What year is it? I ask because right now you can walk into an electronics store and buy a virtual reality system. I’m not talking about some, sit in a chair and put some 3d glasses on type of VR either. I’m talking, fully immersive, fully interactive room scale virtual reality. Its 2019… is it really? Well damn, this level of consumer VR has arrived way sooner than anyone expected. So, it’s really here, what are you waiting for? Go get yourself a VRS right now and get lost in virtual worlds. Oh what? You are waiting for me to tell you what you need to get set up? My bad! Here we go:
Are you strong enough?
First off, is your PC a beast? Because you are going to need a pretty powerful PC. Your PC must be able to render above 1080p at a stable 90Hz. VR headsets have two screens, one for each eye. These screens have millions of pixels, meaning your GPU needs to crank out high resolution frames at a high rate. If your PC can’t maintain that steady 90fps, then you are going to have a bad time. Tearing and stuttering can not only spoil the immersion, but your dinner, as motion sickness sends to scurrying to the nearest bathroom. Take a look at some Gaming PCs and VRsto get an idea of the ideal specs. You will want at MINIMUM anNvidia GeForce 970. If you want the line between reality and virtual reality blurred even further, you might want to invest in NVidias 10 series graphics cards. Of course, you will need all the other performance goodies too, a strong CPU and lots of RAM to keep it all stable. Something like this Acer Predator Gaming and VR Desktop PC is a good compromise between price and performance, although you may consider upgrading the graphics card later on down the line.
It’s all in (on) your head
Alright, so your beastly PC purrs in the corner, ready to eat tricky frames like candy. Now you need a headset. There are a few VR headsets out there, but I would recommend the HTC Vive or the Oculus Rift. Both these systems are fantastic and have the capacity for room scale tracking. These headsets replace your monitor, giving you two high definition screens right in front of your face. Both these systems are also very comfortable to wear and cater to a lot of different users and headphone configurations.
I need some space
We have the PC, we have the headset, now we just need somewhere to open a portal into the digital realm. Whilst the Rift is more suited to a seated experience, both it and the Vive have room scale tracking technology. By placing sensors around a space, your computer can map your room in virtual space. This allows you to interact in a virtual space as large as your room allows. This must be experienced to be fully appreciated, being transported to another world, feeling your feet touch the ground really is wild. So then, you will need a bit of space, how much is recommended? Whilst you can do it in a smaller space, a 3.5m x3.5m is recommended to save you from kicking holes in things.
That’s pretty much it! Simple right? Once you enter the virtual reality void there is no turning back. Immersive, terrifying and electrifying, VR is finally here. Now you can have a VR system in your spare room for not a lot of dollars. Is it worth it? Hey, I have new muscles in my back from shooting virtual zombies in a virtual cornfield, what else could a gamer want?