How to Play PC Games on Gear VR 2017… Right…

This is for NVIDIA owners… sorry AMD peeps. It’s a software limitation.

Stream Theater Start Screen – Post Setup

So, you want to see Second Life™ or any OpenGL game on your Gear VR. Well… you are going to have to learn a lot. You’ll also find few are telling you what the result of their tutorials or apps actually provides. Advertising hype is everywhere. If  O N E  PC or OpenGL game will run or even sort of run, then PC and OpenGL compatibility is the headline. Expect disappointment. I’ll explain what worked for me below.

Visual quality is the next point of disappointment. My S8 has a 4k screen. I normally run it at 2k to save battery. In everyday use, 2k is pretty much retina resolution, way sharp and crisp, beautiful. 4k is overkill. If I didn’t tell you which mode the phone was in, you probably couldn’t guess.

The Gear VR turns the phone up to 4k when connected. Most VR headsets are NOT 4k and thus most media is made for 2k and that media is fuzzy on my 4k screen. Looking at my 1k 24” Samsung monitor is way nicer.

Then there is ‘screen door’… This is a term from the VR-world. The headsets magnify the small screens to fill the field of view. In doing so the individual pixels start to be visually apparent. This creates an effect that looks a bit like looking through a window/door screen. With the S8 it is a very fine screen, but a visible screen. 

So How Do We Play?

The Gear VR 2017 comes with a default app from Oculus. You can buy VR games, watch 360 videos, and more. But, only what the Oculus store has on its shelves. These are easy to buy (some free), download, and setup in the Gear VR. No problems. And there is a lot of stuff besides games.

Oculus games run the spectrum from free to about US$10 max. These are neat to total trash. Some VR games have previews. Many don’t. I play in Second Life and I have lots of firsthand experience buying things without a demo. I’ve decided that is a POOR choice. I want a demo. Show!    me!   the!   demo!

You can watch MLB (baseball) on Intel’s VR. Personally, I think it sucks. You can watch the televised view or move your view to various cameras in the park. The dugout camera is kinda neat and real VR. The televised VR view is OK. It’s a 2D TV hanging in the air. Otherwise, the couch potato broadcast TV version is way better with better visual quality.

So, if we move outside Oculus what can we play? And is it possible to get Second Life running in VR? …umm… sort of…

More page links below…

6 thoughts on “How to Play PC Games on Gear VR 2017… Right…

  1. You gotta try ye olde CtrAltStudio in Oculus mode next!, It ought to be in 3d since it’s doing spherical-mapped side-by-side which isn’t native to either the Nvidia or AMD solutions.

  2. Thanks for writing this. Keep the world posted. I was really excited when I heard you can connect GearVR to a PC. Kind of knew it was too good to be true, otherwise more people would be doing it I think. I did buy a second hand GearVR so hoping it doesnt take too much effort.

  3. Galaxy S8 does not have a 4K screen, I have no idea where you read that. Also, a lot of people I know hadn’t noticed a difference in battery life with lowering the resolution, and in a lot of cases, it can make the device run slower due to the fact that the GPU needs to scale things up and down accordingly. On some apps, things are just outright broken too, because most apps go by your actual display resolution, not software resolution.

  4. There is also a massive difference in the 2960×1440 vs anything lower. Especially in how much screen real estate you have.

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