Setting up Oculus Rift DK2 on OS X
3 months after I ordered it, my Oculus Rift DK2 finally arrived. I spent most of the day trying to figure out how to set it up properly on OS X, because the manual didn’t come with detailed instructions. For anyone else in the same situation, this is what you need to do:
- Download the Oculus Rift Runtime for OS X. This is required even if you’re not developing. The SDK is optional and is only necessary if you’re planning to write software for the Rift.
- Connect the Oculus Rift hardware as described in the manual. The Rift itself and the head tracking unit should both be connected. The Rift has 2 connectors (HDMI and USB) and the head tracking unit has a USB connector as well. The power adapter is not necessary unless you are planning to use the USB port on the front of the Rift.
- If the Rift doesn’t power itself on, press the power button. The blue light on the front of the unit should be on.
- The documentation for the Oculus Rift says that it can be used in both extended or mirrored display modes, but I was never able to get anything to work using extended mode. Go to System Preferences > Displays > Arrangement and tick the Mirror Displays box. OS X defaults to using an incorrect vertical orientation for the display, so you need to go to the Display tab > Rotation and choose 90°. Also make sure that the refresh rate is set to 75Hz and the resolution is Scaled > 1080p.
- Download some tech demos and games! Here’s what I enjoyed the most:
- Time Rifters
- Qbeh-1: The Atlas Cube
- AaaaaAAaaaAAAaaAAAAaCULUS!!! — This is the demo version. The demo works fine, but I purchased the full game and it crashed on launch.
- HELIX - The NEXT level
Press any key to continue
All Oculus software shows a health warning saying “Press any key to continue” upon launch. For me, pressing a key on the keyboard didn’t actually do anything and the message wasn’t dismissed. Double-clicking the mouse seems to work instead.
Poor frame rate
This is due to both my mediocre gaming hardware (2012 Retina MBP with the GeForce 650M) and the possibility that OS X itself, the Oculus Runtime on OS X, NVIDIA drivers on OS X, or a combination of all three lead to poor performance compared to when running the same software on Windows. I’m installing Windows 8.1 to see if it makes any difference.
Small selection of software
At the moment (and probably for the foreseeable future), you need to be running Windows to experience the biggest selection of software for the Rift. The number of titles available on OS X is paltry.