Is Your PC VR Ready?

pc vr readyLike most online casino game players, you’re probably also looking towards the VR future, which is just on the horizon. The world of 80s sci-fi is upon us, and we can all finally live out our Lawnmower Man dreams. If you are one of those who is not yet excited about VR, get excited. Trust me when I say you’ll want it after trying it out.

But wanting VR, and being excited about VR, isn’t the same as actually being able to use VR. It turns out that creating digital worlds is pretty demanding as far as technology goes, so you might want to stop for a moment and think about whether you can actually run a VR system. Your average household computer, I’m afraid to say, can’t.

PC System Requirements

I admit to being passionate about computer technology to a degree that some might consider unhealthy. I spent a great deal of time constructing my own PC, and spend silly amounts of money keeping it up to date. I respect, however, that most don’t really understand computers to the same degree. So, in making this blog as accessible as possible, I will be explaining the requirements for a VR in easy to understand terms.

Graphics Card

Firstly, when it comes to a computer putting out really fancy pictures, the part that is doing the majority of the heavy lifting is the graphics card. It is also the part that is going to cost the most money, by far, after the VR headset itself. A computer can get by just fine operating Microsoft Word, browsing the internet and watching movies without an expensive graphics card. But, if you want to crank out some super fancy 3D images you’re gong to need a monster graphics card. And, as far as VR goes, you’re going to need one of the heftiest currently available.

The minimum graphics card needed is a GeForce GTX 970. It costs a good chunk of change, no one is going to deny that, and if you’ve just Googled your regional price your jaw may have hit the floor.

We are talking about VR on a PC here though; I’d just like to make that clear at this point. The PC offers the best VR experience possible, where high fidelity computer graphics are concerned. I’m personally focusing on PC VR right now because, as already mentioned, I am passionate about PC technology. As a side note, if your main aim is to only play VR casino games, you may wish to settle for a PlayStation 4 and associated headset. That is a cheaper option.

Other Requirements

With the graphics card out of the way, and your wallet crying from the horror, the rest of the PC requirements are not as daunting. You may already have them, if your PC is moderately up to date. An i5 4560 CPU is required, plus a modest 8 gigabytes of RAM. Also, be sure that you have two free 3.0 USB ports available.

If the above confuses you, go into Control Panel and click on System. You’ll get some details about your computer there. Very simply, just make sure your CPU is above the required level on an easily Googled chart. If not, the range of CPU required isn’t as expensive as you might think.

The Headset

With your wallet still reeling from the shock of the graphics card, the next thing to look at is the VR headset itself. There are two options in the VR headset department: the HTC Vive and the Oculus Rift. The HTC Vive is the better VR option, and provides the best possible VR experience. It comes with two motion tracking hand controllers, which work in conjunction with the headset and allow you to have hands in the VR world. I’ll just come out and say it, the HTC Vive option is incredibly pricey. Best not let your wallet see, it may commit suicide.

The Oculus Rift is cheaper, and there is an option that excludes motion-tracking controllers. This is the cheapest option, but still provides an incredibly convincing VR experience. You will, however, have to use your mouse and keyboard to play the game.

Conclusion

Perhaps you’ve just been put off VR forever after realising how much it would all cost. If you have, don’t fret. The prices will come down relatively soon, as the technology becomes more widely adopted. The VR world is still in its infancy, and has a way to go before it becomes a common household item.

Just as a passing thought, however, I used VR for the first time only recently, and tell no lies when I say it was way beyond my expectations. A simple online slot game was transformed into something so astonishingly immersive that I sat with my jaw somewhere between my nipples for a full hour. And no, my jaw doesn’t often find itself in that region. That’s the strongest endorsement I can give.

Marc Armstrong - Signature