Windows only? Well that's Okay Facebook.
I'm glad Microsoft has such good friends.
I'm sure Bill Gates and his Microsoft will reciprocate.
Facebook's Oculus division has published the tech specs of its Rift virtual reality headset, and it would seem that Apple and Linux fans are out of luck. "Our development for OS X and Linux has been paused in order to focus on delivering a high quality consumer-level VR experience at launch across hardware, software, and …
>>"Or will this have DRM preventing that?"
Not unless they've gone stark raving mad. They want to sell as many of these as possible and build up community support. You use DRM for protecting your content, not so much for limiting sales. The lack of support for OS/X and Linux is just saving development effort, not trying to exclude people.
That said, I have had little interest in Oculus Rift myself but always figured it would probably do quote well. But now that I've seen the hardware requirements I think there is serious risk. Even when this comes out next year, there will only be a small fraction of gamers who have the capability to use it. And that means game studios have little incentive to support it if it takes a lot of effort.
It's success is largely going to come down to how much resource it takes to add OR support to a game you're already making. If it's low, this thing could succeed enough to continue. If it's high, I suspect it will fail and replaced by a successor later on.
Don't thank them TOO much. I've seen Steam's Mac and Linux catalog. They are PALE imitations of the Windows catalog; even now, plenty of new titles are appearing Windows-only when you'd think Valve would be in a position to push for multiplatform releases.
I can only guess that you are the best ever game player and can beat a game hollow in a week or two or the games you play aren't worth the money. There are a lifetime of games for Linux , perhaps not the one your mates make you play but thats life for you.
And I can only guess that you can be satisfied with any game on the market. Listen, I've personally tried Linux AND Steam on Linux (as I was using Xubuntu), and I found the whole experience to be, like I said, a pale imitation of what's available on Windows. Many of the games I happen to like either work better in Windows or simply aren't available anywhere else. Yes, there's WINE, but compatibility is not a given. Like I said, if Valve really, REALLY wants people to leave Windows as a gaming platform, they need to really, REALLY push the games there, even if it means taking WINE and using it as a compatibility layer (Note: They do this already with DOSBox for games like the original Doom) and setting it up so that all the compatibility bits are in place so you can just install and play. Until that and my video card behaves better (another reason I left was random spontaneous reboots attributed to my up-to-date graphics driver), I'm sticking with what works. Then there's the increasing push to DirectX 11 in games like Bioshock Infinite, which TTBOMK WINE does not properly support.
Like Tom said before you, if you don't like the games available that's fine, if you have a crappy time running Linux that's also fine, noone is going to sneak into your house and reinstall your computers with it. Valve is #1 in my book, it doesn't matter if they don't get all new titles to Linux, it doesn't matter that the older games might never be ported, because what HAS been released, and what CONTINUES to be released, is so awesome to last me a lifetime.
It has nothing to do with Wine that it can not run DX11, and everything with OpenGL.
OpenGL simply doesn't support all the DX11 instructions, and there for there is no 100% conversion from DX11 to OpenGL possible. How ever normally all games have fall backs to DX10 & DX9.
So if you write your game to run on DX11 only, your basically saying, we don't support OpenGL.
By the way what is this Facebrick people are talking about, can you eat it ?
And now there's DX12 to consider. Then again, DX12 seems more of a software evolution than a hardware one (from what I've read, DX12 seems more about getting closer to metal to maximize GPU performance because it's now the driving force in gaming graphics), which is why nVidia's claiming to be able to make the last few generations of its GPUs DX12-compatible.
But just on a side, I JUST found out about the port of Bioshock Infinite to Linux (which went beta a couple months back). You would think stuff written on older engines like UE would be easier to port since they're more likely to have the cross-platform support you need, but perhaps all the other stuff besides the engine makes things more difficult.
Valve are the only only ones who really care at this point, though I think we've all noticed the commercial vendors locking down to "no updates or addons unless it comes through my store."
