AMD Continues to Push Premium VR Rhetoric

Posted by Kyle 5:32 PM (CDT)

Thursday October 20, 2016

The following statements were made by Dr. Lisa Su, CEO of AMD, during today's earning call concerning Polaris GPUs and VR.

"Polaris GPUs continue to gain traction based on their leadership performance in VR, and under rapidly expanding number of software titles that feature the latest generation of APIs like DirectX 12 and Vulcan."

"Our progress in the quarter was punctuated by Oculus, announcing a limited edition Oculus-ready PC powered by an AMD FX processor and Radeon RX 470 GPU that brings the cost of entry for a VR-ready system down to $500 for the first time. This is a meaningful milestone for consumers, and I am excited that AMD is enabling the ecosystem and driving broader adoption of VR by making premium experiences available at such an attractive price point."

I think she is spot on with her comments about Polaris GPUs in DirectX 12 and Vulcan titles. Our reviews have shown how strong Polaris can be in these two very narrow categories when it comes to performance. Even the RX 470 and RX 460 offer solid performance for their respective product classes as well. All three of the GPU reviews linked above have earned HardOCP Editor's Choice Awards for desktop PC gaming.

I am however still extremely confused about Su's statements about "leadership performance in VR," and "making premium experiences available" when referring to the RX 470 usage in a VR system. In no way does the Polaris GPU have any sort of "leadership performance" in terms of an actual VR gaming experience. And in no way is an RX 470 GPU going to deliver a premium VR experience. AMD's penetration into VR is in shambles at worst, and seemingly ignored by developers at best when it comes to optimizing for these Polaris GPUs. Over the past few months after reviewing GPU performance in multiple VR gaming titles, only once has a developer even mentioned AMD's LiquidVR technology approach and that was from Croteam/Revolver devs handling Serious Sam VR. A review of SSVR performance will be published by us tomorrow. I will say however that AMD's Polaris once again fails to show up in any kind of leadership or "premium" performance role.

AMD is far and away from touching on reality about its Polaris GPU performance in VR, and this delusion seems to have worked its way to the very top of AMD's hierarchy.