It looks as if 2016 will be the year of VR, with a number of vendors releasing headsets in the coming months (Oculus Rift, HTC Vive). As a result, NVIDIA will be starting an initiative to help consumers spot systems that are ready for VR with a new badge bundled with select GTX graphics cards.
Virtual Reality headsets are not easy to operate and render to, as they require higher frame rates (90 FPS) and resolutions,sometimes dual displays, in order to work without incident (read: nausea). This has led some game companies to put very high system requirements on its VR modes – namely Elite Dangerous: Horizons, requiring a GTX 980 and Intel 3770K as the minimum.
NVIDIA’s VR-Ready program sets the minimum in-line with the same requirements as the Oculus Rift; a GTX 970 or above (or a 980 in some cases, depending on the headset). However, the requirements don’t stop at just the GPU, as the whole system is taken into account, although most of which is common sense.
- A head mounted display
- A PC with USB 3.0 support
- CPU: Intel Core i5-4590 equivalent or greater CPU
- 8GB+ of Memory/RAM
- 2x USB 3.0 ports and HDMI 1.3
- Windows 7 SP1 or newer
The program will be provided through multiple system vendors, such as Acer, Alienware, ASUS, HP and Maingear, as well as AIB partners EVGA, MSI, and Zotac. A number of etailers will also display the badge when offering compatible products online through stores such as Amazon, NCIX and Newegg. NVIDIA has provided a full list of partners here.
When purchasing a compatible GPU in the future, it will also be supplied with the GTX VR Ready badge/decal – because the front of PCs don’t have enough glitzy stickers to begin with.
Many different compatibility systems have been used in the past, often with mixed success, so to have another system start seems a bit much at this point, especially since the number of supported games can be counted on a single hand (at least for mainstream titles). However, VR, and by extension, AR, really do need something in place to keep people aware of some of the rather demanding requirements, otherwise we’ll all end up with any old mobile strapped to our face, complaining about poor tracking and bad app support… oh wait.