VRScore PC goes gold for VR performance and latency testing

— 10:35 AM on January 30, 2017

Benchmarking VR content is something of a sticky issue. Among other problems, the real-time, largely non-repeatable nature of the content makes creating objective benchmarks rather difficult. Fortunately, Finland's Basemark took a break from the sauna long enough to develop and release VRScore PC. Basemark claims this is the world's first "comprehensive" VR benchmark, and it looks quite promising. VRScore PC supports DirectX 11 and 12, and can test performance of machines with or without a connected head-mounted display.

Like the Oculus Rift showcase title The Climb, VRScore PC is built on CryEngine V. As a result, VRScore should be able to at least decently represent real-world game performance. The software lets users run benchmarks using a wide variety of head-mounted displays, or set the benchmark as if it were running on any given HMD. That feature could give users an idea of how their systems might handle a variety of headsets.

VRScore can also do latency testing. Latency is a critical part of the VR experience—even more than raw framerate. Excessive latency between the player's actions and the on-screen feedback is a major source of disorientation and "VR sickness." Latency testing with VRScore requires an extra little bit of hardware called the "VRTrek measurement device." The device is a plastic puck with a long wire that terminates in a 3.5-mm connector. The puck contains a pair of sensors that you set in the eye-holes of the VR headset you want to benchmark. The 3.5-mm connector plugs into the PC's microphone jack, and transmits latency data to the VRScore software. If Basemark's method works well, then this could be quite an exciting development for reviewers and aficionados alike.

For now, VRScore PC is only available as a corporate edition that companies can order at this page. Once the consumer version comes out, users will be able to report their own scores to Basemark's Power Board database.

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