After reading about all room-scale problems, Oculus had announced an update of its tracking system for the end of January. It arrived a bit later, but it arrived, with a long list of improvements, starting from the Oculus Home carpet being straightened (wtf, seriously).
If you’re thinking about this has solved all problems… well, you’re wrong. Subreddit /r/oculus is again a long list of “my room-scale setup doesn’t work”. Someone has posted images of his glitches seen in Quill…
…others have showed their crazy Windows event log…
…while someone else has organized a poll to have statistics about the actual improvement ratio of this update. This has been a genius idea since we have actual data to talk about (love reddit, as always). The results are pretty catastrophic: at the time of current writing, 23.47% of people have claimed to have seen better tracking results; 27,21% that nothing has changed and 49,33% that the tracking has become even worse!! For every category (2 sensors, 3 sensors and 4 sensors) the “worse” has outperformed the other 2 choices. For 3-sensors tracking, that Oculus has claimed to have been made truly better, the “worse” votes are more than the sum of “same” and “better”. Epic fail.
There are caveats about these data analysis: we’re talking about a poll made on 669 votes, while Rift sales are hundreds of thousand, and where surely people with tracking problems are more likely to answer to show their anger. There are lots of people that never had a single issue and I’m one of them. So data are surely biased, but seeing a 50% of people declaring a WORSE tracking is astonishing: I would have expected only tracking getting better or staying the same… half of people getting it worse is incredible.
Someone, always on reddit, advices Oculus to stop behaving like Apple and to start public beta testing and a public reporting system on next releases: in PC world you have so many different possible combinations and setups that in-house testing becomes non sufficient. I completely agree with this idea and hope that Oculus will listen to them. Their patch failing is the clear indicator that they must change approach. Another one suggests to let us free to rollback the updates and this could be another good idea.
Oculus is doing another big mess. It started with too high price, then there was the shipping mess, Palmer Luckey making memes, Touch issues, Zenimax legal stuff and now patch failing. I love Oculus because it started this VR revolution and I think that the Rift is a great product, that Touch controllers are awesome… but I think that a company backed by Facebook should not make these kind of errors.
UPDATE: Oculus has answered to these problems on reddit, but I personally didn’t like its answer at all. Nate Mitchell has said that most issues of 1.11 update are given by people using a bad Oculus setup, but, as lots of people have replied to him, the tracking going worse on identical setups is anyway a bad indicator. Anyway, read Nate Mitchell’s post (and related reactions) here.