Oculus Rift will launch in the early 2016 so start saving. To get immersed in the virtual world you will need a powerful PC. Rift will not be supported on Mac, Linux, and current laptops.
Hardware requirements for Oculus Rift
Oculus and Samsung's Gear VR only needs a modern smartphone, but for the full VR experience you will need a muscle PC. This is necessary to achieve what Oculus refers to as “presence”; the experience of actually being in a virtual world even though you know that it does not exist physically.
The requirements are:
NVIDIA GTX 970 / AMD 290 equivalent or greater
Intel i5-4590 equivalent or greater
Compatible HDMI 1.3 video output
2x USB 3.0 ports
Windows 7 SP1 or newer
The recommended specs will stay constant over the lifetime of Rift, confirms Oculus. It might seem like a lot but Oculus believes that prices will fall leading up to, and following, the launch in 2016.
- ”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,” writes Atman Binstock, Chief Architect at Oculus.
Will not work on Mac, Linux & notebooks
The plan was to make Rift compatible with Linux and Mac, too, but Oculus has put development for these platform on hold to focus on PC and Windows. “We want to get back to development for OS X and Linux but we don’t have a timeline.”
There is no mention of game consoles such as PlayStation and Xbox.
Oculus also says that the graphics cards in many modern laptops do not live up to the requirements for HDMI direct output. Future laptops might work.