It is well-known that building a PC capable of running virtual reality (VR) can be an expensive proposition. Many users are restricted by this expense into buying and installing only the minimum specification necessary to get VR to work, but this can cause some problems. Anew update for Steam VR is set to alleviate these problems.
Steam VR has introduced a new feature to its Beta which is called Motion Smoothing. Similar to the Motion Smoothing function available on many TVs, and the Asynchronous Spacewarp for Oculus devices.
The Motion Smoothing feature uses frame-rate smoothing techniques that generate synthetic frames between two real ones in order to avoid stuttering and frame-rate drops. Steam VR tracks the VR experiences to see if it is lagging or dropping frames, which prompts the Motion Smoothing to kick in.
Steam VR will then drop a videogame or application’s frame-rate from 90fps down to 45fps, generating one of the synthetic frames for every real one, to mimic 90fps. If the performance gets worse, the software can generate two or three frames for every real one. Steam says this feature lowers the performance requirements allowing lower-end PCs to produce smooth frames.
A smooth, consistent frame-rate is considered to be a factor in eliminating simulation sickness symptoms. However, it has been pointed out that only users of the HTC Vive or HTC Vive Pro can currently take advantage of this feature. The feature does not work with Oculus Rift and Windows Mixed Reality devices.
Users who wish to test this feature will need to be running Windows 10 and have a HTC Vive or HTC Vive Pro. Then users need to right-click on Steam VR and select Bets from the Tools menu in Library. This is a Beta feature, so there is a possibility of glitches, but it can be disabled if problems do occur.
For future coverage of new VR features, keep checking back with VRFocus.