All about the new virtual reality headsets announced at GDC 2019 – From March 18th to 22nd, 2019, the #GDC2019 (Game Developers Conference) took place in San Francisco, California, where the latest developments in game development are showcased every year.
Among the many immersive technology announcements, three new VR headsets set to release in 2019 were unveiled: the Pico Neo 2, the HP Reverb (the first high-end headset on the Windows VR platform), and the highly anticipated Oculus Rift S.
Oculus Rift S | Photos, features, price, and release date
As the evolution of the previous Oculus Rift, the new headset from Facebook went on sale on May 23rd, 2019, at a price of €449, and it includes several upgrades, such as:
- New displays: The resolution has increased from 2160×1200 to 2560×1440, the same as the standalone Oculus Go headset. This improvement will undoubtedly provide sharper images.
- New controller design, which conceptually resembles the Oculus Touch controllers, with the only difference being that the tracking ring is located at the top end.
- 5 inside-out tracking cameras: The major revolution for this headset will be the removal of external sensors in favor of 5 inside-out tracking cameras. This means saying goodbye to the old Oculus Rift’s constellation system, which relied on multiple external sensors connected via USB, and moving towards the standalone Oculus Quest, where tracking is handled by built-in cameras. In this case, there will be not just 4 cameras, but even 5, with two on the front, one on each side, and one on the top, providing significantly greater tracking coverage.
- Improved comfort: Similar to the PlayStation VR headset, the Rift S will also adopt Lenovo’s patented strap system, which will distribute the weight more evenly on the head, making the headset more comfortable.
- Interpupillary Distance Calibration: This new Oculus model does not feature hardware adjustment for interpupillary distance but only through software.
Like the previous model, the Rift S is PC-dependent and can be used on both the Oculus PC Store and mainstream platforms such as Steam VR. The apps that have been released and will be released will be compatible with both versions of the Oculus Rift.
For more information on the Oculus Rift S, visit the official website.
Release Date: May 23, 2019
HP Reverb | Photos, Features, Price, and Release Date
HP Reverb is the first “high-end” headset on the Windows VR system, released in April at a cost of $599. Primarily targeting enterprise users, it has the highest resolution among Windows VR headsets and features a lightweight design intended for comfort.
- New displays: Upgrading from a resolution of 1,400 x 1,400 per lens, it offers a total resolution of 4,320 x 2,160, allowing for better text readability due to increased pixel density. The field of view (FOV) will also be slightly wider, reaching 114 degrees, slightly higher than the previous version.
- It is available in two versions, a consumer version and a Pro version, which have the same design but differ in the mask finish, warranty, and the inclusion of an extra 0.6m cable.
- Extreme attention to comfort: as previously mentioned, the HP Reverb will be extremely lightweight and comfortable (500 grams, slightly more than the 470 grams of Oculus Rift and HTC Vive) and will feature integrated compact headphones that can be removed.
- The inside-out tracking has been confirmed and retained from the previous model.
Price: $599 for the Consumer Edition, $649 for the Pro Edition.
Release: April 2019
Pico Neo 2 | Photos, features, price, and release date
The second model from Pico Neo will be a standalone headset following in the footsteps of rivals HTC VIVE Focus Plus and Oculus Quest, but it will have the innovative feature of being able to switch between standalone mode and “streaming” mode by connecting wirelessly to a PC, making it a true PC headset completely free from cables.
Among the three headsets announced at GDC, the Pico Neo 2 is the one for which we will have to wait longer to get more details and design images. Coming soon!
Price: Not announced.
Release: Second half of 2019.