Oculus has revealed the PC specs they recommend in order to run their consumer version of the Oculus Rift, and for the moment, it will be a Window-only device.
“Presence is the first level of magic for great VR experiences: the unmistakable feeling that you’ve been teleported somewhere new,” said the company. “Comfortable, sustained presence requires a combination of the proper VR hardware, the right content, and an appropriate system.”
The recommended specs:
◆ NVIDIA GTX 970 / AMD 290 equivalent or greater
◆ Intel i5-4590 equivalent or greater
◆ 8GB+ RAM
◆ Compatible HDMI 1.3 video output
◆ 2x USB 3.0 ports
◆ Windows 7 SP1 or newer
“The goal is for all Rift games and applications to deliver a great experience on this configuration,” said the company. “Ultimately, we believe this will be fundamental to VR’s success, as developers can optimize and tune their game for a known specification, consistently achieving presence and simplifying development.”
In a different blog post, Atman Binstock, the chief architect of Oculus, explained why they need that caliber of gear.
“There are three key VR graphics challenges to note: raw rendering costs, real-time performance, and latency,” he wrote. “On the raw rendering costs: a traditional 1080p game at 60Hz requires 124 million shaded pixels per second.
“In contrast, the Rift runs at 2160×1200 at 90Hz split over dual displays, consuming 233 million pixels per second. At the default eye-target scale, the Rift’s rendering requirements go much higher: around 400 million shaded pixels per second.
“This means that by raw rendering costs alone, a VR game will require approximately 3x the GPU power of 1080p rendering.”
Binstock also explained why the Oculus Rift will be Windows-only. “Our development for OS X and Linux has been paused in order to focus on delivering a high quality consumer-level VR experience at launch across hardware, software, and content on Windows,” he wrote. “We want to get back to development for OS X and Linux, but we don’t have a timeline.”