Preorders for the Oculus Rift virtual reality headset has started, which is the latest development in the relatively short but high-profile history so far of Oculus and its much anticipated device.
After years of being in development, the price of the Oculus Rift has been one of the details that was not being shared to the market. There were rumors that the virtual reality headset will come with a price tag of around $300 to $400, which is just about the same as a gaming console, but there was no confirmation being made by the company.
At long last, the price of the Oculus Rift was unveiled. The virtual reality headset would be carrying a price tag of $599, which is much higher than what the rumors were stating but, all things considered, should not be seen surprising.
Preorders can be made at the Oculus online store, where it states that the $599 that customers will be paying will get them the virtual reality headset, the sensor, an Oculus Remote, cables, an Xbox One controller and copies of EVE: Valkyrie and Lucky's Tale. The online store also offers a Rift compatibility tool to help users find out if their Windows PC is ready to handle the Oculus Rift.
For customers who saw their Windows PC pass the compatibility tool, all you have to do now is wait for the Oculus Rift to ship out, which is said to be in June. However, for those who saw their Windows PC fail, here is a guide on how to make a Windows PC that is ready for the Oculus Rift.
Oculus has previously released its recommended specs for PC users to be able to use the Oculus Rift. The two most important components would be a graphics card equivalent to the Nvidia GTX 970 or the AMD R9 390, and a CPU equivalent to the Intel i5-4590. According to the recommended specs of Oculus, building a PC ready for the Oculus Rift would cost $800, though that price can be trimmed down to $600 if the PC builder is savvy in chasing down parts on sale.
Overview Of Components
The graphics processing unit, or GPU, is the most important component when building a PC for virtual reality. As mentioned, the Nvidia GTX 970 or the AMD R9 390 was recommended by Oculus, but if a more powerful GPU is within budget, then that should be purchased instead.
While it is possible to get away with a cheap CPU for playing games on a flat monitor, that is not the case for the Oculus Rift. The slowest processor recommended by Oculus is the Intel i5-4590, with all quad-core Intel CPUs released later than four years ago and perhaps up until six years ago is good enough. Of course, purchasing a more powerful CPU that the Intel i5-4590 is recommended, but not before splurging on a better GPU.
Most PC games of today require 8 GB of RAM, and this amount is the same for the Oculus Rift. 8 GB of RAM is the recommended minimum by Oculus, but those that will be using the PC for other functions such as editing videos and rendering graphics should get 16 GB of RAM.
While having an SSD drive instead of an HDD drive in a PC will not have any effect on the virtual reality experience on the Oculus Rift, it is still recommended that users choose an SSD drive if budget permits.
The motherboard itself will also not have any effect on the virtual reality experience, but it will be the one that will provide the foundation for the rest of the computer's hardware. Users should only have to make sure that the motherboard they choose will support all of the Oculus Rift's peripherals and Crossfire/SLI if there is a plan to use multiple graphic cards. The virtual reality headset by itself requires three USB 3.0 ports and one USB 2.0 port.
Similarly, the PSU will not have any effect on the virtual reality experience, but users should remember that a PC for virtual reality will be very power-hungry, especially for those that will be using high-end GPUs. Purchasing an efficient power supply unit is highly recommended.
Logical Increments has posted sample builds of PCs, ranging from the $800 PC that uses the recommended specs of Oculus to a $2,600 monster of a machine. Take into account what a PC for virtual reality will cost when purchasing the $599 Oculus Rift.