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Oculus Rift to work exclusively on Windows; halts work for Linux, Mac

Facebook-owned Oculus on Friday, announced that Oculus Rift would work exclusively for Windows OS, and development work for Linux and Apple OS X has been stopped. Oculus had detailed the specs, revealing the compatibility of the headset with PCs.oculus-rift-facebook-bounty

Most laptops are unlikely to support Rift due to the incompatible output video. The virtual reality headset will need a graphic card equivalent to or more powerful than AMD Radeon R9 290 or Nvidia GTX 970. The processor will need to be equivalent or more powerful than Intel i5-459o chip. Other specifications that are required includes 8Gb of RAM, two USB 3.0 ports, in order to handle HDMI 1.3 output.

Oculus chief architect Atman Binstock mentioned that having common specs will simplify the development process and allow programmers to create apps and games, to offer a consistent experience. He added that the VR headset would deliver a  negative experience if the hardware isn’t up to par. According to Binstick, the specs will remain the same while the cost of the components in technology will reduce, allowing a wide range of PCs to use the Rift.

Most of the laptops have external video outputs connected to integrated GPU that does not support the headset. However, Oculus hopes that future laptops might compatible with the headset. However, development for Mac and Linux has been stopped temporarily, and will resume in the future. Oculus seeks to focus completely on Windows for the time being.

Oculus also releases a beta Software Development Kit (SDK), for developing Rift applications on PC. Recently, Oculus revealed that the headset will be available for sale in the first quarter of 2016. Facebook had purchased the company for $2 billion in March, which began as a crowd funding campaign in 2012. The virtual reality headset to set to compete with Sony’s Project Morpheus, Samsung Gear VR and others.

Given the challenges around VR graphics performance, the Rift will have a recommended specification to ensure that developers can optimize for a known hardware configuration, which ensures a better player experience of comfortable sustained presence. The recommended PC specification is an NVIDIA GTX 970 or AMD 290, Intel i5-4590, and 8GB RAM. This configuration will be held for the lifetime of the Rift and should drop in price over time.

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About Anirudh Madhav

A movie buff, a bookworm, and a compulsive doodler. All posts by Anirudh

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