Interesting post from a Microsoft Mixed Reality developer on Reddit:
I wanted to take an opportunity to share with the community one of the new things coming in the next release of Windows 10 (codename “20H1”) for our Windows Mixed Reality users - revamped Headset Display settings!
One of the bigger pieces of feedback we’ve heard from our customers over the last year is that our platform doesn’t make it easy for users to switch their desired refresh rates without other unintended changes. Deep in our settings page, there’s an option to change “experience options” where the values are automatic, 90Hz, and 60Hz . Seems straightforward, right? Select 60Hz to limit your headset only to running at 60Hz . However, if you were particularly eagle-eyed, you might’ve caught this line:
If you choose 60Hz, some mixed reality features will be turned off.
As many of you have noticed recently, selecting the 60Hz option not only limits your frame rate (which is what you wanted), but also changes other things, such as lowering the rendering resolution of applications and restricting the field-of-view. As it turns out, this is actually by design!
Why, you might ask, would we ever do that? Well, it turns out we have a mode where we limit certain aspects of the WMR experience when running on PCs with more restricted hardware configurations that might struggle to maintain 90fps for games. On those PCs we default headsets to 60Hz and a lower resolution as a way to ensure smooth gameplay. Of course, we always want you to have the option of opting out of that default, which is why “Experience options” exists. The option to select your desired refresh rate is actually a setting for opting in and out of that more limited experience! Of course, we didn’t do a great job of conveying that to you, the users. We also didn’t anticipate how many people would want to toggle their refresh rates independently of everything else. In our attempts to keep things simple, we didn’t give our customers enough control over these settings.
You might be thinking: “That’s all well and good but it doesn’t change the fact that I’d like to run at 60Hz without a bunch of extra things being changed. And oh, by the way, those settings are very vague and now you’re telling me they don’t even do what I thought they did.” Well, we heard your feedback on this loud and clear, so coming in the next major release, we’ve revamped those settings all up.
Here are the settings on that page that are available in “20H1”-
- Visual quality of my home - changing these settings affects only the WMR home environment (aka “cliff house”).
- Adjust level of detail… - this changes some of the rendering affects we use in the home environment. In particular, the visual quality of different materials (wood, concrete, etc.) will scale as you change the setting from low to high.
- Change app window resolution - By default, most 2D windows launched in the home environment are launched with a 720p resolution. You can of course manually resize them horizontally & vertically to change that. However, you can opt to have them all start at 1080p. Previously this option was available as the “Very high (beta)” option under Visual quality . We’ve appropriately split it out as a separate setting now.
- Experience options - these are those options mentioned above that limit the experience to reduce the load on systems where the hardware might struggle to keep up with an unrestricted 90fps. You can choose to explicitly enable or disable these additional settings, or choose Let Windows decide and let our heuristics continue deciding when to toggle these on and off.
- Resolution - if you have a high-resolution headset like the HP Reverb, we support running it at its native resolution, or at a reduced resolution for performance reasons. Earlier headsets, like the Odyssey and Odyssey+, only support a single resolution so you won’t be able to change this setting on those headsets.
- Frame rate - You can now independently change the frame rate you’d like to run at, or continue to let Windows use its heuristics to determine if 60Hz or 90Hz is more appropriate.
- Calibration - as before, you can adjust your IPD (if supported by your headset).
- Input switching - toggle the input focus switching (Win+Y) behavior to be automatic (based on presence sensor feedback) or manual.
These changes are available today for PCs in the Windows Insider program - both the Fast and Slow rings include the new Settings page. Please try them out and let us know what you think!