My Linux Steam library is around 1/3 of my Windows one, but I've got lots of old games from before Valve started pushing things and before OSX was common. The so-called "AAA" games might be windows-only, but I suspect that's because they are minimising investment and using old engines; regardless, I don't enjoy the twitch-shooters so much, so I don't really care. Indie stuff is usually more fun, *nix friendly and a whole lot cheaper too. I'm still a bit bitter about my BlackOps purchase so I'm not going near AAA anyway. Give me Frozen Synapse any day, I found PoE 1.3 runs well on wine now and Invisible,Inc looks rather good too. Then there's Limbo, Metro 2013, Bioshock Infinite, the Valve games, Serious Sam, Witcher 2, StrikeSuiteZero, Penubmra, Red Orchestra, Killing Floor, DOTA, Civ.
I don't run only Linux, I dual-boot with windows, but I use Linux all the time and rarely bother to boot Windows apart from to update the OS every few months. There's plenty on Linux to keep me occupied.
> Yes, particularly since Microsoft and Ubuntu??? are working hard at turning the PC into glorified mobile phones.
I can only surmise you have only the vaguest idea what Canonical are planning with Unity8, I personally I have only the vaguest idea what microsoft are planning with their 'convergence'.
Unless you regard Gnome-shell and KDE plasma as attempts to turn the pc into a glorified mobile phone, as Unity8 will not be that different to Unity7 when in desktop mode.
That and the other specs sort of rules out a lot of official Apple Hardware and older Linux boxes.
I can see why they think no laptop works:
Nvidia GTX 970 or AMD 290 graphics card or better,
Intel i5-4590 processor,
Two USB 3.0 ports
HDMI 1.3 video output supporting a 297MHz clock via direct output architecture
This is for very high end gamers, not average consumers. Does Apple's round rubbish can meet the spec?
Traditionally lag is huge problem for graphics that tracks rapid head movement. Essentially changing camera angle / view port almost at frame rate and ideally synchronised to frame rate. Really it needs a custom designed graphics card with on board low latency interface to the headset and also to main CPU via USB, graphics card I/O or usb slave port on graphics card.
There are good reasons why VR headsets have been poor in terms of realism. It's not a software problem.
Is that really true? If you calculate the third conjugation of the cross product of the competing product's alpha growth, you'll quickly realize that HDMI at 297MHz is just not going to happen. We're looking at 250MHz tops if you want to maintain the 2 dimensional asymmetric resonant response time people are accustomed to.
Our development for OS X and Linux has been paused in order to focus on delivering a high quality consumer-level VR experience at launch across hardware, software, and content on Windows
Well, I do admire people that tackle the biggest problems first, though. Coding for any of the *nix platforms will be a lot easier :)
"Coding for any of the *nix platforms will be a lot easier"
Advanced graphics will generally be a lot easier to code for on Windows / Direct-X 12 and Microsoft's Visual Studio, than for a multitude of Linux platforms that have less advanced development environments, an outdated Open GL based API and lots more compatibility issues...
I don't know about outdated since one of the goals of the Khronos Group has been to streamline the interface, which they've been doing since 3.0. Also, coding to OpenGL supposedly makes your code more platform-neutral, as even Windows supports OpenGL and OpenCL, meaning targets like the PS4 are open to you.
And like I said, OpenGL diversifies your profile meaning a larger target audience since a Linux target pretty much means a PS4 target, and PS4 is currently leading over the Xbox One (where DX12 would be of benefit). Plus there'd the bonus of a multiplat Steam target.
Besides, it seems Khronos seems to be catching up. Bioshock Infinite is approaching performance parity with the Windows version on Linux, and Khronos and Apple don't seem to be taking the challenge of DX12 sitting with with plans for Vulkan (aka OpenGL Next) and Metal, respectively.
The hardware requirements should not really come as a surprise to anyone considering the need to render at a high frame rate.
