The Oculus Rift is a curious device. It’s simultaneously unreleased, yet used by many droves of let’s players, developers, enthusiasts, and hobbyists. That’s because it just wasn’t quite perfect yet… until now. At long last, the consumer grade model of the virtual reality headset has been given the go-ahead. The Oculus Rift will be sold in a pack that includes a headset, sensor, Oculus Remote, cables, Xbox One Controller, Eve: Valkyrie, and Lucky’s Tale for the price of $599.00. Officially the release date is March 28 2016, shipping to 20 countries, but as of the time of writing, the expected shipping date is shifting in line with demand, so if you pre-order right now, it won’t be until at least May that you can get your hands on a Rift. That’s likely to keep changing as more pre-orders roll in.
Need a few months to save up? Oculus has you covered. Apparently, you won’t need to pay for the VR headset until it ships. There’s also a tool for checking if your PC is “Rift Ready.” Nvidia’s general manager of the Nvidia Shield, Jason Paul, stated in an interview with Venture Beat that VR will require a “sevenfold increase in raw performance” to run games in VR. To wit, that’s rendering at 3K and 90fps, so if your rig is still struggling to reach 40fps on Counter-Strike: Global Offensive at 720p, you won’t be running anything much on the Rift. Indeed, the recommended specs are as follows:
- Nvidia GTX 970 / AMD R9 290 equivalent or greater
- Intel i5-4590 equivalent or greater
- 8GB+ RAM
- Compatible HDMI 1.3 video output
- 3x USB 3.0 ports plus 1x USB 2.0 port
- Windows 7 SP1 64 bit or newer
There’s a tool here that will assess whether or not your rig is up to the task. If it isn’t quite up to par, Oculus are also launching a range of Oculus Ready PCs that will be available for pre-order in February starting at $1499, although discounts are promised for early buyers of the Rift.