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Oculus Drops Support for Windows 7 & 8.1

Oculus announced that it’s dropping support for Microsoft’s old operating systems. The company revealed new minimum and recommended system specifications for the Rift headset, and they don’t include Windows 7 and 8.1, which means it's time for Rift owners to get Windows 10.

Oculus’ shift shouldn’t come as a surprise. Last October, the company revealed that it would be releasing a revamped Oculus Home environment and core software. In late November we learned that some features of Oculus’ Rift Core 2.0 update, such as Oculus Desktop and Oculus Dash, would require Windows 10. When that information came to light, it was clear that Oculus would eventually abandon legacy operating systems.

Oculus changed the minimum specification ahead of the Rift Core 2.0 release to ensure that people are ready to take advantage of the Rift platform’s new features. Oculus said it decided to drop Windows 7 and 8.1 support because Microsoft doesn’t support those operating systems anymore, either, and Windows 10 ensures that Oculus can “deliver the best performance standards for Rift owners while aligning with industry standards.” The change won’t affect many Rift owners, though. Oculus said that 95% of Rift owners already run Microsoft’s current OS.

Oculus is encouraging the remaining 5% of its customers who are still holding on to Windows 7 or 8.1 to update as soon as possible. However, the stubborn few who will undoubtedly hold on to their beloved Windows 7 (does anyone love Windows 8.1 that much?) won’t lose access to their Rift. Oculus said that the change would affect new software releases, but the existing software would continue to function as it always has.

Graphics CardNvidia GTX 1050Ti / AMD Radeon RX 470 or greaterNvidia GTX 1060 / AMD Radeon RX 480 or greater
Alternative Graphics CardNvidia GTX 960 / AMD Radeon R9 290 or greaterNvidia GTX 970 / AMD Radeon R9 290 or greater
CPUIntel i3-6100 / AMD Ryzen 3 1200, FX4350 or greaterIntel i5-4590 / AMD Ryzen 5 1500X or greater
Memory8GB+ RAM8GB+ RAM
Video OutputCompatible HDMI 1.3 video outputCompatible HDMI 1.3 video output
USB Ports1x USB 3.0 port, plus 2x USB 2.0 ports3x USB 3.0 ports plus 1x USB 2.0 port
OSWindows 10 operating systemWindows 10 operating system
Kevin Carbotte is a Contributing Writer for Tom's Hardware US. He writes news and reviews of graphics cards and virtual reality hardware.