MSI Introduces Trio Of VR-Related Utilities, Software Available If You Own MSI Hardware

It’s no secret that MSI is bullish on VR. The hardware company offers a wide range of VR-ready products, such as high-end graphics cards, VR-ready gaming PCs, and laptops, and it even jumped into VR backpacks. Now, the company is offering VR-related software to enhance the VR experience, but you need MSI hardware to use it.

Regular Games In 3D

MSI partnered with TriDef, which sells software that converts regular 3D games into stereoscopic 3D games, to create a version that works for VR HMDs. MSI and TriDef introduced TriDef VR, which lets you play “over 900 titles” in stereoscopic 3D with either a Vive or a Rift headset.

TriDef VR isn’t a VR injection driver like Vereio Perception or VorpX. It’s more akin to the cinema mode you can use on PSVR or the Desktop Game Theatre mode that Valve offers in Steam VR. It allows you to play any regular game on a virtual flat screen, but unlike Cinema Mode and Desktop Game Theatre Mode, TriDef VR adds immersion to the game by enabling stereoscopic 3D.

TriDef VR features a head-tracking-enabled user interface. The software also lets you customize how big and how far away the screen is, as well as the curvature of the display. (BigScreen offers the same options for its projected virtual display.) You’ll also find settings that let you adjust the depth of the 3D projection effect and decide if you want the game image to project off-screen into the virtual environment.

Audio Too

MSI also announced Nahimic VR, which is software that enhances regular stereo headsets for a better immersive experience. Nahimic VR technology virtualizes a 7.1 surround sound experience with a 360-degree sound stage. The Nahimic VR enhancement is embedded in the latest version of MSI’s Dragon Center software. Gamers can enable the technology within the app, provided they have approved hardware.

In addition to Nahimic VR, MSI released Nahimic 2+, which caters to all gamers, not just VR gamers. Nahimic 2+ lets you create audio profiles for all your games and gives you the ability to customize your audio experience however you want it.

MSI Owners Only

You must own at least one piece of MSI hardware to gain access to TriDef VR, Nahimic VR, or Nahimic 2+.

The restriction with the audio software makes sense. Nahimic is MSI’s favored audio technology and the company has offered Nahimic software since 2015. We can’t give the same pass for TriDev VR, though.

TriDef 3D is software that you can use on any PC as long as you have a 3D display. That’s not the case with TriDev VR, though. To use TriDef VR, you must own a qualifying hardware component from MSI. If you own one of MSI’s VR-ready gaming PCs, laptops, or a VR One backpack PC, you qualify. MSI also accepts motherboard ownership and graphics card ownership as access pass for TriDef VR, but late models only.

If you have an MSI motherboard with an Intel 200 or 100-series chipset or AMD AM4 socket, you can use TriDef VR. Or if you own any of MSI’s GeForce 10-series graphics cards, you qualify. But, if you own an older MSI motherboard and a 10-series card from another brand, you don’t qualify. MSI doesn’t even accept any AMD Radeon cards. If you have an MSI RX 480, you’re still going to be sitting on the sidelines.

It’s nice to see technologies like TriDef VR emerge, but it’s disappointing that MSI would lock down this tech to its own branded hardware and alienate the rest of the small VR market.

If you have qualifying hardware and wish to try MSI's new software, you can find the download links on MSI's website.

 Kevin Carbotte is a contributing writer for Tom's Hardware who primarily covers VR and AR hardware. He has been writing for us for more than four years. 

  • itsmedatguy
    I don't know what companies are thinking with this kind of stuff. VR is already such a small market as far as video games, how many consumers are actually going to drop the MSI graphics card into their shopping cart because they've got some gimmicky software locked into it?
  • falchard
    I buy MSI purely because they make robust boards and allow you to put in settings that will burn your board. VR extras is always a nice add.
  • JackNaylorPE
    I'm always surprised what makes folks buy something ...

    a) Reference GFX cards ?
    b) CLCs ?
    c) Which has best RGB ?
  • Sakkura
    Locking it to hardware will just limit adoption of these software tools. MSI Afterburner has been a huge success specifically because anyone can use it.
  • michalt
    While it would be better for the overall VR community if MSI allowed the tools to be used by anyone for free, they're not a charity and need reasons for people to buy their mostly commodity products over other vendors. NOTE: I don't have any MSI products.
  • mrpijey
    "Or if you own any of MSI’s GeForce 10-series graphics cards, you qualify."

    Not if you own the MSI GeForce 1080Ti Founders Edition. The Ti isn't even listed... You exclude the best card suitable for VR that you got.

    Good job MSI, good job...
  • Sm0k3d 0uT
    Well my MSI Z97S SLI Krait Edition motherboard didn't make the cut