Oculus DK2 - Things you should know

31st August 2014

So my DK2 pre-order has finally arrived and although I have only had it for a few days now, there are some points worth making about it.

Great things about DK2

Screen door affect - this is still visible a little but is not a serious problem and more like a grainy effect.

Motion sickness - this is pretty much gone now and you can move your head as quickly as you like without feeling sick.

High resolution - this makes everything look beautiful - text is now readable in Half-Life 2 and it is now viable watching 3d films to the end.

DK2 specific problems

Ghosting - the dark colours blur when you move your head - you will notice when you load up the demos that come with the latest Oculus SDK . I have heard this is a known issue with the screens used for the DK2 and can be sorted with software. However, if you load up the OculusRoomTiny demo that comes with the SDK, stare at the floor and rock your head side to side then you will notice any darker colour ghosts. Definitely a problem.

Chromatic aberration - this is quite drastic with the current SDK and really distracts from the immersion. Digging through the SDK source reveals code to compensate for this but the issue is still quite drastic. Moving your head just a little up or down relative to the lenses in the rift result in the colours being split - bands of blue and right around objects. I imagine that this is an issue with the distortation and can be resolved in software.

Overhead cable - the cable is a nuisance, it does not feed over your head fully so requires manually moving. When it hangs it is usually over your shoulder and becomes quite distracting. The cable is not long enough if you want to stand up and move around a little.

Limited position tracking - I was a little underwhelmed with the addition of the position tracking. It works well if you just sit down and move a little to the left and right. However, I found that I was constantly going out of range and you will need to move it up and down if you switch from seated to standing - like the Playstation Move camera when playing a shooter vs playing a wonderbook game.

Setup problems - I prepared a fresh install of Windows 7 with the latest drivers and dependancies before getting the DK2. Plugging everything in was ok although there are a lot of cables. Installing the runtime was fine too but I had so many issues with getting the device recognised by the oculus service. Several reinstalls, reboots and tinkering finally allowed me to use the rift - irritating for a first experience.

The best DK2 demos

It may come to a surprise to you that most of the existing DK1 demos do not work for you when you get your DK2. Here are the demos that have been recompiled to work with DK2:

Dont Let Go - the best DK2 demo to date - you sit in a chair and must not let go of the keyboard whilst all manner of danger is delivered to you - perfect for the DK2. 

Sky Roads VR - if you played the original game than you will love this - a game meant to play with perspective - where you control a ship in space and jump onto blocks to reach the end.

UE4Rollercoaster - the Unreal Engine 4 rollercoaster demo, great for first experiences. Hint: if you have a problem with colliding with the chair in this demo then just move forward in real life.

My Neighbour Totoro - a brief interactive rendering of the famous scene from My Neighbour Totoro at the bus stop. Feels good in the rift if you have seen the film.

Other demos that are ok to play and work well for DK2:

4th Floor Studios
Kon Tiki
Poly Rider
VR Time Travellers

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