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Oculus Rift steals Gear VR's moves, can now do the asynchronous timewarp

At GDC last week Oculus VR announced it would be bringing asynchronous timewarp capabilities to its Rift virtual reality headset, and today a blog post confirmed that the new feature will debut in Oculus PC SDK 1.3.

At GDC last week Oculus VR announced it would be bringing asynchronous timewarp capabilities to its Rift virtual reality headset, and today a blog post confirmed that the new feature will debut in Oculus PC SDK 1.3.

What's notable here is that many developers feel asynchronous timewarp (or ATW) can make VR games and experiences significantly less nauseating.

Oculus implemented ATW in its Gear VR mobile SDK long ago, and Oculus tech chief John Carmack told Gamasutra back in 2014 that the company was applying lessons learned from that experience to bring it to Oculus' PC SDK. Now, it seems, that's finally happened.

Devs unfamiliar with the tech can read the aforementioned blog post for a deeper explanation of how ATW works, but in layman's terms (and as explained more clearly in this blog post from Gear VR developer E McNeill) it basically keeps the display updating at 60 frames per second and adjusting what's displayed on-screen based on your head rotation, even if the game's performance drops below 60 fps.

Oculus also notes that devs won't have to do anything to get ATW running -- once it's in, it works automatically, though (for now) it only works on Windows.

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