RiftCat’s VR Streaming Software Finally Released for iOS, But is it Too Late?
You will now be able stream PC VR content to an iPhone following RidgeCat’s release of virtual reality streaming software for iOS devices. This week, the company launched its much-awaited version of the VRidge software that enables users to steam their normal PC VR games to other virtual reality headstes and then play them there. The VRidge feature supports a coteries of virtual reality headsets including the Daydream View, HTC Vive Focus, Android for Cardboard, Oculus Go and Samsung Gear VR. Most importantly, VRidge now includes support for iOS thereby availing the VR experiences to potentially millions of users.
The VRidge platform has been available on Android from 2016 and has been streaming content directly from PC VR to Android-powered smartphones. Users can subsequently insert their phones into virtual reality viewers such as the Google Cardboard headsets and play the PC VR games if they have the matching controllers.
VRidge provides users with a cheap workaround for accessing the PC VR games. It’s not perfect but it’s good for accessibility. The positional tracking will be gone but players can still turn or tilt their heads and look around. The room tracking is not possible with this unless you have the requisite accessories. As a result, many of the great virtual reality content will not be available through this workaround but you can still enjoy lots of VR content that do not necessarily require space tracking.
Some of the tracking-heavy games such as Superhot VR or the Vacation Simulator are obviously off the table. But the RiftCat update will enable you to sample the vast variety of seated VR experiences such as Project Cars, Subnautica or Elite Dangerous. The video below showcases some of these apps in action:-
RiftCat has been implementing gradual improvements to the platform. One of the most recent has been the incorporation of three degrees of freedom (3DoF) motion controllers. In case you have three smartphones, you could effectively play some of the tracking-heavy games such as Beat Saber with the VRidge platform.
As fun as it is, the experience from this workaround is not comparable to what you’d get with the real PC VR headset. Also, with the upcoming high spec standalone virtual reality headset Oculus Quest, users now have a cheaper and convenient way of accessing high quality VR.
It will be interesting to see how RiftCat will cope with the avalanche of VR headsets that will be rolling out this year. The VRidge platform is currently free for the 10-minute sessions. However, for an unlimited access to VR content, you can make a one-time payment of $14.99.