The windows only release is not really surprising either considering that a vast majority of the customer base especially if you factor in the hardware requirements, will be on windows.
If the quality is good enough I can see a lot of opportunities for non gaming uses especially when used with high end CAD kit (which has more or less the same hardware requirements) in training and general design work.
There isn't a massive difference between running round the industrial level in Mega Blaster XXX and using the same ideas to train people on a plant layout.
resolution will be an issue, from what I have heard it's impossible to read standard in game text in the devkit, so i would imagine the kind of crisp display cadders are used to will be out of the question for a few iterations. also there's motion sickness to consider, it's improving all the time, but still nowhere near the sort of thing you would want to (or most people would be able to) wear for 5 or 6 hours a day.
I think HoloLens is more likely to achieve traction in design applications, at least to start with.
... is there any adult on the planet that gives a rat's ass?
Planet's going up in flames currently mon, and the gvnm't is crawling up people's collective arse. Better get your rocks off while you still can... and while your money still can buy an "Oculus Rift", whatever that is (sound suspiciously sexual, somehow?)
Since when did PC - Personal Computer - imply Windows-only? Since the Mactel started appearing, even the diluted Apple desktop machines and laptops are circuitwise identical to any Winblows machine - PCs all around, no hardware differences. Except that you can't upgrade the Mac.
But I do understand that this rig won't run on my Linux toaster.
Hmm... Well, there are a lot of platforms they should be trying to support. Windows is only one of them. Oculus have really lost the first-mover-advantage. I suspect that Sony, HTC and Microsoft will release first now...
...IMO much like vacuum cleaners, the winner will be the one that doesn't charge the most for integrated barf-bags.
Having just upgraded to an R9 280X it's great to know that my decent card isn't good enough... because I have no plans to upgrade it further anytime soon... I've just built this system to replace my old one, but opted for a mATX board from a friend (cost me £20) instead of the Xfire one I really wanted (£130). But I may upgrade the board at the end of the year, and may get another 280X and go Xfire again... Last time I did that the system lasted me 5yrs and could play anything at high res 1920x1080 without issues.
But then again... I could give a rats ass about Oculus as anything more than a minor fad for elitists to crow about. The fact that it's owned by Farcebook is just another nail in it's coffin.
The only way you'll be able to do it without either a headset or a limited viewing range is to go volumetric, and that will involve technological and bandwidth leaps that are probably more than an order of magnitude greater than anything available now. If we go volumetric, it won't be anytime soon.
This should not be a story of any consequence, since (a) the product will not be released for some time, and there are similar products due to be released in late 2015/earl 2016. (b) Most - probably about 85% - of Linux use is in enterprise, government and Internet/Cloud Computing anf massive super computer infrastructure and there are other products being developed at this time that "do" dsupport Apple OS X and GNU/Linux.
Therefore what is the article purpose, except strong probability of article writer being a Microsoft dupe, eagerly putting forth Redmond propaganda?
If you take the view that VR headsets might be a big thing in the next decade, then being the brand leader is probably going to be important (and lucrative -- think "SoundBlaster compatible"). One strategy is to hitch your VR wagon to a single software platform and try to own all the developers by keeping everything under wraps.
Another strategy might be to open up the specs for your hardware (since the headset is effectively a gigantic dongle, so you don't really care about software piracy) and let the most imaginative software developers create the killer apps that make VR go mainstream.
Oculus appear to have jumped one way, which is noteworthy. Others may choose to jump the other way, and that will be noteworthy when it happens, too.
Aside from being prime click-bait? It's interesting to see one possible technological future from an economic standpoint. It's extremely interesting from the engineering perspective. And Hell, ignoring Hover-boards, it'll probably put the tickmark next to SciFi essentials.
Is it going to be the same smashing hit as 3D TV/film with colored or shutter glasses ?
Nobody really wants to put more gear on their head, just so they can play a game.
The VR sets, sound to me just like a new 3D-glasses project, that is fun to use as a novelty, but not really that fun in casual gaming to relax with.
