Without Hardware Revolution, PC VR Is Dead In Water

pc vr games system requirements

PC VR games. They’re set to be the craze of the year. From Oculus Rift to SteamVR, virtual reality systems are lined up to launch you and me into the new era of gaming. And with VR games like Eve: Valkyrie, Star Citizen, and RuneScape all just waiting to be played in glorious VR, you’d be mad not to be excited.

Just one slight problem: The PC VR craze is hinged on a complete hardware revolution.

Your current PC cannot play VR games (unless you’re in the 1% of PC-owners). Simply put, 99% of us have a PC that’s too underpowered to play virtual reality PC games. Reality is this: Either you, I, and nearly all other would-be VR gamers head out and buy an extremely costly new PC, or we will not be playing VR games on PC.

Sorry. Bumma. Total downer, I know.

Unfortunately, VR PC games have system requirements that no one outside the PC-elite can meet. Even if you have recently bought a new PC, you still almost definitely will not be able to play PC VR games. This is largely because PC VR goes completely against the current PC-buying trend.

Right now the trend is to buy power-efficient ultraportables. Those ultraportable notebooks simply aren’t capable of handling VR. Not a problem if you’ve got the cash to fork-out for a new desktop. But let’s face it: most people don’t have the funds to commit to such a lofty purchase just for gaming.

Jason Paul, general manager of Nvidia’s VR business unit, said most computers required a “sevenfold increase in raw performance” to work properly with the best headsets. That’s an expensive acquisition. “Immersive VR requires seven times the graphics processing power compared to traditional 3D applications and games.”

You might be feeling lucky if you actually do have a PC that can play VR games. But hold your horses. You won’t have much fun playing PC VR without games. And games will only be made if they’re profitable. With 99% of PC gamers being completely unable to play VR games, it’s hard to see just how PC VR games will be profitable.

The system requirements for VR means that not enough people can play PC VR games. And if people can’t play the games, developers won’t make them.

Okay; this view is a little fatalistic. Just because most people won’t be able to play PC VR games immediately doesn’t mean they won’t workout in the long run. And the good news is that producers and developers are placing their bets on a lengthy-lifecycle, a lifecycle that sees PC VR steadily growing in popularity over a course of years.

pc vr games system requirements

PC VR games damn sure look fun. But without a top-end PC you will not be able to play PC VR games.

VR Developers Say This Is Just The Beginning. But Most Systems Live Or Die On Their Initial Success

Most VR developers are stating that the first release of VR systems is about breaking ground. They’re calling it the first step in a long process. Mark Zuckerberg said in November that “The VR market will take a while to gather momentum”. Ben Schachter of Macquarie Capital agrees: “For VR/AR, we have just pulled into the parking lot and tailgating is about to begin. Samsung just arrived with a six-pack of Bud Light, Facebook called and is bringing a new microbrew, and Sony might bring a more mass-market palatable ale.”

It might seem logical for developers VR to slowly grow. But history tells us that game systems live or die on the success of their first few years. Consumers want the just-released product, not the system that came out three years ago. By the time the average consumer can actually afford PC VR games, VR will have lost all its novelty and excitement.

What we’re left with is a situation in which either we witness the biggest revolution in PC hardware for decades, or we see PC VR gaming on its death bed before its even had time to grow up.




Will Your PC run Virtual Reality Games? These System Requirements will tell you either way

VR games are heavily dependent on system requirements.

Oculus has said the Rift will need a computer with an Intel i5 processor, 8 GB (or more) of memory and two USB 3.0 ports. Another system requirement for VR is the graphics card. You need equivalent to an nVidia NVDA -1.79% GeForce 970 or AMD AMD -3.14% Radeon 290 graphics card.

oculus rift system requirements

The Oculus Rift system requirements are quite intensive. Only 1% of PC gamers will meet these Oculus Rift system requirements



The good news is that manufacturers are preparing for VR. The HP Envy Phoenix is one of the first PCs custom designed to be ready for virtual reality.

hp envy phoenix

HP ENVY Phoenix is “Certified VR ready” for HTC VIVE

Inside HP ENVY Phoenix’s tower you’ll find a 2TB hard drive, Intel Core i7 K-series processor (with HP-tuned overclocking), and the choice of either AMD or NVIDIA graphics cards. You’ll be able to choose an NVIDIA GeForce GTX 980 Ti or an AMD Radeon R9 390x.  Available on January 16th, 2016 through HP online, the HP Phoenix will cost $1,699.99 USD.



