Oculus Rift Can Now Run On A Cheaper PC

Oculus wants to attract more users to its Oculus Rift virtual reality (VR) headset by lowering the minimum PC specs required to run it. According to Oculus co-founder Brendan Iribe, you can now run it on a US$500 PC. This move is likely motivated by a drastic increase in competition since Oculus Rift first launched earlier this year. Competitors include the HTC Vive, PlayStation VR and Google Daydream View. Here’s what you need to know.

Oculus first announced the minimum hardware specs for the Rift in mid-2015 and it was evident that you needed a power, not to mention expensive, PC to run it. Considering the headset itself would set Australians back just under $1000 at launch, the headset was only appealing to enthusiasts.

The price of the Rift has gone down a bit (now selling for around $800), Oculus has lowered the minimum hardware specs for the VR headset. This is possible thanks to a new “asynchronous spacewarp” technology that’s baked into the Oculus API which allows games to run at an internal 45 frames per second but still providing 90 frames per second to the headset, according to Iribe who spoke at the Oculus developer conference. It can’t replace a full-blown native 90Hz output, but it’s good enough.

The new minimum hardware requirements are as follows:

  • Graphics Card: Nvidia GTX 960 or higher (previously Nvidia GTX 970)
  • CPU: AMD FX-4350 or Intel Core i3 6100 dual-core or higher (previously AMD FX or Intel Core i5 quad core)

To put things in perspective, a Nvidia GTX 970 costs around $550 and upwards on PC parts price comparison website Static Ice. A Nvidia GTX 960 is around $350.

Similarly, you can score an Intel Core i3 6100 dual core processor for around $150. An Intel Core i5 6400 quad core will set you back around $250.

Oculus hopes by lowering the Rift’s minimum spec requirements it will open doors for more people to adopt the headset. Iribe has noted that there is a new $US499 Oculus Ready PC from CyberPowerPC and AMD, although we’re not sure if this will be available in Australia (and the price will likely be higher if it ever comes Down Under).

HTC Vive is gaining a lot of traction in the VR space and has garnered a lot of positive feedback. Google has just announced that it will be bringing out a comfortable VR headset called Daydream View that will work with its new Pixel smartphones this week. Sony will be releasing its PlayStation VR headset for its PlayStation 4 gaming console next week.

The VR scene is heating up and its now a race for VR vendors to get their headsets on as many heads as possible.

[Via Ars Technica]

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