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Social VR hangout app Bigscreen just got a bunch of improvements in a new update available now. The update brings a range of enhancements across all supported headsets, including boosting room size to 15 people.
Bigscreen is a social VR hangout app that lets users bring their PC into VR to share gaming, streaming, work or, well… anything else you can do on your PC, with friends. Not to mention a library of 2D and 3D movies you can rent to watch together.
A new update to Bigscreen available today brings some big improvements to the app.
Perhaps the most substantial change is that room sizes are being boosted to 15 simultaneous users. That’s up from just 4 users in Quest-hosted rooms and 12 in PC-hosted rooms.
The increase in player count is made possible by new dedicated servers that underlay each room. Thanks to the new dedicated servers, the developers say that the stability of streaming quality to other users in the room is significantly improved, while at the same time reducing bandwidth requirements for the host.
And if you’ve got a huge room full of friends it should now be easier to sort out who is talking even if there’s a lot going on. That’s thanks to an improved spatial audio system that the developers say was completely rewritten with performance in mind so that it could come to the Quest version of the app for the first time, which makes for a shared spatial audio experience across all versions of the game.
The update also brings major improvements to Bigscreen’s remote desktop capability which allows Quest users to stream their PC into their virtual room to share with friends. Previously, the developers say, remote desktop ran at 30 FPS and could have issues like high latency, low quality, and audio sync problems.
The new and improved Bigscreen remote desktop runs at 60 FPS and streams up to 100 Mbps, with latency potentially as low as just below 20ms.
Along with all of these updates, the developers say that Bigscreen running on the original Quest is getting a huge performance boost. While the app used to have trouble maintaining its native 72Hz framerate with more than 8 users in a room, the original Quest can now “easily handle” 15 users at once.
Beyond all of these updates, the developers say that more improvements are in the works. Upcoming updates are expected to add a friend system, input streaming to control remote desktop from Quest, and a built-in YouTube app to make it easier to browse and watch YouTube content with friends.
Bigscreen is available for free on all major headsets except for PSVR. While the company had hoped to launch Bigscreen on PSVR in 2020, it says it hit “massive roadblocks” during porting. Thanks to a major rearchitecting of the app, this latest update “creates the foundation for PSVR,” the developers say, but don’t have a timeline for when PSVR support might happen.
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