List of VR Games Both Out-Now And To Be Released


TitlePlatformsRelease date for VRGenre
7 Days to Die
Star ConflictWindows, Mac, Linux (DK1 only)3/1/2013Space combat simulator, MMO
Team Fortress 2Windows, Mac, Linux3/20/2013FPS
Museum of the MicrostarWindows4/3/2013Narrative Short
Half-Life 2Windows, Mac, Linux5/10/2013FPS
Outerra AnteworldWindows5/27/2013Sandbox, Exploration
RacerWindows, Mac, Linux5/31/2013Sim racing
War ThunderWindows, Mac, Linux6/7/2013MMO, Combat flight simulator
Surgeon Simulator 2013Windows, Mac, Linux6/21/2013Simulation
UndercurrentWindows7/3/2013First Person Adventure
DARKWindows7/5/2013Stealth, Action RPG
Lunar FlightWindows7/17/2013Simulation
Custom Maid 3DWindows7/22/2013Adult, Simulation
Vendetta OnlineWindows, Mac, Linux7/24/2013Space trading and combat simulator, MMO
iRacing.comWindows, Mac, Linux7/25/2013Sim racing
KairoWindows, Mac7/31/2013First Person Puzzle
Strike Suit ZeroWindows, Mac, Linux7/31/2013Space combat simulator
3DXChatWindows8/7/2013Adult, MMO
VRInvestigationWindows8/8/2013First Person Detective
Aaaaa! for the AwesomeWindows8/19/2013Simulation
HawkenWindows9/11/2013FPS, Mecha
Slender: The ArrivalWindows9/19/2013Survival Horror
Maere: When Lights DieWindows9/29/2013Survival Horror
Cloud PartyWindows, Mac10/9/2013First Person Adventure
Euro Truck Simulator 2Windows, Linux10/20/2013Vehicle simulation game
DoorwaysWindows, Mac, Linux10/29/2013Survival Horror
Soda Drinker ProWindows11/2/2013First Person Soda, Simulation
Black IslandWindows11/4/2013Survival Horror
Assetto CorsaWindows11/8/2013Sim racing
Half-Life: SourceWindows, Mac, Linux11/8/2013FPS
Live for SpeedWindows11/8/2013Sim racing
Asunder: EarthboundWindows, Mac11/22/2013First Person Adventure
Elite: DangerousWindows12/20/2013Space trading and combat simulator, MMO
Time RiftersWindows, Mac, Linux12/25/2013FPS
CascadeWindows2014Exploration, Simulation
Digital Combat Simulator (DCS)Windows 64-bit2014Combat flight simulator
EVE ValkyrieWindows2014Space combat simulator
Ghost in the MachineWindows2014Platformer
Loading HumanWindows2014First Person Adventure
The Rift: U.R.I.D.I.SWindows2014Arcade, Vehicular combat game
Starpoint Gemini 2Windows2014Space trading and combat simulator
Strike VectorWindows2014Space combat simulator
Tron Light CyclesWindows2014Racing game
Castlevania: Lords of Shadow 2Windows2014 Q1Action Adventure
DaylightWindows2014 Q1Survival Horror
Flymachine VRWindows2014 Q1Arcade, Vehicular combat game
PositronWindows2014 Q1Racing, Puzzle
White HeavenWindows2014 Q1Survival Horror
The WitnessWindows2014 Q1First Person Puzzle
World of DivingWindows, Mac, Linux2014 Q1Online Multiplayer dive game
FRONTIERSWindows2014 Q2Exploration, Survival
PULSAR: Lost ColonyWindows2014 Q2Simulation
Trackmania 2Unknown2014 Q2Racing game
X-Plane 10Windows, Mac, Linux2014 Q2Flight Simulation
Chathouse 3DWindows2014 Q3Adult, Simulation
FRACT OSCWindows2014 Q3First Person Survival Horror
MonstrumWindows, Mac, Linux2014 Q3Survival Horror
Project FearWindows2014 Q3Open World Survival Horror
The FarmWindows2014 Q4Survival Horror
NOWHEREWindows, Mac, Linux2014 Q4Simulation
ResetWindows2014 Q4First Person Puzzle
RyzomWindows, Mac, Linux2014 Q4MMORPG
EstrangedWindows, Mac, Linux1/16/2014FPS, First Person Adventure
AloneWindows2014-02Survival Horror
DiplopiaWindows2014-02Block Breaker, Health
