Disney may be out of the publishing arena and they may have closed off their efforts to support Disney Infinity, but they aren't done with the PC gaming market. In fact, they're specifically targeting the PC VR market with their free new app that gives VR users a small taste of Disney's very large media universe.
Engadget is reporting that a free app called the Disney Movies VR has launched recently on Steam. The only requirement is a VR headset, at least an i5 PC with 3GB of HD space and 8GB of RAM, and maybe a controller. Oh, and you'll need at least a GTX 970 or an AMD R9 290 for a GPU... yeah, it's no walk in the park as far as system requirements are concerned.
Once you download the rather large app, you'll be eligible to experience some of the movie magic from Walt Disney Studios. What we have is a collection of short movie segments available for users to peruse via a virtual reality head mounted display unit. Some of these segments include clips from the Captain America movie, as well as a short scene from the Jungle Book and even a couple of segments you might recognize from Star Wars: The Force Awakens.
One of the clips shows users speeding through the Star Destroyer ruins on Jakku from the latest Star Wars flick, while another clip shows BB-8 stringing itself up to stabilize while in the Millennium Falcon.
The concept of this free app seems kind of cool; a neat little way to experience a small slice of VR without the heavy investment into software. However, the feedback for the app isn't the best.
Users on the Steam page have brought the Disney Movies VR down to a mixed rating. The biggest issue? You don't have much control.
Some users complain that the lack of 3D positional tracking has limited the interactive experience and that they were prone to getting dizzy and nauseous from some of the apps that are nothing more than 360 degree panoramic shots. It's often said that it's easy to get motion sickness using VR headsets due to the discombobulation that occurs between what your eyes are seeing and the fact that your body isn't moving; it sends mixed signals to your brain telling it that you're moving or walking or in motion, even when you're not, thus resulting in motion sickness.
But the automatic panning and forced view isn't the only problem. The biggest complaint is the judder and 20fps standard on some of the videos. As some of you know, VR needs to run at least at 60fps to avoid making users sick, and a 20fps standard is a quick way to lose your lunch, suffer from a migraine or potentially have an epileptic fit. It's one of the reasons why, for health concerns, Sony has mandated no product to run on the PlayStation VR under 60fps. They also offer a special optical frame buffer to double the interstitial frames so it gives the impression that apps are running at 120fps on the PlayStation VR. It's a safeguard to prevent health risks.
Disney's free app is definitely cool insofar that it helps give VR users something to toy around with while spending zero dollars, but they really need to iron out the frame-rate issues for HTC Vive users.