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Valve adds Oculus Rift DK2 support to SteamVR

Valve adds Oculus Rift DK2 support to SteamVR

The Oculus Rift DK2 hardware is now supported in Valve's SteamVR middleware, complete with positional tracking for Windows and OS X users.

Valve has announced an update to its SteamVR beta, adding support for the new positional tracking system used in the Oculus Rift Developer Kit 2 (DK2) design.

Oculus VR's latest hardware design is an undeniable improvement over its first-generation hardware, boasting a more accurate means of tracking the user's head movements and a higher-resolution display that dodges the visible-pixel problem of the first generation. To make the most of its new features, however, client software needs to be updated - and Valve's SteamVR middleware has received just such an update.

According to the company's official change log, the latest release of SteamVR - which is still a beta - adds full support for the Oculus Rift DK2 hardware, with positional tracking supported on both Windows and OS X but not Linux or Valve's own Steam OS platforms. The update also fixes an issue that could cause the middleware application itself, vrserver.exe, to run even when no head-mounted display is detected and to slowly increase its share of CPU time until the system is bogged down completely.

As a beta, it's unsurprising to see that there are still some issues that need to be resolved: as well as adding support for DK2 head-tracking on Linux and Steam OS, Valve has confirmed that the current beta still only supports the 'Extend Desktop' multi-monitor mode and can take a good few seconds to gracefully fail if the Oculus driver application isn't running when a head-mounted display tries to contact it.

Those who have been lucky enough to receive their Oculus Rift DK2 hardware over the last few weeks will need to manually opt-in to the beta through the Steam desktop application in order to take advantage of the latest improvements.

11 Comments

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runadumb 18th August 2014, 13:03 Quote
Tried it last night and Steam VR is very cool.
Half-life 2 is jaw dropping. I had many "wow" moments but the flying buzzsaw things are something else.
Its hard to explain but the 3D is particularly impressive. The world just feels utterly believable.

Downside is I (currently) have to stop and rest after 30 mins as it makes me feel quite ill. Hoping that will improve. The loading screens don't have head tracking and if I don't keep very still, they can dial up the vomit factor fast.
Griffter 18th August 2014, 13:09 Quote
i am the unlucky one i guess...
schmidtbag 18th August 2014, 15:38 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by runadumb
Downside is I (currently) have to stop and rest after 30 mins as it makes me feel quite ill. Hoping that will improve. The loading screens don't have head tracking and if I don't keep very still, they can dial up the vomit factor fast.

I've heard about this problem - common for people who get motion sickness. I heard the Oculus Rift team is supposedly finding a way to fix this but I don't see how that's physically possible. The reason motion sickness happens is your eyes tell your brain that you're moving but the rest of your senses disagree, which gets your brain to think you're poisoned. And what does a healthy body do to poison? Vomit. So, unless they can find a way to stimulate the vestibule, I don't see how they can prevent motion sickness.

In the meantime, I'd suggest taking some Dramamine.
runadumb 18th August 2014, 15:56 Quote
I'll just plough on through. I've gotten much better since getting the rift 3 weeks ago. Some demos made me ill after only a few minutes at the start.

Baby steps and all that.
schmidtbag 18th August 2014, 16:07 Quote
Well, motion sickness is a lot less severe when you're the one in control. If you're careful with the movement of the camera and don't run a lot in the game, you won't get sick that easily. But sit back to ride a virtual roller coaster and suddenly you need a new keyboard.
rollo 18th August 2014, 17:09 Quote
That's a flaw VR will never solve, tablets to play a video game can't see that working out too well in truth. Surprised there's no steam OS support.
phuzz 18th August 2014, 19:37 Quote
I also felt a bit out of sorts after half an hour of HL2, and I don't get motion sickness, and I'd been fine with all the other OR demos I've tried so far. It mainly seemed to be the speed of movement, standing still and looking around was ok.

I'm sure they're working on SteamOS support, but you have a combination of graphics drivers, the Oculus middleware and then the game engine to get working together and it's still a bit of a faff on Windows.
runadumb 19th August 2014, 00:02 Quote
Lasted an hour tonight. Holy crap is HL2 impressive in VR!
edzieba 19th August 2014, 08:57 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by rollo
That's a flaw VR will never solve
Remember when people got motion sick playing Doom and Quake? that's a problem 3d video games will never solve!

In the near-term, the easy solution is not to produce games with vestibular mismatch; the only motion of the viewpoint being that produced by physical head movement. Cockpit-sims being an obvious example. There are also tricks that can be used to allow for alternate movement controls with minimal disturbance to the vestibular system (as we're good at sensing accelerations, but not velocity).
forum_user 23rd August 2014, 16:07 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by runadumb
Lasted an hour tonight. Holy crap is HL2 impressive in VR!

Tonight, I too shall be dining on HL2 impressiveness after collecting my DK2 from the UPS depot. Although having seen the Elite Dangerous + DK2 vids on YouTube, it's difficult to know which game to start with!
rainbowbridge 24th August 2014, 00:22 Quote
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