The Oculus Rift will be here before you know it. Unlike early virtual reality solutions already available that rely solely on a smartphone for power, the Rift is going to require a very capable PC to drive the experience.
In lieu of leaving it up to end-users to make sure their PCs can push the Rift, Oculus VR announced at its Connect 2 developer conference a new licensing program designed to make it easy for consumers to identify PCs with enough grunt to run the advanced headset.
PCs that quality for the Oculus Ready PC Program must be built with Intel and Nvidia hardware and are required to be priced under $1,000 (expect to see lots of $999.99 systems). Early partners include Alienware, Asus and Dell although Oculus VR says more PC makers will be added in the future.
Oculus VR revealed the Rift’s recommended hardware specifications this past May. For the best experience, you’ll want an Nvidia GTX 970 / AMD 290 equivalent or greater, an Intel Core i5-4590 equivalent or greater and at least 8GB of RAM. Rift-compatible systems also need an HDMI 1.3 video output, two USB 3.0 ports and must be running Windows 7 SP1 or newer.
All of this new VR hardware would be useless without content. To that end, Oculus announced a wealth of new content for both the Rift and the Gear VR. Examples include Oculus Arcade, Netflix, Twitch and Minecraft, all of which will be available by the time the Rift goes on sale.