Last week at CES 2017 in Las Vegas we ran across good amount of companies using virtual reality to show off their products or to announce the next best VR accessory. VR was one of the show stoppers at CES 2016 and that trend continued this year. One thing we learned at CES 2017 is that headset improvements are going to be slower than many hoped and sales have been sluggish due to the high price of VR headsets and high-end computers needed to power them.
AMD has been trying to solve the price issue for months by partnering with companies to produce low-cost yet high-quality systems for VR. Last summer AMD and CyberPowerPC partnered together to develop the CyberPowerPC Gamer Xtreme VR, a $719 system that was designed for VR gaming. This year, AMD has teamed up with CyberPowerPC and now Oculus to develop a new VR desktop package (press release) that includes a new CyberPowerPC Gamer Ultra VR desktop PC and an Oculus Rift. The CyberPowerPC Gamer Ultra VR system is priced at just $499.99 when bundled with a $599.99 Oculus Rift headset, so the total price is $1,099.98. This special package knocks $150 off the price of the CyberPowerPC Gamer Ultra VR that normally retails for $649.99.
CyberPowerPC Gamer Ultra VR Specifications:
|CPU||AMD FX 4350 @ 4.2GHz|
|GPU||Radeon RX 470 4GB|
|System RAM||8GB DDR3 memory|
|Hard Drive Capacity||1TB 7200RPM|
|Optical Drive||DVD+RW, DVD-RW|
|Keyboard + Mouse Included||Yes|
|USB Connectivity||3x USB 3.0, 7x USB 2.0|
AMD says that affordable VR gaming is now coming to lower price points due to advancements on the software side:
Exceptionally smooth Oculus Rift VR experiences can now be enjoyed on Radeon RX 470 GPUs, coupled with the affordable quad-core AMD FX™ 4350 CPU, without sacrificing visual fidelity. The secret to enabling this is Oculus’ newly announced Asynchronous Spacewarp (ASW) feature, which complements their existing Asynchronous Timewarp technology. ASW compares previously rendered frames, detects motion between them, and projects new frames that accurately reflect where various scene components should be based on the user’s movement. These types of calculations require serious computational power and ASW can harness our AMD LiquidVR™ technology in new Radeon™ ReLive drivers, to generate the projected frames without burdening the main graphics engine. – Jason Evangelo @ AMD
Lower prices are good, but VR still requires space and has a higher level of complexity to set them up than some people would like to deal with. VR headsets also cause some people get nausea and discomfort from even short periods of use. We were reminded by all of this at CES 2017 just last week as Intel had a press conference for the media that had individual Oculus Rift headsets with accompanying Intel-powered laptops for 260 guests at its 2017 media event at CES. Intel wanted the event to go smoothly, but warned people that VR may cause motion sickness, provided barf bags for everyone and had people walking around helping them fit those VR headets. Intel has since said that no one used the barf bags, but it just goes to show that the VR experience might not go as one may hope.
— Taylor Soper (@Taylor_Soper) January 4, 2017