At Oculus Connect 2 last month, amongst the myriad announcements, an important initiative by the virtual reality company was revealed, affordable ‘Oculus Ready’ PCs that meet the minimum, recommended requirements of virtual reality. Now, AMD have announced a strategic hardware partnership with Dell to bring Oculus Ready Alienware PCs to consumers soon.
The new line of PCs will start at $999 and will offer consumers looking to step into the world of VR peace of mind that the hardware they’re buying will offer the performance required to drive a comfortable virtual reality experience.
“It’s an exciting time to be at the heart of all things Virtual Reality,” said Roy Taylor, corporate vice president, Alliances and Content, AMD. “I’m confident that with Dell and Alienware, we can enable a wide audience of PC users with extraordinary VR capabilities powered by AMD Radeon GPUs.”
AMD’s Liquid VR initiative, a set of APIs designed to deliver low latency, high fidelity virtual reality visuals, was launched at GDC in March and recently scooped an award for the semi-conductor giant. Liquid VR technology, requiring compatible hardware and drivers underpin AMD’s virtual reality offering to the consumer.
Frank Azor, Co-founder and General Manager, Alienware said of the announcement “Partnering with the performance of AMD graphics and the innovation of Oculus provides an incredible opportunity for Alienware to deliver something awesome for our users.”
It’s expected that multiple systems integrators will offer Oculus Ready PCs in time for the company’s first consumer VR headset, the Rift, released in Q1 2016. ASUS is the only other company confirmed as partners on the program thus far.
It’s not clear whether this collaboration represents an exclusive arrangement between Dell and AMD, or for how long the partnership will be in place. NVIDIA of course are also aggressively pursuing the VR space with their Gameworks VR API collection so we’re likely to hear more of their plans for Oculus Ready hardware soon.