OpenVR vs OSVR vs Oculus OS

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Tere Vida Mombiela
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Summary

  • Three operating systems
  • A smart compromise

Three virtual reality “operating systems” seem to be prevalent today. It's two too many.

Virtual reality is coming. In a year, at least three virtual reality headsets should be available to the public (theOculus Rift, Live HTC and the Samsung VR Gear). Others should appear quickly, like the Project Morpheus de Sony.



The question of the material is thus solved, remains that of thestandardization. If you remember the days when PC video games only worked with certain sound cards and graphics cards, you probably don't want to experience similar situations with virtual reality. And for their part, developers will certainly not be enthusiastic about creating different versions of their software.

Three operating systems

As it stands, it would appear that three « Operating systems Of virtual reality are in the running: theOS eye (for the Oculus Rift and the Gear VR), theOpenVR by Valve andOSVR (Open Source VR). It's a lot. But according to a VentureBeat article, the situation would improve: Valve's OpenVR will be compatible with OSVR plug-ins. OSVR programs should therefore be readable by OpenVR headsets and vice versa.

In total, 118 companies join the OSVR project, including game developers Ubisoft, Gearbox and TechLand. This is a good start but it is difficult to know how compatible the programs will be with different operating systems.

The first OSVR development kit is expected to ship in June. Once it is available and once that of the OpenVR is also available, things will be clearer. But even if the software is perfectly compatible and only Oculus and OSVR remain in the running, there will still be one operating system too many.



A smart compromise

The ideal would be to achieve a situation similar to that of modern PC graphics cards. The software works with an Nvidia GPU or with an AMD GPU but some programs have more problems with one of the two. Conversely, the worst outcome would be a chaotic situation similar to that of mobile operating systems, where iOS rubs shoulders with Android and Windows Phone.



The good news is that consumers still have at least six months to think about which virtual reality headset to buy. But for developers, time is running out and it's time for them to cut the Gordian knot and go for one operating system or another. All you have to do is wish them to make the right choice!



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