With a couple of weeks remaining in the current season, sim racing enthusiasts are beginning to anticipate iRacing’s next quarterly update, and Road to VR has received confirmation that it will include expanded VR support. Having rolled out its initial consumer VR update in June for the Oculus Rift, iRacing will add support for the HTC Vive headset in the next build, tentatively scheduled for September 6th.
This is great news for Vive owners, as iRacing was never functional using the Revive injector (which adapts some Rift-only games for the Vive), due to complications with the EasyAntiCheat software used with the sim.
From September, native Vive support will be enabled through OpenVR, Valve’s SDK for integrating Vive and other VR headsets with SteamVR. This could mean iRacing’s VR mode becomes compatible with many VR headsets in the future.
“Interestingly, because OpenVR is also compatible with the Rift, one can set the simulator’s options to use the Rift via either the Oculus SDK or the OpenVR SDK,” said Shawn Nash, iRacing’s software engineer responsible for VR developments.
The relative performance of the two SDKs remains to be seen, but it’s unlikely that Rift owners would want to give up Asynchronous Time Warp by choosing OpenVR.
iRacing’s VR implementation is already solid, but it has plenty of room for improvement, most notably in terms of aliasing and animation. While supersampling is functional, the sim currently does not support MSAA, which is hurting its otherwise excellent image quality. The team is well aware of this, but it is still in development and might not be ready for the start of the new season.
“We’re hoping to add some AA support for both the Vive and Rift but it’s not in yet, so not for sure,” said Shawn.
And in terms of animation, iRacing’s virtual avatar is limited to 180 degrees of steering rotation, which is particularly jarring in VR. We’ll likely have to wait longer for this, according to Kevin Bobbitt: “there are plans to address this but I don’t believe it will make the next build.”