Oculus Rift Resolution – Why Are People so Obsessed With it
Remember the DK1 days? Those were the days when people were watching content on-screen with a fairly moderate headache. Bad resolution was also something that followed. Even to the point that you started to count pixels between loading times.
DK2 came along and it fixed the pixel part to some degree. Can you compare DK2 pixel visibility with regular monitors? Of course not, unless your nose touches the screen this very moment. And here is where the biggest issue comes along. Rift is so in your face that even very high-resolution objects are pixellated.
Why Are People Obsessed With it Though?
For some it is immersion, for some just a general beauty of the game. I am personally very picky when it comes to graphics, so when I see triple-A games with bad textures or false advertising (seeing in trailers one thing but experiencing another in-games), I get bothered.
Not really. Especially when it touches the subject of resolution. I appreciate overall beauty of games, but in no way am I in position to cry over something that will be fixed with time. Resolution doesn’t depend on games or their developers. This duty solely lies with hardware creators, and they also are limited to technology advancement.
Oculus Rift resolution has been improved by a margin over the previous kit, yet individual pixels are still visible. Now that “Powering The Rift” plog post has been released, we know that Oculus Rift CV1 will feature 1080×1200 pixels for each eye with 90Hz dual split screens. DK2 has 960×1080. Doesn’t seem like a huge improvement, right? Right, because it isn’t. Still, you will get around 20% more pixels stuffed into CV1.
We do have to remember that for getting a crisp and solid image, we have to take into account fill factors. Fill factor is the distance between each pixel.
If by any chance CV1 has a higher fill factor, it will drastically reduce the screen door effect, and would also increase the brightness since less light would be emitted sideways away from the lens.
What thoughts do people have of CV1’s screen and resolution?
I have read around just checking what people think of the new Rift, and it’s quite divided. Some say they did not see any pixels when testing it out at conference, some were very sensitive about that topic and wished CV1 was even higher resolution.
At some point even Palmer himself stepped in and gave his input regarding the screen:
The idea that Oculus chose a low spec panel has no basis. The Rift uses the absolute best panels possible today, not only in resolution, but in every other spec as well. You probably wish display technology was a few years better (as I do!), but this is the best that can be done today, and the optimizations we have made paid off – the Rift looks fantastic, even better than Crescent Bay.
I remember Palmer giving interview about half a year ago, and he was asked about the technical side of CV1 and could it be improved even more if you had more money. His answer was that of course it could, but for now it just doesn’t fit in, and technology hasn’t caught up yet to be implemented into the first commercial headset.
And it makes sense. HTC Vive – biggest competitor to Oculus – rocks with same specs. Changing the resolution to even higher numbers would be same as if you bought 4K TV from the store, and started watching regular TV shows with hopes that overall quality increases. If hardware advances, video quality has to be up to par, or you are going to be left with di… remote in your hands with no visual upgrade.
How Does the Future Look in This Area?
Well, like Luckey already said, only thing that is holding them back is the advancement of technology. The idea and concept behind higher resolution and better screen is already finished. Or so it is rumored.
The thing with VR displays is, it shouldn’t be compared to regular monitor panels since it behaves differently and has some fundamental differences. For example, few weeks ago I published a news article about Oculus hiring LCD tech engineers. That means that they might consider switching back to LCD display (don’t take my word for it though).
Why might they have such ideas?
Because technology advances. New ideas surface. Especially when a new medium like VR becomes popular. Last year Nvidia has made a VR prototype that works completely well on cascaded LCD panels, and has 4x times more pixels (or so it seems to viewers) than normal OLED displays have on DK2.
Could Oculus implement such an idea to CV1? Highly doubt it since they already released specs for CV1 and it seems that screen is much darker than before (something that OLED displays share). Is it off the book for CV2? Of course not. When we are at the beginning of the VR race, all ideas can be good, no matter how absurd it sounds.
All we need is a little bit of patience for such technology to catch up to what we are used to seeing everyday on-screen, and from there on out the burden of visual appearance can be given to developers.
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