augmented reality (AR) apps on your phone, either. But it’s definitely a bridge to something better in the not-so-distant future.