Earlier this month, we reported that the Oculus Rift, at last, has a release date for the consumer market, set to arrive early next year with pre-orders going live later this year. Today, the team behind the device, Oculus VR, announced the first PC specs for the device, as reported by TechCrunch.
The company posted the specs on its blog page today, indicating just what kind of hardware PC owners will need to get it running efficiently. They’re fairly high compared to the standard PC, so some upgrades may be acquired. They are as follows:
- NVIDIA GTX 970/AMD 290 equivalent or greater
- Intel i5-4590 equivalent or greater
- 8GB+ RAM
- Windows 7 SP1 or newer
- 2x USB 3.0 ports
- HDMI 1.3 video output supporting a 297MHz clock via a direct output architecture
Oculus’ Chief Architect Atman Binstock explained how these specs are necessary to get the unit running to full efficiency, since there’s such as reliance on GPU performance, especially running two 2160 x 1200 displays at 90hz at once to recreate the 3D effect. (That’s three times the normal GPU power required for 1080p rendering, he says.) It needs to be consistently running with frame rate, as drops can distort the effect that the Oculus is trying to deliver.
A desktop computer is recommended over laptops, and it appears that the team is pointing its development strictly towards the PC format at the moment. Binstock stated that the team still wants to develop the Oculus for Mac and Linux, but, at the present moment, it doesn’t “have a timeline.”
That may turn off some players, especially considering the accessibility of the Google Cardboard, not to mention Sony’s Project Morpheus, which will work alongside the PlayStation 4 console whenever it’s released to market. (We should know more next month at the Electronic Entertainment Expo next month.) It also doesn’t help that Oculus hasn’t released a price for the unit yet, although it’s likely to be around the $300 range – maybe more, maybe less.
While the prices for the required hardware will probably drop between now and the release date of the Oculus Rift, it’s still going to require a rather beefy PC. The Recommended level is going to probably put you in the $1000 category, as the graphics cards mentioned run around $350 alone. And, as usual, gamers will probably want to go higher than the recommended specs to make sure all the games will run smoothly. If you haven’t upgraded your PC in a while, you may want to start saving up.
Regardless, Oculus’ virtual reality is coming – and now it’s just a matter of seeing who reaches out and grabs onto it.