Most games are played on tiny telephone screens, with 1980 style flapping birds and the like. Specially with the current VR system specs, this will be only used by uber geeks, playing the latest geek fantasy game, with zombie eating scientists like Half Life, which can then be marveled at in full 360 degree 3D gore, what a joy.
I wonder how much M$ is paying to have them focus entirely on Windows. W8 is not increfibly popular, W10 isn't out yet, even intuit doesn't support XP so that can't be the target. I csnt ser them wanting W7 to be the desired platform because they want to push people to 10. Surely this bauble is not expected to drive W10 adoption, which means they (Duck & Co) are risking failure by having their eggs in one as yet non- existant platform. Smeone had better be compensating them for taking that risk.
maybe the 3 odd years of development from VC to kickstarter, to more VC and finally FB, all the trade shows and 1000's of devkits in the wild, all the conversations with developers...
Could be they have a vague idea where their market actually is.
From what I have heard of the guys at oculus it aint their first rodeo.
Does anyone know what's going on here? I mean, if the video card is doing the 3D rendering work, and sending the result (via HDMI) to the Occulus, why does it need *2* USB3 ports - this is a lot of data! I wouldn't think motion and position info would push, well, even a USB1 port honestly. If the textures and triangles are being sent to the Occulus to render there, why the powerful video card requirement? I was thinking maybe power, but then why the requirement for USB3 instead of just two USB ports? If the work is truly being split, then how do you think this is being done -- every other line, left/right half, card and Occulus doing every other frame? Just curious.
BTW, if the work's being split that's probably why there are no OSX or Linux drivers. I know Linux *does* support this kind of usage -- recently - but a) Since it's recent support, I don't know if it's got a reasonably good design, or if it's some kind of sloppy kludge that got the existing configurations to work. b) nvidia driver, at least, bypasses a portion of the Xorg internals -- which is not necesarily a bad thing, nvidia's implementation is fast and well-behaved.. but it does mean it's possible Xorg supports splitting OpenGL up between cards in the way the Rift needs, but the nvidia driver bypasses the part of the stack that suports this (and the "nv" driver probably doesn't support new enough cards.)
Concerning the USB3, perhaps the Oculus needs 900mA per screen. USB3 can go up to 900mA per port compared to the 500mA of USB1-2. So two ports, one for each screen. There may also be the need for the dedicated full-duplex lines added with USB3, maybe for reasons of timing.
Windows users shouldn't get too smug, however. Binstock warned that a devoted rig was needed to run the Oculus at the kind of frame rates required to get a smooth experience, and that no current laptop can handle it. Instead, you'll need a high-end graphics card and a fast processor.
Given this is a gaming device first/foremost (and I understand it'll be used for other things) - that's going to be true regardless. Speaking as a 4K gamer this is no problem.
Think we're in a position to be smug here.
...Which is that in order to make a successfully viable product, you release it for a market that has the largest user-base for said product. There are more users running Windows that would consider buying something like this than there are running desktop Linux or MacOS, so it comes down to a simple question of economics. There is no sinister conspiracy to stop it being released on other OSes, merely the view to getting a higher volume of initial sales.
Unless Apple release a mac with the right specs from the get-go, or the average Linux machine stops being 2-3 generations behind current tech, those platforms will simply not be a priority due to the likelihood that they won't have the required hardware. Drivers will appear, but when, is up to them.
Until then, just be patient and wait your turn. You really want v1 of a product anyway?
I feel sorry for all those who pledged on Kickstarter back in 2012: https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/1523379957/oculus-rift-step-into-the-game/description
It sports huge logos for Linux, Android, iOS, Mac, Unity and Unreal engine. More than $2m were pledged. Three years ago. And in the meantime all those generous people learned that privacy is no longer valued (when Facebook bought it) and that the majority of the operating system logos turned out to be mere decoration...
