Depending on your level of tech savvy, you might be out in the cold when it comes to the Oculus Rift at launch – unless you save up.
With the VR revolution right around the corner, and Oculus Rift hitting pre-order soon, it’s time to start thinking cost. First and foremost you’re probably wondering to yourself what the headset will cost. While the Oculus pre-order announcement came short of being forward on that cost, we have some solid ideas of both the real and hidden costs of Oculus Rift to help guide you.
Obviously the first thing to consider is the headset itself. As mentioned, Oculus VR headsets aren’t listed with a real cost at this time. That will change when the pre-purchase goes live in two days, but the Oculus team has already discussed that the headset will cost at least $300. With two high-definition screens inside and a decent processing requirement to manage, this is to be expected – how much higher it will go however is up to question. Given this $300 starting point, there are other factors to consider as well before you can simply jump into VR.
This headset works with your PC, meaning that if you’d like to get into the two free games included you’ll need to kick it up a notch. The most impressive of these two games is EVE: Valkyrie.
Showcased in the video above, few details actually cover what your PC will need to make these graphics happen, but Nvidia gives us a look ahead that can help us pick out a cost for entry-level. According to the graphics processing company, you’ll need a base graphics card of the GTX 970 to handle the dual-screen system at a VR recommended 90 frames-per-second.
Like most of you, we’re already adding up the costs using NewEgg.com for reference. The absolutely lowest cost GTX 970 on NewEgg will run you about $340 as well. Naturally most people don’t like going with the base model if you want to future proof yourself and AMD is always another option. Looking at a comparable AMD model, you’ll run about $100 cheaper, but likely only pull 60-80 frames-per-second with the lower core clock in an R9 380 series.
The cost doesn’t end there as entry-level processors require an Intel Core i5 4590. That processor will run you $200, with the additional need for 8 GB RAM, two open USB ports, an HDMI 1.3 port [on your new video card], and Windows 7 SP1 or later.
Assuming that you won’t need a new motherboard to suit the extra USB and that you already have 8 GB of RAM, this brings the total cost of entry level Oculus Rift VR headset use up to $840. Of course this cost could be higher if the Oculus VR Headset costs more than the “at least” $300 price point. Leave a comment below if you think this cost is too high for an entry point, or if you’re ready to leave traditional models behind.