It's no secret that Oculus has been preparing to release the Rift early next year, but it's also no surprise that the new medium will likely attract people to PC gaming who have never owned a gaming PC, much less know how to build one or select the parts for one. Many people still buy off-the-shelf pre-built PCs from the local electronics store, and those machines simply won't handle VR.
In an effort to curb the confusion and make it easier for people new to PC gaming to just pick up PC and Rift and jump into games and other VR experiences without any trouble, Oculus has partnered with some well-known PC vendors and hardware component companies to create certified systems that meet or exceed Oculus's minimum specification, for an affordable price.
In May, Oculus announced the standardized minimum specification for developers to target. Oculus has worked out partnerships with AMD, Intel and Nvidia to ensure that compatible hardware will be available at prices that consumers will be willing to pay. Games and other experiences in VR will require quite a bit of graphics processing power, and Oculus is targeting the GTX 970 from Nvidia and the R9 290 from AMD as the bare minimum to be Oculus Ready.
The company has also stated that an Intel i5-4590 or equivalent is required but did not specify what would be considered an equivalent CPU from AMD. The minimum specification also calls for at least 8 GB of memory.
Oculus Ready PCs will be offered from Alienware, Dell and Asus, with systems starting at under $1,000. It will be possible to order bundles with desktop PCs and Oculus Rift headsets together, or the PCs can be purchased as standalone systems.
Each of the Oculus Ready PCs will come with an easy to recognize case badge indicating that the hardware inside is certified by Oculus to be capable of handling any experience or game released for the Rift VR HMD.
Asus is the first of the three announced partnerships to reveal its upcoming Oculus Ready PCs. The company will launch the G11CD and G20CB Oculus Ready desktops in time for the release of the Rift. They will feature 6th Generation Core (Skylake) processors from Intel and Nvidia GeForce GTX graphics cards. The exact models of each have not been revealed, but Asus said more details, including availability, will be revealed later this year.
The announcement at Oculus Connect listed only three PC vendors, but Oculus stated that announcements of more vendors and partners will be made next year closer to the launch of the Rift.