Valve has launched a new SteamVR Beta with initial support for what it calls 'asynchronous reprojection'. This VR rendering technique helps keep VR experiences running as smoothly as possible. A report by UploadVR says that Valve's asynchronous reprojection is analogous to the Oculus Asynchronous Timewarp (ATW) tech.
Asynchronous reprojection, like ATW, attempts to compensate in situations where your hardware isn't managing to keep up with the 90fps smooth virtual experience rendering requirement. Valve's technique will thus also reduce judder caused by hardware missing a frame by reprojecting the earlier frame at the new headset orientation.
Don't mix up ATW and Valve's newly added asynchronous reprojection technology with the more recent Oculus Asynchronous Spacewarp (ASW) advancement. Oculus now claims that ASW enhances the smoothness from ATW and "lets your title run at 45hz and achieve an immersive experience that's almost on par with native 90hz rendering". The important upshot of ASW is that lower-end machines can enjoy Rift gaming and the entry level PC for VR is less power hungry and more affordable. As HEXUS reported earlier this month, ASW works by taking the previous two frames, and calculating the spatial transform to extrapolate a new synthetic frame.
It's still early days for Valve's asynchronous reprojection. First of all, be aware that it isn't currently supported by AMD GPUs, and Nvidia users require driver version 372.54 or newer. SteamVR users can enable/disable the rendering tech via the lower left section of SteamVR Settings (Async Reprojection On/Off).
UploadVR reports that Valve is working on its own ASW type technology to lower the entry level performance requirements. Valve's current line is that its new asynchronous reprojection rendering tech is there as a dropped frame safety net, rather than to cut VR minimum hardware requirements.