Oculus has published its recommended specs for the Rift, and they're teetering right between 'steep' and 'doable'. Granted, the company's very first VR headset for mass consumption won't hit shelves until early next year, so hardware prices should hopefully come down a bit by the time you actually need them.
Oculus says a PC that meets these specifications should be able to "deliver a great experience" for all Rift games and applications. Throughout the life of the Rift headset, all internally developed projects will be developed with this configuration in mind, though external developers could still aim higher or lower. See how your rig measures up:
• NVIDIA GTX 970 / AMD 290 equivalent or greater
• Intel i5-4590 equivalent or greater
• 8GB+ RAM
• Compatible HDMI 1.3 video output
• 2x USB 3.0 ports
• Windows 7 SP1 or newer
It may seem odd for what's essentially a PC peripheral to dictate its own hardware requirements, instead of just leaving that to the applications. But Oculus says a good VR experience requires a rock-solid performance baseline.
"Traditionally, PC 3D graphics has had soft real-time requirements, where maintaining 30-60 FPS has been adequate," Oculus chief architect Atman Binstock explained. "VR turns graphics into more of a hard real-time problem, as each missed frame is visible. Continuously missing framerate is a jarring, uncomfortable experience. As a result, GPU headroom becomes critical in absorbing unexpected system or content performance potholes."
Oculus also revealed that it's temporarily "paused" work on Mac and Linux support for Oculus Rift to focus its attention on optimizing for Windows. The company doesn't have a timeline for when it will return to Mac and Linux.