HP teases new VR headset with ‘Half-Life: Alyx’ developer Valve

HP is working on a new VR headset with Valve and Microsoft.
Image: HP

Virtual reality (VR) has seen tremendous growth in the past few years because of its usefulness across a wide swath of industries. However, one game is helping build anticipation for VR more than anything. It comes from Valve and is titled “Half-Life: Alyx.”

As the most-anticipated VR game of the year, and something unlike anything we’ve seen before, Valve’s recently-released title has already increased awareness of VR. Now, it may be helping HP sell its own VR headset.

The company teased the gadget with a new page on its website.

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Reverb 2.0

Interestingly, this isn’t HP’s first attempt at making a VR headset. The company best known for its home printers and laptops released Reverb in May of last year. That device launched to mixed reviews as consumers reported screen issues after it sold out during its release window. Its newest VR gadget will be a follow up to Reverb and is still unnamed.

Although there aren’t many details about the headset’s specs, HP calls it a “no-compromise VR headset” and says that it will offer “a more immersive, comfortable, and compatible experience” than the Reverb.

The new headset is a collaboration between HP, Microsoft, and Valve. That could be a fantastic thing for consumers hoping to play games like “Half-Life” on it.

Like its predecessor, the headset should be part of Microsoft’s Windows Mixed Reality lineup. That feature alone will help it in the compatibility department and also ensures that games from Valve’s SteamVR platform will be supported.

The lone image of the headset on HP’s website shows two black spots which are supposedly Windows Mixed Reality tracking cameras. Still, that isn’t a guarantee until HP unveils the technical specs of its new headset.

Going Its Own Way

Currently, the VR headset market is being plagued by a shortage of devices. As consumers want to dive into the immersive VR experience for themselves, manufacturers simply can’t keep up.

With that said, HP’s newest device doesn’t have a release date. As such, it isn’t clear if it will help fill in that shortage.

Nonetheless, it seems that the device will be competitive in a still-growing VR headset marketplace. Consumers simply don’t have that many choices yet. For a budget-friendly option, Oculus’ Rift S is great because of its $399 price tag. Those that want the best headset for VR gaming should turn to Valve’s $999 Index for its industry-leading controllers.

Of course, there are other options in the middle of the road as well. HP is claiming that its new headset is “the new standard in VR.”

This suggests that the headset won’t be budget-friendly and should offer consumers plenty of performance and technical specs. If HP can combine the high-res screen found in its Reverb headset with a set of controllers similar to Valve’s, it could be a gold mine.

Thanks to “Half-Life: Alyx” and the titles that will follow it more gamers will enter the VR world in the coming years. If HP can release a headset capable of playing top-tier games without breaking the bank, it could quickly become a frontrunner in the VR space.


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