The Second Life™ blogosphere is mostly silent on the state of VR in SL. A few blogs are covering the release of a sort of updated CtrlAltStudio viewer, version 126.96.36.199412. This is a viewer based on the Firestorm viewer version 4.6.9 from December 2014.
The viewer does support Oculus Rift CV1… the commercial retail consumer product.
However, there is a lot of stuff that has been added to SL since 12/2014. Money transaction security, inventory and more. Because of these changes many things are not going to work in this viewer. For more on what does and doesn’t work see Inara’s article: CtrlAltStudio issues Oculus CV-1 update.
It is NOT going to be a viewer you will want to use daily. It probably isn’t a viewer you will want to use. If you have an Oculus or for those that want to experiment with a VR headset, it is their only choice at least for now.
So, what are third party developers going to do? We haven’t heard.
But, we can speculate. If this were just a matter of adding support for the CV1 style of duel image render, I think we could expect third party developers to add the render style. I don’t see that happening because the User Interface (UI) needs to drastically change to fit the immersive experience.
We mays see some developers try to adapt the current UI to Head Mounted Display. Or use CtrlAltStudio’s modified UI. Or build something of their own.
I gathered David, of CtrlAltStudio, was hoping for a better UI from the Lab. I don’t know what we got in the recent release of the Lab’s Oculus Viewer. I didn’t try it before it was gone. Nor did I see screen shots of the UI. So, was it better or worse? I haven’t heard, other than that the viewer sucked. But, most of those comments are about performance not the UI. So… it looks like someone will have to come up with a UI for SL VR.
No matter what the third party developers do, it is likely to be some time before we see anything coming from them. Or Henri may pop VR support into Cool VL Viewer just to show it can be done quickly. But, I won’t be holding my breath for a quick solution.
Also, it looks like VR adoption is going slower than many thought. Early game developers are seeing way slow sales. VR game prices are dropping and if you are thinking of buying a VR game, look for it on sale somewhere.
The Obduction game from Cyan Worlds is Oculus and, I think, Vive ready. It releases late this month. Cyan is known for being the first with new tech. So, I expect it to one of the more impressive games. Way back in the like the second-grade Cyan was releasing Myst and pushing the sale of CD drives… CD… not DVD. Now they may be the push for VR headsets.
Almost the same day Obduction is released NVIDA releases their GTX1060 video card with a MSRP of US$270±. It has all the tech, but not the performance, of the GTX1080 ($700±). That tech includes a 3x increase in VR render speed. I assume that is in relation to the GTX960 ($100 eBay). With the GTX980’s still going for $250 to $350, I may wait until late in the month to complete my new machine.
I’ll be publishing a series on upgrading computers on the cheap and explain how to know what is fast, actually improves SL performance, and what is just hyped as fast. There are some really cheap ways to get more speed from old machines.