Your Tech Update – VR Just Got A Hell-Of-A Lot Cheaper


What’s that? You can’t afford a VR ready PC? Well, that just got a lot cheaper!

At Oculus’ Connect 2016 conference Oculus announced a bunch a really cool stuff, along with the price drop (earlier this year) of the rift by $130 AUD, this is a massive price adjustment and it seems that Oculus is feeling the Squeeze from the PS VR. What does this mean for Oculus? Well, hopefully, we now see a more competitive market in regards to the three front runners of VR. The HTC Vive is currently the most expensive unit, although the Vive seems to be of much higher quality than the Rift or the PSVR they have marketed themselves for the elite; and that’s a perfectly fine business model for HTC. The PSVR and the Rift are around the same quality, though some console enthusiasts feel the former is the superior model!


Whether that’s true or not the PSVR is much more accessible for the budget conscious, especially if you already own a Playstation 4. Oculus’ price drop only begins to scratch the surface, although the new minimum requirements for their device are making quite a splash. Yes, that’s right Oculus have managed to release software updates that actually reduce the minimum requirements for their headset. No this isn’t like the iPhone app that lets you charge your iPhone in a microwave, this software upgrade makes it a hell of a lot cheaper for PC enthusiasts to get their rig VR ready.

Here are the minimum requirements when the retail kit release earlier this year.

  • Graphics Card: GeForce GTX 970 or AMD Radeon R9 290 or greater.
  • CPU: Intel Core i5 4590 or greater.
  • RAM: 8GB or more.
  • Video port: HDMI 1.3.
  • USB port: 2 USB 3.0 ports.
  • Windows 7 SP1 or newer.

Building a computer with these requirements “or greater” would have set you back at least $1500 AUD, more than the average person could afford for a video game set up. But now thanks to new Oculus VR technologies “Spacewarp and Timewarp”, the minimum requirements have dropped to;

  • Graphics Card: Nvidia 960 or greater.
  • CPU: Intel Core i3-6100 / AMD FX4350 or greater.
  • RAM: 8GB plus.
  • Video port: HDMI 1.3.
  • 1x USB 3.0, 2x USB 2.0 ports
  • Windows 8 or newer

It doesn’t seem like much but it will reduce the cost of a VR ready set up by over $800 AUD in some cases. How does this work you say? Well not to get into the techno jargon too much, but basically the two technologies work together to bring down the resource needs of the Rift. “Spacewarp” lowers the hardware demand of the rift, while “Timewarp” allows you to drop frame rate without affecting the integrity of the visuals, by substituting frames while frame rate is dropping. It has been mentioned that if you suffer from motion sickness or balance issues then you’re probably going to need a much higher frame rate so this option is not for you.


“We also announced Asynchronous Spacewarp (ASW), a technique that allows a game to run at half framerate and look nearly as good as native 90hz rendering. With ASW, we’re introducing a minimum spec for Rift that brings VR to an even bigger audience. With lower CPU and GPU requirements, people can get into VR at a lower cost with a wider range of hardware. And with this new min spec, we’re able to introduce an AMD-based machine from Cyberpower that can run Rift for $499!”

Set up will allow the Oculus to run on some prebuilt “Oculus Ready” laptops as low as $600 AUD. These laptops are being manufactured by brands like ASUS, LENOVO, and Alienware just to name a few, and Oculus plans to add more brands to that list soon.

Overall the PSVR and the Oculus Rift are now in very similar price brackets This should make for a more competitive market, which should benefit eager early adopters over the next 6 months.

This has been Dreadlocked Sp4rtn AKA Simon Mawson with Your Tech Update!

About: Simon Mawson

Simon Mawson (AKA Drdlokd Sp4rtn) Computer Science student at Adelaide University Blogger / Vlogger, Gaming YouTuber, and general techy guy! I am a PC gamer with a passion for Open world role-play games, and a love for fantasy universes like Halo, The Elder Scrolls, and Diablo.

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