NVIDIA announced at CES 2016 the launch of their GeForce GTX VR Ready Program, a labeling initiative to help consumers identify virtual reality (VR) capable PCs, notebooks and add-in cards.
The goal of the program is to simplify the buying process through an easily identifiable badge to let buyers know which systems or components are up to snuff with the high demands of VR gaming. The company will be adding its sticker of approval to both individual video cards and full systems.
According to NVIDIA, a fully immersive VR experience requires graphics processing capabilities seven times more powerful than those afforded by traditional 3D gaming applications. This indicates minimum acceptable frame rates should be greater than 90 fps for two simultaneous images.
Specifics of NVIDIA’s VR-ready program start with the basic requirement of a GeForce GTX 970 GPU or above for desktops, or a GTX 980M GPU for notebooks. Other minimum system requirement peripherals include head mounted displays, PCs with USB 3.0, CPUs with an Intel Core i5-4590 equivalent or greater, 8GB+ RAM, 2x USB 3.0 ports, HDMI 1.3, and Windows 7 SP1 operating systems or newer.
Manufacturers participating with NVIDIA’s label launch include Acer, Alienware, Asus, EVGA, Falcon Northwest, Hewlett Packard, Maingear, MSI, and Zotac. Participating retailers include Amazon, NCIX and Newegg.
No information was provided indicating when consumers can expect to begin seeing badges labeled “GeForce GTX VR Ready” but speculation says they should be in place in time for the forthcoming releases of the HTC Vive and Oculus Rift headsets, which are poised to kick start a new era of VR gaming.
Early specs on the Oculus Rift show it will have 2160×1200 resolution (1080×1200 per eye) and will offer 360-degree positional head tracking, with a field of view of 100 degrees. The HTC Vive will share the same 2160×1200/1080×1200 per eye resolution, with a field of view of 110 degrees.
Breaking news has it that Oculus will be accepting pre-orders for its Oculus Rift VR system on January 6 from www.oculus.com. No pricing or delivery information is yet available for the Rift. HTC’s Vive headset has a targeted release date of April. Pricing and delivery time frame are also unknown until the official announcement.