Whereas it’s lengthy been technically potential to play Oculus unique video games on Vive and different SteamVR headsets due to an unofficial mod referred to as ‘Revive’, the precise expertise has all the time been decidedly clunky as a result of vital variations between controller inputs. With Valve’s new Index controllers—which supply input-parity with Oculus Contact controllers—Oculus unique content material lastly feels really playable with minimal compromise.
Fb has far and away been the highest funder of PC VR content material, however has sought to maintain it unique to the corporate’s personal Oculus platform which solely helps Rift headsets. Revive is a free, unofficial mod which permits SteamVR headsets to play Oculus unique content material (offered the consumer owns the titles).
Revive has been round for a number of years now, however attempting to play Oculus unique content material has all the time felt clunky as a result of the Vive wand controller makes use of a trackpad, lacks face-buttons, has a seize button designed for discrete presses, and might’t detect index finger pointing.
The Oculus Contact controllers, for which the Oculus unique content material is particularly designed, makes use of a thumbstick, two face buttons, a seize set off designed to be repeatedly held, and might detect index finger pointing.
That signifies that Revive has to emulate lots of the performance anticipated of the Contact controllers in Oculus unique content material, together with mapping the thumbstick and face buttons to totally different quadrants of the Vive wand’s trackpad. In the meantime, the distinction within the wand’s seize button vs. Contact’s seize set off makes a stunning distinction—most Oculus video games count on gamers to repeatedly maintain the seize set off to choose up objects, however doing so with the Vive wands is each uncomfortable and straightforward to by chance let go due to the precise design of the wand’s seize buttons.
That leaves the general expertise of enjoying a lot of the Oculus unique content material with Vive wands massively compromised. Sure, it technically works, however in lots of circumstances is an train in enter frustration.
However the whole lot modifications with Valve’s new Index Controllers, that are readily suitable with any SteamVR headset that makes use of SteamVR Monitoring.
Photograph by Street to VRre
Utilizing the newest secure launch of Revive, I attempted out a handful of Oculus unique content material with Valve’s Index headset and controllers, and was stunned to seek out what felt like an almost native expertise.
I knew that Revive was properly architected, however wasn’t anticipating to see it this practical with the Index controllers forward of their official launch later this week—even the ‘Oculus Contact Fundamentals’ tutorial, which walks customers by means of the inputs of the Contact controllers, labored flawlessly with the Index controllers.
I attempted video games like Robo Recall and Echo Enviornment (each of which deeply depend on the ‘steady grip’ design of the Contact controllers) and located them considerably extra playable than they ever had been with the Vive wands.
Within the case of Robo Recall, the participant is continually grabbing and throwing objects, and the sport expects the participant to consciously maintain the seize button whereas objects are of their arms after which launch on the fly to throw. On the Index controllers that is as straightforward as gripping the controller’s capacitive deal with, which is translated to a ‘seize’ enter, after which releasing the deal with to throw. What’s extra, Robo Recall’s locomotion makes use of a trajectory-based teleport which employs the thumbstick to independently outline your ahead going through place after the teleport. This works flawlessly with Index’s thumbsticks.
In Echo Enviornment, gamers are always grabbing the setting round them to maneuver themselves round in zero-G, in addition to utilizing the face buttons for arm thrusters and the thumbstick center-click to spice up and break. As soon as once more, that is all wired up completely for the Index controllers and it feels very pure and straightforward to regulate.
I additionally tried First Contact, a brief however interactive intro expertise which makes in depth use of grabbing and button urgent along with your index finger. A capacitive set off on the Contact controllers permits the controller to deduce when your actual index finger is outstretched. Many Oculus video games use this characteristic as a method of urgent small digital buttons (and it really works fairly darn properly). Index additionally has a capacitive set off and this pointing performance is replicated completely with Revive, making First Contact virtually really feel prefer it was made for the Index controllers.
The truth is, the Contact controllers have a number of capacitive sensors which permit your digital arms to animate appropriately relying upon which buttons or sticks you’re touching. Valve’s Index controllers have the entire identical sensing capabilities, and it’s all rigged up appropriately to animate your digital arms even in Oculus content material. (This doesn’t embrace the center, ring, and pinky fingers which Index controllers can observe however Contact can not).
The one caveat I discovered is that ‘grabbing’ with the Index controllers may be very delicate and thus takes some getting used to; mainly Revive sends a ‘seize’ command as quickly as you contact the deal with of the Index controller along with your fingers (even evenly), so you’ll want to be very ‘binary’ about if you end up or usually are not desiring to provoke a seize.
SteamVR Enter, Valve’s in depth system for modifying VR controller inputs, ought to permit customers to create enter bindings that much more intently match the performance of contact controllers, which may remedy this sensitivity drawback.
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I’ve but to check everything of the Oculus unique library with Index, however from attempting 5 various experiences thus far, issues appear extraordinarily promising. It was starting to appear like a tragic state of affairs—with Valve providing one of many prime VR headsets, however Oculus providing a lot of the highest unique VR content material—however particularly with the potential for game-specific superb tuning of Index controller inputs through SteamVR Enter, it appears extra potential than ever to have the perfect of each worlds.