The consumer release of the Oculus Rift VR headset has been a long time coming, and today we’re one step closer to that reality. A post in the Oculus VR blog has revealed the recommended system specifications for the best Oculus Rift experience. Atman Binstock, Chief Architect at Oculus and technical director of the Rift, not only talks about the hardware that’ll be needed to get the best rift experience, but also the software requirements and some bad news for those not on Windows. So what’ll you need to run the Oculus Rift?

  • NVIDIA GTX 970 / AMD 290 equivalent or greater
  • Intel i5-4590 equivalent or greater
  • 8GB+ RAM

These requirements are based a number of VR performance factors, including the number of shaded pixels visible to the user, the frame rate being high enough to not cause physical side effects, and latency of the image. The blog post gets into much more granular technical detail. As for the hardware requirements, the only thing that really stood out to me is the video card. Currently a NVIDIA GeForce GTX 970 based video card is a $400 component, and a competent AMD Radeon R9 290 isn’t far behind. This could be a big ask for those that want to get into VR but don’t have a gaming rig up to snuff. I know I’ll have to upgrade my little LAN box.

As for the other Oculus requirements, you’ll need to have Windows 7 SP1 or higher, along with two USB 3.0 ports and an HDMI 1.3 video output supporting a 297MHz clock via a direct output architecture. Oculus VR is currently shelving development for OS X and Linux to “focus on delivering a high quality consumer-level VR experience at launch across hardware, software, and content on Windows.”

Based on future success, they do plan to readdress development for the Windows alternatives, but no timeline for that has been established. It should be noted that there currently isn’t an Apple authorized system configuration that meets the hardware requirements, but that hasn’t stopped at least a half dozen people from complaining about the exclusion in the comments. Never read the comments.

So do you need to upgrade your gaming rig? Or are you ready to go for the Oculus Rift? And if these are the requirements for the PC based Oculus Rift, how will Sony’s VR headset work with the PS4? One thing is for sure: we’re just that much closer to finding out.

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