SteamVR supersampling

SteamVR has a hidden configuration parameter which allows to enable supersampling for VR applications. With supersampling graphics are rendered in a higher resolution than the native one of the screen in the headset. Afterwards the image is down-sampled and antialiased. This generates a sharper image because – for example – small lines and other details have to be rendered completely before antialiasing. The downside is that this really raises the burden on the graphics card. Additionally, not all VR games support supersampling. Valve probably had a good reason to keep this configuration parameter hidden, so setting it manually might have negative consequences.

To enable supersampling in SteamVR, one has to edit a JSON formatted configuration file. It's a good idea to create a backup before doing so.

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My favorite VR games

After some initial problems with the order processing my HTC Vive luckily got delivered about two months ago. It is more than a fashion accessory to help you look good. There already exists a quite wide range of VR-enabled games and various demos on Steam, and the list is growing larger every day. I did not buy the Vive because of its room scale tracking. Rather, it was the acquisition of Oculus through Facebook which rendered the Rift uninteresting for me. However, it turned out that the room scale tracking of the Vive is absolutely awesome and works really well. I can no longer imagine playing a game sitting on a chair with a controller in my hand, or by using the mouse and keyboard. With the Vive one can use natural movements and get fully immersed in the particular game. So far, nothing got destroyed in our apartment yet. But I already bumped the controllers into the ceiling and the floor a few times by accident. Although the so-called chaperone system shows the boundaries of the playing field in VR, it does not check the ceiling height of the room one's playing in.

I won't write anything about the setup and the hardware because that has already been covered by a lot of other sites. So if you're interested you can quickly find anything about it on Google. Instead I'll just continue with the current list of my favorite VR games.

Space Pirate Trainer
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Facebook takes over Oculus VR

Yesterday, Facebook bought Oculus VR, the company behind the virtual reality device Oculus Rift, for 2 billion Euros. This makes me really sad. I just got my Oculus Rift Development Kit (DK1) at the beginning of this year, and I found it to be really amazing, even though it showed that there was still a lot of effort needed to get it ready for the consumer market.

I personally don't like Facebook and it feels like Oculus VR just turned to the dark side of the force. I understand that they can use the money they just gained to speed up development of the Rift and to be better prepared for other competitors like Sony, but I can think of a lot of other tech companies to which Oculus VR would have better fitted than Facebook. And who knows what plans Facebook has regarding the future of Oculus.

So now I'm curious what John Carmack will do. Is he going to stay at Facebook, or will he leave and go to a competitor? I hope that Valve will maybe bring out their own device, but who knows...

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