Oculus Reduces Minimum System Requirements

By | October 7, 2016

Thanks to a new technology called “asynchronous spacewarp”, Oculus has managed to reduce it’s minimum system requirements. Asynchronous spacewarp is a form of interpolation that enables a game rendered at 45 FPS to be smoothed out to a display rate of 90 fps on the headset. The device technology takes the 2 most recent frames, analyzes differences, and uses them along with head movement to calculate an additional frame to create a smoother experience.

A true 90 fps will still provide a more smooth and accurate gaming experience, but this technology will substantially improve the experience for those playing on a system that cannot achieve this framerate. It also will help users keep their current hardware for longer, as users that aren’t able to maintain 90 fps in newer games will be able to maintain a satisfactory¬†experience through this new interpolation technique.

 

Old System Requirements

Intel i5 4690

NVIDIA GTX 970 or AMD Radeon R9 290

8 GB RAM

Windows 7 SP1 64 bit or newer

HDMI 1.3 video output

3 USB 3.0 ports and a 1 USB 2.0 port.

New System Requirements

Intel i3 6100 or AMD FX 4350

NVIDIA GTX 960

8 GB RAM

Windows 7 SP1 64 bit or newer

HDMI 1.3 video output

3 USB 3.0 ports and a 1 USB 2.0 port.

What’s actually needed for VR?

While Oculus specifies a minimum hardware specification, to some extent it is¬†based around future proofing. Most of the current VR games on the market have very simple graphics, and in theory should run well on systems below the minimum requirements if graphics are turned down. With that said, they have to provide a baseline minimum specification that developers are expected to target, in order to ensure that games are accessible to most owners of the device. Oculus doesn’t want their customers to be upset if a VR game they buy doesn’t run smoothly, as it reflects poorly on the device(even if they aren’t actually at fault). For this reason, they set the bar high to ensure performance.

With that said, if you’re in a position to spend $600 or more on a VR headset, it’s probably best to invest in a system that will be able to run games 2-3 years down the line. When new VR headsets come out and developers try to create VR games that push the limits of graphics, it would be best to have a system that can keep up with these advancements. While you might be able to run some VR games just fine on a system below minimum specifications, you’ll be locking yourself out of a lot of really fun games, therefore getting limited use out of the expensive $600 headset.

Currently, a 6 GB GTX 1060 provides roughly equivalent performance to a GTX 980, setting it well above even the minimum requirements. The AMD RX 480 also meets the minimum requirements, at a lower price than the r9 290.

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