There’s still a good while to go until the release of the consumer Oculus Rift virtual reality (VR) head-mounted display (HMD) in Q1 2016. Until that time arrives creator Oculus VR continues to update its official software development kit (SDK) for those working with developer editions of the hardware, bringing new features and streamlining certain aspects for a better experience. Today sees the company announce and date the latest version of the SDK, 0.7. The update makes some notable additions to the SDK but also removes some features.
SDK 0.7 will be arriving on 20th August 2015. The updated kit will bring changes to the overall architecture that are said to increase stability and performance. It also adds a new ‘Director Driver Mode’, which has been created with the help of GPU companies such as NVIDIA and AMD. This replaces the previous ‘Extended Mode’, a concept that added latency to the Oculus Rift’s head-tracking.
“Direct Driver Mode is the most robust and reliable solution for interfacing with the Rift to date,” the company notes. “Rather than inserting VR functionality between the OS and the graphics driver, headset awareness is added directly to the driver. As a result, Direct Driver Mode avoids many of the latency challenges of Extended Mode and also significantly reduces the number of conflicts between the Oculus SDK and third party applications.”
As is to perhaps be expected, experiences built with previous versions of the SDK from 0.5 down will no longer be supported on 0.7 runtimes. As a result, developers are urged to update their experiences for the new runtime as soon as possible. The company notes that it knows this concerns a significant number of titles and that it will be making the process of updating for many as smooth as possible.
These updates will be sure to force some radical changes to some developer’s projects, falling in line with the company’s plans to push for high performance out of Oculus Rift compatible videogames. VRFocus will continue to follow Oculus VR’s work closely, reporting back with the latest on it.