Perhaps the hottest gift one could get this holiday season is the Oculus Rift S, a device that is like driving a Formula 1 racecar.
According to Digital Trends, “VR, or virtual reality, has gone from a science fiction concept to a broad market of consumer devices in just a short span of years. It’s no surprise some of us have whiplash.”
If you do not know what VR is, here’s a brief primer from Digital Trends: “Virtual reality technology seeks to create a realistic, three-dimensional image or environment that a human can perceive as real, and even interact with in realistic ways. Obviously, we aren’t at Holodeck levels of realism yet, but consumers do have easy access to VR headsets and controllers.”
That means you have to attach a device to the USB port on your computer, put a headset on and fire up an environment created by software. Suddenly you see a display – as if you were standing in the environment you just created.
Say you ask the computer to create a forest, replete with flora and fauna. There you are, walking around, having birds eating out of your hand and seeing sunlight stream through the trees. Or, you could play a racing game.
To have the VR experience, you need to own a great PC. Not an ordinary computer you picked up on sale, but something that meets specific conditions.
Not all computers will meet the advanced requirements. According to Oculus, “All Oculus Ready machines undergo a 100 point certification test by our world-class quality assurance team. Each PC must pass this series of tests multiple times over a two-week testing period and then, only then, are the best ready, Oculus Ready.”
Beginning Jan. 14, 2020, Oculus will stop supporting the Rift platform on Windows 7 and 8.1 to align with Microsoft’s ending of support for Windows 7.
The minimum requirement is a PC running Intel i5 CPU, 8GB RAM, super-fast SSD with 40+GB of free space, 3 USB 3.0 ports and a great graphics card. A custom-built computer is your best choice. I wouldn’t recommend a standard laptop for this endeavor; however, a game machine may do the trick, albeit a bit slow.
I recommend Walmart for the best price, along with their great warranty, for the Oculus device, and a local custom builder for the compliant computer.
We at ComputersUSA wish all of you a great holiday season and hope your new year is successful, fruitful and full of love. Thanks for your support.
William Claney is an independent tech writer and former owner of Computers USA in the Clayton Station. Email questions or comments to firstname.lastname@example.org.