Having a powerful PC paired with a VR headset isn't a luxury - it's pretty much mandatory. Skimp on the hardware sending the images to your HMD and you've effectively bought yourself a $600 vomit box. No one wants that.
Some kind of standard needed to be established, and Oculus did just that with their partners at Dell, Alienware and Asus, releasing several certified Oculus-ready PCs. There are bundles available too which include the Rift headset for a slight discount.
Which of these upcoming PC games will you be playing in VR in the months and years to come? Dare to dream.
Oculus announced the preorder availability of Rift-ready gaming PCs (why they opted for 'Oculus-ready' instead is beyond me) via a blog post on their official site.
Initially the pricings were a bit confusing though, and gave the impression that the PCs and headsets were going for crazy-low prices (starting at $949). What now reads as the 'special offer' was originally 'bundle price.' And when you read 'bundle price' in a blog post about Oculus-ready PCs, you could be forgiven for thinking that price refers to the machine and the Oculus rift. Bundled together, as it were.
Not so - it refers to the price of the PC alone, when you also buy an Oculus Rift for $600. As mentioned, it's now been amended to 'special offer' but that phrasing could still be clearer about what you're actually getting for the price. I digress.
The cheapest PC featured is the Asus G11CD, which is built with a GTX 970 graphics card (the entry level card for VR) and an Intel Core i5 6400 with 8GB of RAM. That's $949 if you buy it with the Rift, and $1049 if you don't.
At the other end of the specttrum is Alienware's Area 51, which includes a GTX 980, an Intel Core i7 5820K and 16GB of RAM. That'll set you back $2349 if you also buy a Rift, and $2549 if you don't.
Though you can preorder these machines now from Best Buy and the Microsoft store now, you won't be using them to power the virtual worlds of tomorrow with a Rift until 28th March when the headsets are released.
Thanks, PC Gamer.