March’s Game Developers Conference (GDC) 2016 was a hive of virtual reality (VR) technology. The event featured numerous announcements on what was to come during 2016 alongside plenty of videogames on demonstration. One of the biggest announcements came from Sony Interactive Entertainment (SIE) with the price and release month for its PlayStation VR head-mounted display (HMD). The company also held several talks, one of which was by Chris Norden a senior dev support engineer.
Norden was there to discuss with developers working on PlayStation VR, what could and couldn’t be done and to assuage any doubts and answer questions. At one point Norden got onto the topic of frame rates – an important issue in VR – to which he said: “Frame rate is really important; you cannot drop below 60 frames per second, ever,” said Norden. “If you submit a game to us and it drops to 55, or 51…we’re probably going to reject it,” reports Gamasutra.
He went on to say: “I know I’m going to get flak for this, but there’s no excuse for not hitting frame rate. It’s really hard, and I’m not going to lie to and say it’s extremely easy…it’s really difficult.” He added: “60hz is the minimum acceptable framerate. Everybody drill that into your heads.”
The HMD may have the ability to re-project to give it a 120hz maximum framerate, but the minimum still needs to be 60hz. Otherwise players will be more prone to simulator sickness as the images they see don’t keep up with what they’re doing.
Rival VR HMDs Oculus Rift and HTC Vive both have a minimum of 90hz to ensure a comfortable experience, but they don’t have the re-projection technology.
For further information on PlayStation VR in the months up to the official launch keep reading VRFocus.