Andy Schuette has been gaming ever since he could hold a SNES controller in his hands and has been loving every minute of it. He's the funniest guy he knows, and the least funny guy everyone else knows.
The Oculus Rift has been on the back-burner of news for quite some time now, quietly biding its time until it was ready to inspire shock and awe in the masses. The recent announcement of pre-orders for the VR headset has shot it back into the mainstream as people look to be on the cutting edge of technology. Now, Oculus was nice enough to release the specs on these bad boys.
As the pre-orders opened it was obvious that the price point was set at $599 because without knowing how much it costs it’s pretty hard to place your order. The next bit we needed to hear was when will we finally get our hands on the Rift. Even on the pre-order screen it was given a bland “expected to ship in March” but the aforementioned announcement clarifies the date as March 28.
The next step was game availability; a question that is not quite as easily answered. Palmer Luckey, founder of Oculus and designer of the Rift participated in a Reddit IAMA to answer the many questions posed by fans and potential buyers. The event was held the same day as the pre-orders went live and he has since then deleted all of his comments.
Before the information left our screens we were able to ascertain that there should be “At least 100 – Over 20 Oculus Studios titles, many more 3rd party titles.” This claim seemed rather bold at first… that is, until further digging revealed that the PlayStation 4 had over 150 titles in its first year. Why not the same for the Oculus Rift?
While many people were unaware of the recommended specs, they were actually released long ago but recently got updated (reason being is that most were not graced with a development kit version of the Rift). For those who want to know what those specs look like, behold:
- CPU: Intel i5-4590 equivalent or greater
- GPU: NVIDIA GTX 970 / AMD R9 290 equivalent or greater
- RAM: 8GB+
- USB: 3 USB 3.0 ports plus 1 USB 2.0 port
- Output: HDMI 1.3
- OS: Windows 7 SP1 64 bit or newer
This is a lot to ask from users as far as a machine to support the headset goes. If you find yourself really needing an Oculus Rift, but lack the proper specs and have no intention of rebuilding your PC with new parts, Oculus has you covered. They are certifying PCs that meet or exceed the recommended specifications as well as being specifically tested with the Rift in order to ensure smooth sailing.
Pre-orders for a certified PC will begin in February and can be bundled with a headset starting at $1,499. It doesn’t seem like that bad of a deal considering the Rift itself is $599 so that leaves you with a $900 PC that is capable of smoothly running in virtual reality. Certainly the price is a bit steep, but as this technology becomes more common place (and given that the Oculus Rift is a brand new kind of display), it’ll become more affordable as virtual reality grows its share of the market.
The Oculus Rift was a vastly popular project on Kickstarter and it continues its popularity by selling out its first round of orders, with products now shipping in June if ordered at the time of writing. This should be a big year with games being developed for it and with the technology being so new and interesting. It has a lot riding on its shoulders because it is leading the charge of major virtual reality hardware.