Gaming, Hardware, News, Virtual Reality (VR), VR World

SteamVR adds resolution scaling feature for HTC Vive and other headsets

A common staple of PC gaming is the ability to change resolution and other graphical settings in accordance with your own machine’s performance levels. Despite how common this is in PC gaming, it’s actually surprisingly scarce in VR gaming (PC and console alike) due to the way that most VR titles are made to target a specific hardware configuration. A new feature for SteamVR hopes to alleviate this by adding a resolution-scaling feature to SteamVR.

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The implementation of this feature opens up possibilities in two different directions.

In one direction are people on the lower-end of the VR spec (GPU especially), who are experiencing bad performance in-game. Bad performance can be tolerable in normal gaming scenarios, but in VR it can be extremely jarring or sickening. By turning down the resolution scaling, users will be able to play VR games at a resolution lower than what their headset offers. This will increase performance at the cost of a worse screen-door effect for these users.

On the opposite end, there are users who have GPUs that are far more powerful than what their games are actually using. Turning up the resolution for these users won’t necessarily reduce the screen-door effect (the native resolution of the headset is still a limiting factor), but the higher rendering resolution will improve visual quality and reduce aliasing in the image.

The addition of this feature to SteamVR is coming just ahead of the launch of the HTC Vive Pro on April 5th. The Vive Pro will require much more graphical power to push games at its native resolution, so this update was likely a necessary one across-the-board, regardless of what headset people are using.

But what’s your take? Comment below and let us know what you think.