One of the major challenges of ramping up support for the fledgling VR industry is ensuring interoperability for major VR platforms. In theory, games should look identical on every headset, but companies that optimize for one specific platform over another may be able to wring specific advantages out of doing so. If you know how the Oculus Rift’s lenses make content look versus the HTC Vive, for example, it could prove easier to optimize for those specific lenses. Sliding backwards on overall compatibility, meanwhile, isn’t a goal that serves anyone’s interests.
That’s more-or-less what’s happened with AMD’s Radeon GPUs and a recent Oculus Home update, according to Tom’s Hardware. Prior to this, AMD GPUs had no problem with Oculus Home, but afterwards, forums filled up with complaints that VR was now useless. Initial tests didn’t isolate the issue, but follow-ups confirmed that everyone with the problem was running a Radeon GPU. Interestingly, the problem isn’t confined to one single Radeon model or even GCN variant; THG reports problems with GCN 1.0 (Tahiti) 1.1 (Hawaii) and 1.4 (Polaris). Text in the headset is being rendered like this:
THG states the update to Oculus Home is the result of a problem in the AMD driver, which I don’t agree with–if your product works perfectly and then I update my software in a way that breaks your hardware, I’m clearly the person that caused the problem. While it’s always possible that the issue arose because my software update does something your hardware didn’t expect, or that triggered a latent issue in the driver, the proximate cause of the hairball is still the software update. Regardless of this semantic niggle, it’s going to have to be AMD to fix the problem–Oculus has already said it won’t push any more updates for the DK2 and that the device is no longer supported.
So far, the issue appears to be specific to the DK2 and AMD Radeon cards, but let us know if you’ve had any trouble with the headset with other GPUs (or seen the same problem on the mainstream Oculus Rift). While there were never many DK2 owners, they were the early adopters that helped set the stage for the current platform–hopefully AMD can resolve this issue with an update to its own software or persuade Oculus to fix it on their end.
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