I'd be pissed off if I had given them any money. On the other hand, only a small fraction of kickstarters produce anything useful...
and it might turn out this is the "progress by PR" part of Oculus, as Samsung and Sony and a few others have got an interest.
Can anyone give a solid *technical* reason games are ported to Windows rather than OpenGL/*nix?
Is it simply M$ throws loads of cash at the API glue?
There are lots of specialized use-cases (also mentioned in the comments above) - but is that really a market worth betting billions on?
While the gaming-scene is very vocal (and visual), the market in itself isn't that large, AFAIK.
And only a fraction of actual gamers will want to deal with this thing.
The "want"-factor is much larger than the "put-to-use"-factor, I'm afraid.
That and no Facebook, thanks, no.
Quote: "While the gaming-scene is very vocal (and visual), the market in itself isn't that large, AFAIK."
What definition of 'isn't that large' are you using here?
The current worldwide gaming market is around $90 billion US dollars. (PC, Consoles, Phones, Tablets, web games etc etc).
Around 30% (and growing) of that market is PC gamers, and that figure doesn't include the casual type gamers (web based games etc), this is your AAA title and MMO type players.
So that's around a US $27 billion per year marker for PC gamers currently.
For a market comparison, global recorded music sales for 2014, was around US $15 billion, in total.
So no, the gaming market is not small, not by a long way, and not even if you only looked at the PC market.
Windows have DirectX 12 which is said to provide performance increase on same old hardware just by being there, most mature OpenGL drivers provided by vendors and Microsoft's good developer support.
I used Apple as my only system for everything before bootcamp&Intel thing happened, I know couple of things about its OpenGL support. It is always behind the curve, Apple has horrible developer support compared to Microsoft. Ask any die-hard Apple gamer who runs same game on both OS X and Windows and you will be surprised about the performance difference.
This "protype sold to consumers" type thing requires perfect performance by host operating system. Especially Graphics performance. Think it like a game.
I am not saying anything about Linux but I bet Steam will change things in future, I thought I better target Apple since they make money selling software&hardware.
@ilgaz: Thank you for some information.
My bias is the following - I have 2 GTX980's doing molecular dynamics calculations. I use VMD for viz but CLEARLY an OR would be brilliant for molecular system analysis.
Not to mention a whole host of other clinical applications.
So by declaring support for the de facto monopoly (Windoze), Oculus is killing other platforms.
PC Gamers use Windows. DirectX wins. I use Linux at work for all my servers, wouldn't consider Windows for a second. And I would never install Linux on the desktop. Why kill yourself for nothing? The only thing you ever want to work is WINE. And if I need Linux, why hello Virtual Machine...
And I would never install Linux on the desktop. Why kill yourself for nothing? The only thing you ever want to work is WINE. And if I need Linux, why hello Virtual Machine..."
I haven't used Windows since Win95. I use only nvidia hardware and nvidia drivers. I only play games that support Linux. No wine here. I haven't looked back.
I need to pop around a friends house to have a go on his headset. He won it at the EvE Valkyrie tournament in Iceland a couple of months back.
I know his rig can use it, he has 2x970's in there. I know that because I built the thing.
He was also the only one there to win one that had a machine that could use it.
Also, Oculus is counting on games like EvE Valkyrie being moderately successful to keep the sales up.
The cost of the required hardware will come down over time, and if there is enough interest in new VR tech it will push manufacturers of dependent hardware to innovate, which is nice at a time where many things tech seem to be slumping into mass market mediocrity. Better sales of higher end GPU's will also lower prices for consumers both uninterested and interested in the VR - a win-win as I see it. Consumers won't necessarily upgrade just to run Oculus Rift, but for some like me, it will be a factor taken into consideration if it looks interesting (and I haven't been interested in much since the first iPhone), secondary to requirements for other applications. As a Mac user I'm also looking forward to getting rid of the damn thing and returning to PC - of all the players, Apple seem to have taken the biggest dip into aforesaid mediocrity in recent years..
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