HTC will begin accepting preorders for the HTC Vive on Feb. 29 and it wants consumers to have a way of finding out if their PC is VR-ready.
With this in mind, the company launches the SteamVR Performance Test which promises to deliver results in just a brief two-minute timeframe. What the test measures is the PC's rendering power while using a particular sequence from Valve's Aperture Robot Repair VR demo.
There are at least two important details that the system wants to find out after the data is collected by running the test.
First, it wants to know if the system is capable of running VR content at 90fps. Second, it wants to know whether VR content can tune the visual fidelity up to the recommended level.
The test will show whether one's PC is Ready, Capable or Not Ready. If the machine is not VR ready, the test can also help in determining if its capabilities are being dragged by its CPU, Graphics Card, or both.
The tool also gives an average fidelity rating. This is represented by a two-decimal number and a rating scale of Low, Medium, High and Very High. There is also a result on the percentage of tested frames that went below 90fps, which is the recommended level for getting a smooth VR experience.
Compared to Oculus, which revealed the recommended specs that are compatible for running its Rift headset, Valve has not publicly released the recommended hardware for consumers to reach the levels of "Capable" and "Ready" in running the test.
All in all, the test will determine if the PC is VR-technologically ready before the consumer decides to spend $799 for an HTC Vive.
In the meantime, there is still plenty of time to do some upgrades on one's PC in case the test gives the result of "Not Ready." The tool can be found on Steam's official site and consumers can download it to start running the test.
There is also no hint from either HTC or Valve on whether they have plans to create PC bundles similar to what Oculus did when it teamed up with a number of PC makers. This bit of information can apply to those who are looking for a new build and would like to know if the system that they are getting is guaranteed to be SteamVR ready.
Preorders for the SteamVR will start at 10 a.m. EST on Monday, Feb. 29. The headset will be commercially available beginning in early April 2016.