Probably ArcheryWindows, Mac, Linux2/6/2014FPS, Simulation
DreamWindows, Mac2/10/2014First Person Adventure
Skycall – Rook IslandWindows2/10/2014Flight Simulation
Energy HookWindows, Mac, Linux2014-03Grapple-and-swing-and-run-on-walls-for-style game
The Gallery: Six ElementsWindows2014-03First Person Adventure
LifelessWindows2014-03FPS, Survival
Throw Trucks With Your MindWindows2014-03FPS, Mind control
Ether OneWindows3/25/2014First Person Puzzle
Qbeh-1: The Atlas CubeWindows2014-04First Person Puzzle
Next Car GameWindows2014-05Vehicular combat game
Rift’s CaveWindows, Mac, Linux2014-05First Person Adventure, Puzzles, Fantasy
The ForestWindows5/22/2014Open World Survival Horror
Among the SleepWindows, Mac, Linux5/29/2014Survival Horror
Son of NorWindows2014-06Action Adventure
Stacks, TheWindows2014-06Exploration, First Person Puzzle
Hipster AxeWindows, Mac2014-07Open world
InsignificantWindows2014-07Open World RPG
Project NimbusWindows2014-07Mecha
Road RedemptionWindows2014-08Motorcycle combat-racing game
Crystal RiftWindows, Mac, Linux8/7/2014First Person Adventure
All Birds Must DieWindows, Mac8/13/2014Arcade Shooter
BouncerVR ArcadeWindows, Mac OSX8/30/2014Sports game, Arcade game
SynergyWindows, Mac, Linux2014-09FPS, Co-Op, Puzzle
The Long DarkWindows2014-10Survival, Simulation
SynthesisWindows (Mac & Linux Planned)2014-10Simulation, Puzzle, Abstract
4089Windows, Mac, Linux10/31/2014FPS, Procedural Action RPG, Stealth
Dreamfall ChaptersWindows, Mac, Linux2014-11Adventure
Star CitizenWindows, Linux2014-11Space trading and combat simulator, MMO
EthereonWindows, Linux, coming soon to Mac11/26/2014First Person Adventure, First Person Puzzle
NoLimits 2 Roller Coaster SimulationWindows11/27/2014Simulation
Classroom AquaticWindows, Mac, Linux2014-12First Person Dolphin, Simulation
Lacuna PassageWindows2014-12Exploration, Survival
Rift RushWindows2014-12Platformer
SCALEWindows2014-12First Person Puzzle
Shufflepuck Cantina VRWindows2014-12Arcade, Sports
SpaceEngineWindows12/26/2014Simulation, Exploration
The Shining ExperienceWindows2015Experience
WindlandsWindows, Mac, Linux2015Platformer, Exploration
Limit TheoryWindows, Mac, Linux2015 Q1Sandbox Space Exploration, Real-time strategy, RPG
P.O.L.L.E.N’Windows, Playstation 42015 Q1First Person Adventure
ObductionWindows2015 Q3First Person Adventure
A Maze ing VRWindows1/5/2015First Person Puzzle
Dying LightWindows, Linux2015-02FPS
XViREnt: Experiences in Virtual Reality EntertainmentWindows2015-02MMORPG, UGC
Multiplayer VRWindows2/21/2015MMO
InMindWindows, Mac, Linux2/22/2015Adventure, Action, FPS, Educational
Dirt RallyWindows2015-04Race,Rally,simulator
Tsunami IslandWindows4/1/2015Survival, Simulation
NevermindWindows2015-06First Person Adventure, Survival Horror, Health
MechDefenseWindows, Mac, Linux8/1/2015Tower defense, Simulation, Strategy, Shooter
A Chapter FinishedWindows9/15/2015Educational
RampageWindows, Mac11/4/2015First Person Shooter, Action, Shooter
Kingdom Come: DeliveranceWindows, Mac, Linux2015-12Open World RPG
GeocoreWindows, Mac, Linux2015-20166DOF SHOOTER
Project C.A.R.S.Windows, Linux2015-5Sim racing
EverQuest NextWindows2016MMORPG
Aderyn’s CradleWindows, Linux2016-06Open World RPG, Action RPG
Alien: IsolationWindows7-Oct-14Action-adventure, stealth
That BootyWindows8/15/2014Racing, Sports
AdvertCityWindows, Linux, OS XApr-15Tycoon game
