SteamVR updated with support for the latest Rift runtime

by Ian Hamilton • August 18th, 2015

SteamVR has been updated so it works with the latest Oculus runtime for the Rift, The update should make it easier for developers using Valve’s pipeline to create experiences for the Rift and Vive as well as other headsets.

The update also “Hooked up Oculus compositor in direct mode when going through SteamVR’s compositor interface,” but there are a number of known issues.

Beginning Aug. 20 direct mode will be the only mode supported by Oculus. Oculus is quickly evolving its platform ahead of a planned November release of version 1.0 when the solidified platform will ongoing see support for experiences made with that version of the platform. Until then, though, things will be changing rapidly with version 0.7 on Aug. 20 pulling support for the extended mode which saw the Rift as an external monitor.

The HTC Vive running SteamVR’s platform is slated for release before the end of the year with the Rift expected to ship early next year.

Here is the full list of known issues with the SteamVR Beta update and Oculus direct mode:

— The OVR service often does not give focus properly. In this case, the headset will display a black screen, but the companion window tracking will appear fine (or perhaps updating really slowly). The most reliable workaround appears to be launching the Demo Scene from the Oculus Configuration Utility and then closing it once it comes up. More info here:

— CPU/GPU parallelism is lost.

— Frame timing display shows solid-blue. Switching to raw reveals blocking on ‘distort cpu’. This is from the call to ovrSubmitFrame and is what is killing the cpu/gpu parallelism.

— Uses considerably more gpu memory as everything is double buffered.

— ‘distort gpu’ is a bit higher as it includes a bit more functionality (e.g. timewarp, overdrive, etc.).

— Grid is missing its horizontal lines.

— High quality overlay is not supported (falls back to rasterized quad mode).

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