Oculus DK2 and why it’s just a bit Meh

IMG_5593Arrival of the DK2.

So my DK2 arrived just before i was gonna head out the door for a weeks holiday. I thought maybe i can quickly set it up for a half hour play…. but no, the DK2 was not plug n play. It came up with some error where the config could not find the device. So i went on holiday disappointed.

When i arrived home of course i immediately went back to seeing what i needed to fix in order to use the DK2. Turns out the problem was because i am a Mac user… oh that old chestnut. The DK2 uses the SDK4 and at that point there was no SDK4 for the Mac or Linux Platforms.

A month later SDK4.1 arrives with Mac support. HAZZAH!?…right?… well… this is where things start to get really frustrating.. or concerning.


It’s my own fault?

FacebOculus have stated from the start that the DK2 is for DEVELOPERS ONLY. While I’m not a developer in a code monkee sense, i do plan to use the oculus to explore creative developments in Second Life and High Fidelity Virtual Worlds. But the DK2 really is still an experimental Kit with bugs and serious compatibility issues with OSX and Linux.

When the 4.1 Update finally arrived, the Headset was recognised but a new weird thing occurred. If you read other articles from DK2 users you will hear about how the DK2 displays at a 90 degree angle.

The reason for this according discussion on the FacebOculus developer forums, is because the DK2 uses a rather basic off the shelf smart phone display which is built to be seen in portrait. In the Oculus this display is rotated to landscape and when connected to a computer using a ’DirectHMD’ mode, the content is rotated to Landscape.

The problem is the DirectHMD mode seems to be “pretty unstable, as well as pretty thinly tested”according to one developer.DirectHMD is also not available at all for the Mac. 

Of course developers are fiddling with work arounds. You can get a Mac to ‘extend’ its display into the oculus, but you have to then set the Oculus’s extended display to rotate to landscape. But while you are able to finally view demos and games on the Mac in DK2, it comes at a very dramatic performance cost. While the DK2 picture quality is vastly improved over the DK1, , the frame rate and latency drops negating any point in upgrading from DK1.

But this is a development Kit so i can’t really complain, it should get better,  though i was expecting the Oculus to have come a lot further along by now.


Who Loves Oculus and who does Oculus Love?

I can’t use my DK2, its sat in the corner waiting for an SDK thats more, i dunno… complete. Maybe FacebOculus is just concentrating on the PC gamers market to start with. I’ve already seen Developers tell others to invest in a PC instead of using Mac… yeh, same old same old crap.

I didn’t think the Pc Gaming community was that big anymore when compared to console gaming and mobile gaming?

Anyway, I’m initially disappointed with the DK2 because I’m kid who can’t get his new toy working. Hopefully updates to the SDK with improve the situation, but at this stage, it just makes me wonder how many years away we still are from getting a consumer version.


8 thoughts on “Oculus DK2 and why it’s just a bit Meh

  1. Hi Loki, it’s true that at the moment nerd and geek skills are much more important than developer skills for using the DK2. I guess it was easier to get Linux running in the 90ies than to use the DK2… Also for most PCs the direct mode will not work or crash after a few minutes at the moment. Here are a few tips that might help to improve your experience: 1) Your rift needs to be the PRIMARY display in extended mode – and yes this makes starting and doing things even more complicated but it will improve performance. 2) You need to make absolutely sure that your normal monitor runs at 75Hz refresh rate. Any different refresh rate will make your graphics card go crazy and slow down performance. As 75Hz is not really a standard setting, you will probably need to use 3rd party software programms to enable this option for your monitor (and then you’ll need to see if it will work with that refresh rate at all…).

    One more thing for SL, AMD and DK2 (I’ll copy this from my comment at NWN): Generally the DK2 demos are a joy to test. However I do have a high end AMD graphics card and the LL support for AMD GPU is generally a pain in the neck. There is a (not well enough known) rule of thumb: Generally a 50$ Nvidia card will perform bettern than a 500$ AMD card with SL. This is reflected in my experience with the DK2. Second Life is the only “demo/game” to create judder when I move my head. A judder so unbearable that I prefer spending my time with other demos (also OpenGL demos) whose develpers have spent at least 5 minutes to make sure that their program does run with both major GPU providers on the market. As high end AMD GPU are very common with DK2 owners all those people will say “SL is a crap platform” after testing it. So LL does a lot to feed people’s prejudices by doing nothing…

  2. i dont have a dk2, happy i decided its toexpensive. because what i hear from others and read, the dk2 seems buggy. then you start to ask yourself what did the have done in the last year ? sad to hear its not useable. shame it looks like its far away before we see a production release. hope its working soon for you loki.

  3. Good to hear that the PC freaks out their still think we Mac users are insane and tell us to switch to PC. Some things never change, eh Loki? 😀

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