FatedWindowsQ1 2016First Person Adventure
AdriftWindowsQ2/Q3 2015Exploration, First Person Puzzle
Unreal TournamentWindows, Mac, LinuxTBAFPS
AtajrubahWindowsTBDFirst Person Adventure
AttractioWindowsTBDFirst Person Puzzle
Avoid – Sensory OverloadWindows, Mac, LinuxTBDArcade
BeamNG.driveWindowsTBDSoft-Body Physics Simulation
Beast of preyWindowsTBDStrategy, Shooter
Catlateral DamageWindows, Mac, LinuxTBDSimulation game
CDF GhostshipWindowsTBDFPS, Survival Horror
City QuestWindowsTBDAdventure
Cypress Inheritance: The BeginningWindowsTBDStealth, Action RPG, First Person Adventure
Darkfield VRWindowsTBDSpace combat simulator, Multiplayer
DayZ StandaloneWindowsTBDFPS, Survival Horror
Dead TriggerWindowsTBDFPS
Doom 3: BFG EditionWindowsTBDFPS
Enemy StarfighterWindows, Mac, LinuxTBDSpace combat simulator
FlagshipWindowsTBDReal-time strategy
Formula CWindowsTBDRacing
Frequency DomainWindowsTBDMusic
Gekkeiju Online: The BeginningWindowsTBDMMORPG
Gimbal CopWindowsTBDRacing
GoD Factory: WingmenWindowsTBDSpace combat simulator
GraveWindowsTBDOpen World Survival Horror
Grid AutosportWindowsTBDRacing
Ground BranchWindowsTBDFPS
Heavy Gear AssaultWindowsTBDFPS, Mecha
HomesickWindowsTBDFirst Person Adventure
IL-2 Sturmovik: Battle of StalingradWindowsTBDCombat flight simulator
Insurgency 2WindowsTBDFPS
Interstellar MarinesWindows, Mac, LinuxTBDFPS
MinecraftWindows, Mac, LinuxTBDSandbox, Survival
Miner Wars 2081WindowsTBDFPS, Space Shooter
Montague’s MountWindowsTBDFirst Person Adventure
MontasWindowsTBDSurvival Horror, Adventure, Platformer
Mortal OnlineWindowsTBDFPS, Sandbox, MMO, Fantasy, RPG
Paranautical ActivityWindowsTBDFPS, Roguelike
ParanormalWindowsTBDSurvival Horror
Phoenix RCWindowsTBDRC Simulator
PolarityWindowsTBDFirst Person Puzzle
Private EyeWindowsTBDFirst Person Puzzle, First Person Adventure
Project EX.USWindowsTBDFPS
Proton Pulse RiftWindowsTBDBlock Breaker
Q.U.B.E.WindowsTBDFirst Person Puzzle
Race the SunWindowsTBDRacing, Arcade
RaceRoom Racing ExperienceWindowsTBDSim racing
Ravensword: ShadowlandsWindows, Mac, LinuxTBDAction RPG
RawbotsWindowsTBDRobot crafting Sandbox
ReceiverWindows, Mac, LinuxTBDFPS
RedFrameWindowsTBDFirst Person Adventure
rFactor 2WindowsTBDSim racing
Rogue SystemWindowsTBDSpace combat simulator
RoutineWindowsTBDSurvival Horror
RuneScapeWindows, Mac, LinuxTBDFantasy MMORPG
Second LifeWindows, Mac, LinuxTBDMMO
Site 37WindowsTBDFirst Person Adventure
SolusWindowsTBDExploration, Survival
Space Hulk: DeathwingWindowsTBDFPS
Space NomadsWindowsTBDTower defense
Spectre: Virtual Reality HorrorWindowsTBDSurvival Horror
Star RiftWindowsTBDSimulation
Star SonataWindowsTBDSandbox Space MMO
Stranded DeepWindowsTBDSurvival Horror, Simulation
Super Mega MegaWindowsTBDPlatformer
The Long DarkWindows, Mac, LinuxTBDSurvival simulation
Theme Park StudioWindowsTBDDesign and Simulation
Untitled game by SomavisionWindowsTBDAdult
Victory: The Age of RacingWindowsTBDSim racing, MMO
V I V OnlineWindowsTBDMMO
WanderWindows, Mac, LinuxTBDMMO, Exploration
WanderiftWindows, MacTBDArt Game, Exploration
Will of CreativityWindowsTBDMusic visualization
Wishful LieWindowsTBDSurvival Horror
XING: The Land BeyondWindowsTBDFirst Person Puzzle, First Person Adventure
XStoryPlayerWindowsTBDAdult, Simulation
ZED AbsolutionWindowsTBDArcade Shooter
Zombies on the HolodeckWindowsTBDFPS



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