Elite: Dangerous is not abandoning the Oculus Rift

    
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That's going to take an engineer to fix, ironically.

In response to a Eurogamer article that seemingly suggested Elite: Dangerous was dropping support for the Oculus Rift headset in favor of SteamVR, Frontier has clarified its position today, saying it’s focusing on SteamVR but hasn’t abandoned Oculus at all. It first issued this statement to Eurogamer:

We’ve supported VR for a few years now, and Elite Dangerous is arguably the world’s leading VR-ready game. We want to give players the best possible VR experience however they play – it’s something we talked about with Digital Foundry recently – and that means focusing our efforts. Right now, we’ve chosen to focus on SteamVR. We haven’t cut an exclusivity deal with any VR manufacturer, and we’re still working with Oculus on Rift support.

To forumgoers, Frontier Head of Community Management Zac Antonaci wrote,

In case people are alarmed by the headline or confused on the details, we thought it best to reiterate what we’ve been saying since the release of the Oculus 0.6 SDK. As quoted in the story, we are actively working with Oculus and will keep the community updated as soon as we are able to do so. We are keen to support VR in all its forms and we are proud to be leading the way in VR gaming. [Emphasis theirs.]

David Braben himself was far less kind about the mixup.

In other Elite news, Frontier has published a dev blog focusing on the role of engineers in the game.

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amkosh
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amkosh

Kataq DPandaren I wouldn’t say the fault is Occulus myself.  As a developer when I work with any early level API, I take on the responsibility of refactoring when the inevitable rewrites come.  

If you want to work on the bleeding edge, you will get some cuts…

Kataq
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Kataq

DPandaren Kataq  And Oculus are still to blame for this. If they provide two ways to interface with the rift, but later take one way away, that just screws the developers.
FD have always intended to support VR, infact ED is one of VRs flag ship titles. So I’m not too surprised, when Oculus did what they did, that FD now have gone the route of supporting HTC first.

DPandaren
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DPandaren

Kataq Since out of the box, Oculus had two options to pipe a game to the HMD. The first was mostly just for a quick fix and for testing, which was to set the Rift as another screen and having it pipe the soft where there. The other was to set up for a more retail release for those applications using it, which was to send the application directly to the HMD. 
Those two options have been around for the longest time, just that most developers would take the easy way and just use the Rift as a second screen instead of just piping the app into the HMD. They didn’t drastically change their API in 6.0. They just disabled the option to set the HMD as a second monitor. 

Because really, setting it up as a second monitor uses more resources then just sending the program to the HMD.

Kataq
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Kataq

DPandaren Kataq I don’t fully understand what you are saying. I don’t think that FD took a “slopey” approach to adding Rift support. My understanding is that they used the API as was given before I think version 0.6 and Oculus totally changed their API, making anything above version 0.6 unusable without a serious amount of additional work.
The fault was entirely on Oculus’ end. If you bring dev companies on board with your product and then rip up your API they spent a year working with, they are not going to spend another year of development hoping you got it right for the next version. Time is money as they say :D

DPandaren
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DPandaren

Also, Elite is now working again on the Rift’s 8.0 SDK. They were just being stubborn and didn’t want to use the direct to HMD option that was prevalent pre 8.0 SDK release.

DPandaren
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DPandaren

Armsbend It’s kind of unified already. Pretty much every SDK out there uses the Rift SDK since it’s baked right in.

DPandaren
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DPandaren

Cotic_OP They’re not using Vive so much as they’re using OSVR, which is the VR SDK to make their games run on a VR headset. OSVR is great, but it uses pretty much all of Oculus’ SDK in it with the addition of whatever Razer has been throwing in with their SDK and Valve’s SDK for Vive.

So OSVR is just this huge pile of SDKs which all source right back to Oculus. Anything the Vive can do, Oculus can also do, since they’re technically still running off the Oculus runtimes, it just happens to be if the use is using a Vive, then the could have the option for the features that’s exclusive for the Vive with it.

DPandaren
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DPandaren

Kataq They’re not going to do another drop like that. They did it because too many developers were taking the easy/sloppy solution to put the Rift into extend mode and just kind of half ass/hack their game instead of actually getting it to work smoothly. But since dropping it, pretty much every game out there that was using that previous feature is finally using the direct to Rift mode.

DPandaren
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DPandaren

Of course they’re not, because Valve’s entire VR platform is built between Razer’s and Oculus Rift’s SDK.

Kataq
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Kataq

SallyBowls1 Pretty much everything I’ve read about Elite Dangerous VR support has been extremely positive. The only negatives with early versions of the Rift were to do with the resolution making some text hard to read. But the game support itself is said to be great. Obviously with the customer version hitting the market soon, the resolution issues will be gone.
Although I can imagine that some other developers might try to cut corners on the future