Oculus Rift's Specs Released: Don't Panic

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Steve Anderson
The Video Store Guy
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Oculus Rift's Specs Released: Don't Panic

Perhaps one of the biggest questions about the Oculus Rift now has an answer, and for a lot of people, the answer will not be a happy one. Ever since word of the device came out, there have doubtless been those who look askance at the current computer occupying a desktop and wondering, will my computer be able to handle the Oculus Rift? Now, we know...and the news isn't all that great.

The "full Rift experience", according to Oculus, will require a pretty hefty muscle machine by today's standards. Those interested will need a rig packing an NVIDIA GTX 970 / AMD 290 or equivalent, as well as an Intel i5-4590 processor, eight gigabytes of RAM, an HDMI 1.3 video output port, two USB 3.0 ports, and Windows 7 SP 1 or better.

With that announcement came plenty of heartbreak, as that sounded like a muscle machine out of reach for a great many pocketbooks. Indeed, the GTX 970 alone runs around $350, by some reports, so that meant quite a bit of cash. Some are estimating that the rig and the Rift together will run about $1,000, and that's not exactly cheap.

But there's one critical point that hasn't been considered by a lot of folks, and it's going to be a point that makes a lot of people happy. There's no way the Oculus Rift is coming out this year. The last known reports suggested that this was coming out sometime in early 2015, which means a minimum wait of somewhere around six months. That means a lot of these components are likely to drop in price by then, and become even more affordable.

That's good news, but it's going to get better. Reports direct from Oculus' chief's architect's blog spells it out: "The recommended spec will stay constant over the lifetime of the Rift. As the equivalent-performance hardware becomes less expensive, more users will have systems capable of the full Rift experience."

Those who can hold out for a year or two will be able to get on Rift at bargain-basement prices, and that's no small bit of good news. Yes, it means a longer wait, and that's not at all happy news, but it's still a point that needs to be considered. A little patience now will mean big cash savings, and either way, we're looking at a future with a lot more virtual reality in the near term. That's a point to be welcomed happily, especially as the longer the wait, the more games there will be to try out in the meantime.

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