Doom VFR publisher Bethesda faced heavy criticism yesterday when it was revealed that its latest VR game from id Software was not working on the Oculus Rift, but everything seems to be working itself out.
Though compatible with SteamVR, which is designed to support all VR headsets whether optimized or not, Doom VFR booted Rift players back out when reaching the title screen, while it worked fine on the HTC Vive (the only PC-based platform it’s been officially released on) and even on at least some of the new Windows-based mixed reality headsets. At the time, it seemed entirely possible that Bethesda may have deliberately blocked Rift support, perhaps due to an ongoing legal dispute between its parent company, ZeniMax Media, and Oculus itself.
However, as we reported late last night, SteamVR creator Valve promptly issued an update to the platform’s optional beta version that “added placeholder hidden area mesh for Rift users as a work around for Doom VFR and other titles experiencing launch issues.”
We’re not exactly sure what that means, but we can indeed confirm Doom VFR — which launched today — now works with the Oculus Rift.It works pretty well, aside from a few performance issues which are likely on the PC side, but the button layout translates very comfortably. Valve’s Joe Ludwig, meanwhile, did explain a little about what a ‘mesh area’ means, though.
Mostly what he said. Except it’s used to kill pixels rather than geo. Because VR rendering is usually fill bound. See Alex Vlachos’s second(?) VR rendering talk for details.
— Joe Ludwig (@joeludwig) December 1, 2017
The question remains, though, as to if this was an intentional block on Bethesda’s part, or if it was a simple bug. The company hasn’t replied to our requests for comment sent as soon as this story broke, but we’ve asked once more now that the situation has seemingly resolved itself.
Either way, Rift owners can now start enjoying the game which is a very good thing. Earlier this morning we updated our official review with new impressions on the Vive version and found it to be a fair bit better than the PSVR edition.