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John Carmack Used Beat Saber To Refine Oculus Quest Tracking

Beat Saber might be VR’s savior in more ways that one according to John Carmack.

Following today’s announcement that the hit VR game is coming to Quest, Carmack revealed an interesting fact. He said that he used the hit game to help refine Oculus Quest’s positional tracking. Specifically Carmack was refining Quest’s six degrees of freedom (6DOF) extrapolation code. Beat Saber was his primary testing ground.

I spent a couple weeks refining the 6dof extrapolation code, and the primary test was “does Beat Saber play better?” Which requires multiple runs after each change for statistical accuracy, of course.

— John Carmack (@ID_AA_Carmack)

Oh, and as you can see from that tweet, Carmack is also currently third on Beat Saber Quest’s leaderboards.

Extrapolation code refers to prediction algorithms for accurate tracking. It’s concerned with predicting how a user is going to move in an attempt to reduce any perceived latency. In the case of VR controllers, such code would use the kit’s accelerometers to decipher where a user is probably moving their hand next. Refining that code simply means getting faster, more accurate feedback out of the given device.

Nintendo’s Virtual Boy 3D Gaming Console. Similar to SEGA, Nintendo also had the vision of putting out a Virtual Reality headset for the gaming market. They even went as far as putting a VR headset on the market, but unfortunately it didn’t make it far. Released in the mid 1990s and known as the Virtual Boy, the device was a 3D gaming console that had a 3D viewing system rigged out to look like virtual reality. While it was way cheaper than the other options on the market at the time, the device also didn’t manage to truly spark the VR movement, simply because it lacked head-tracking and quality graphics and only offered stereoscopic 3D display.

Oculus confirmed to UploadVR that Carmack’s tweet was accurate. It was also quick to point out that Carmack was far from the only person eager to test Beat Saber on Quest. Big surprise.

Carmack’s comments are pertinent given that, in today’s announcement, Beat Games itself spoke about Quest tracking. The developer said that the visuals “look absolutely stunning, gameplay is smooth and polished, and tracking is just great. Watching the game evolve on this platform was pretty exciting.”

Tagged with: Beat Saber, john carmack, Oculus Quest

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