With the consumer versions of headsets like the Oculus Rift and HTC Vive launching next year, this is a pivotal time for virtual reality technology. With that in mind, Nvidia is poised to help pave the way into the VR era with high-end GeForce graphics cards and software tools like GameWorks VR (which has been incorporated into Unreal Engine 4) to power the immersive experiences and games.

However, there are still some significant obstacles to overcome. For example, virtual reality experiences demand 7x the performance of a typical PC game running at 1080p.

VRX Keynote Final3 Page 03[a]listdaily spoke to Jason Paul, Nvidia’s General Manager for GeForce Experience, Shield portable, and virtual reality about the company plan to grow “the installed base of GeForce VR Ready PCs to grow from 5 million today, to over 130 million by 2020.” He compares the task to climbing Mount Everest, which coincidentally, is exactly what users will be able to do from the comfort of their homes with the Everest VR experience, powered by Nvidia technology.

jason paul 249x273VR technology is very impressive, but requires a hefty hardware investment right now. How long do you think it will take for VR to become more accessible

Put me down for $100 on 2 years, 8 months, and 18 days.

Seriously though… while prices will certainly come down over time, VR will be in reach for many next year. VR ready PCs have already been announced for under $1,000, and there are tens of millions of customers who can become VR-ready simply by upgrading their graphics card.

Can you go into detail about how Nvidia plans to grow the number of VR Ready PCs to “130 million by 2020”

Two parts. First, is Moore’s law — Nvidia GPUs will get faster and faster with VR class performance coming to increasingly mainstream price points.

Second, Nvidia is developing software technologies such as GameWorks VR that delivers substantial performance improvements, enabling even more GeForce PCs to meet the VR performance bar. The net effect of GameWorks VR is a doubling of the VR ready PC installed base in 2016, and an additional 30 million PCs in 2020.

How will Nvidia help promote VR technology when there are currently so few opportunities for consumers to try it out

Nvidia has been on the road, bringing VR demos to each corner of the globe from Brazil, to Korea, to Germany to Seattle. But physical events will only reach so many people. So, we are helping developers build amazing VR experiences like Solfar’s Everest VR or Epic Games and Weta Digital’s Thief in the Shadows, and evangelizing them online to our network of 200 million GeForce customers.

How will Gameworks VR technology help encourage more widespread adoption of VR

In VR, there is no middle ground. The experience is either amazing or nauseating. GameWorks VR delivers tangible improvements in performance and latency that help make VR amazing. Nvidia encourages adoption by ensuring VR experiences are good experiences.

How important are experience projects like Everest VR compared to video games in helping to promote virtual reality technology

Most people understand the concept of video games in virtual reality: 3D world, digital characters. It makes sense.

Virtual reality experiences like Everest VR help expand people’s imaginations to the potential of VR. It can be an educational tool. A creative medium. A way to travel.

It helps expand the addressable market and build excitement for VR beyond us core gamers, which I believe is fundamental for VR’s widespread adoption.

Those who still don’t know much about VR may be apprehensive about the emerging technology. What would you say to help to get them comfortable with adopting virtual reality

Give it a try! I’ve had the opportunity to take a lot of people through their first VR experience, and the responses are simply awesome. One Twitch broadcaster recently told me after a demo “this is the coolest thing I’ve ever done in my life!” But not all VR is created equal. Try an Oculus Rift or HTC Vive headset, powered by a GeForce GTX GPU, for the best experience.