GI.biz: Oculus' high PC specs are Sony's chance to shine


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It is with absolute confidence, and yet a heavy heart, that I say that I won't be getting an Oculus Rift when the consumer model of the headset arrives early next year. This is a reversal of what I'd have told you just last week...

 

...Oculus announced the minimum hardware specifications required for the Rift a few days ago, and they are... High. Eye-watering high. An NVIDIA GTX 970; an Intel i5-4590 chip. Oh, and forget about laptops, pretty much.

 

 
What this might mean to Oculus and to VR on the whole is that a product we all knew would be niche is going to be far more niche than we expected, for far longer than we expected. It's going to be restricted to a thin slice at the upper end of what's (mostly) ironically termed the PC Gaming Master Race; the rest of the market, even the core gamers and early adopters, are going to arrive within Oculus' sights only very gradually, as component prices fall and average PC specs rise.

 

 
One thing is certain; unless Valve has a very big surprise in store for Vive's recommended specs, Sony is going to have absolutely the only VR solution at a consumer-friendly price. Morpheus will probably launch after its competitors on PC, but this is looking increasingly like an unimportant handicap; if Morpheus is reasonably priced and actually works, even within more strict limitations than its PC rivals; if Sony can support it properly with first- and third-party games, rather than sending it out to die as it did with PS Move and EyeToy; then Morpheus will have an unchallenged run at mass-market VR for at least a year or so

 

http://www.gamesindustry.biz/articles/2015-05-21-oculus-high-pc-specs-are-sonys-chance-to-shine

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well console games isn't where I find the most VR friendly games anyway, as the only games I would consider VR are various Sims where you are inside a cockpit of some sort.

 

the majority of these, especially the advanced ones are PC. and so far I don't think morpheus is even announced for PC? and if it is... well by necessity the hardware.requirements will be pretty much the same..

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Technology does not have to and should not have to cater to a lower denominator.

 

Leaps and bounds have to be made and if that means forced upgrades of hardware in order to achieve the next level of technology then so be it.

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It's interesting how there are people who are so turned off by the idea of new technology putting pressure on hardware to innovate. Yes, something dramatically different with totally new demands on performance won't be able to just coast by on your average $400 laptop. No freaking crap.

 

People are writing these articles as if some competitor is going to come along that can magically make this all work on Intel graphics or something.

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Is there really any point in comparing the two? Oculus is for PC, Morpheus is for Playstation, they're not interchangable so a comparison is pointless

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Not that I'm interested in VR at all, but it seems like the author doesn't really understand tech trends. Today's high end equipment will be mostly matched by tomorrow's mid to upper-mid range equipment. So, one can fully expect there to be a much broader range of products that can support Oculus at a much cheaper price by the time it's released. He's likely not going to need next year's top end tech to be able to use Oculus when it comes out. Now, if he's expecting his aging 3+ year old rig to be able to support Oculus without any upgrades, that's just ignorant.

 

Yes, Oculus will be a niche market, but it's not only going to be for the "thin slice at the upper end" like he's thinking.

 

Of course, this is just all speculation, but it's more than plausible.

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It's interesting how there are people who are so turned off by the idea of new technology putting pressure on hardware to innovate. Yes, something dramatically different with totally new demands on performance won't be able to just coast by on your average $400 laptop. No freaking crap.

 

People are writing these articles as if some competitor is going to come along that can magically make this all work on Intel graphics or something.

 

I wouldn't say turned off. It's just about money. If you can't afford something you're interested in you can either look to scale your expectations back a little and buy a cheaper option, or not buy at all.

 

In my opinion all the article is really putting down as a plus is people who may not have got into VR until the technology required on the PC comes down in price as it always does, will have this cheaper option. With lesser expectations of course, but it's still VR, like a cheap android phone is to a flagship (both get to experience Lollipop/Android OS/etc).

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Is there really any point in comparing the two? Oculus is for PC, Morpheus is for Playstation, they're not interchangable so a comparison is pointless

 

A comparison isn't pointless as they are designed to give the same experience, but one will fall short: Morpheus.

There's a reason Oculus Rift and Vive have higher specs and higher driving hardware requirements, because they want the initial experience to be good enough so people will still be interested in it in the future.

Higher resolution, framerate and FoV all matter for VR and the PC with its open nature can garner support much faster.

With Sony and their history of bad accessory support this doesn't look as likely to be the case.

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Just out of curiosity, are people expecting these to be some new "tech revolution" and sell like mad? I saw the VR craze come and go 20 years ago, sure the tech has improved but it's hardly a new thing by any stretch of the imagination.. for me anyways it kind of ranks up there with 3D TVs and such.. have the feeling 5 years from now it'll be gone. Now AR perhaps might catch on, maybe.

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I just don't think sony solution will be any good. You really need PC to get benefit of VR.  Although you can do it on smartphone and PS4 they just aren't going to be engaging as a PC experience.  The bulk of the developers are target PC not PS4.  A couple premium titles are going to be PC only.

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Just out of curiosity, are people expecting these to be some new "tech revolution" and sell like mad? I saw the VR craze come and go 20 years ago, sure the tech has improved but it's hardly a new thing by any stretch of the imagination.. for me anyways it kind of ranks up there with 3D TVs and such.. have the feeling 5 years from now it'll be gone. Now AR perhaps might catch on, maybe.

 

Not sell like mad, but if you already own a PS4 as a gamer and Sony can get this thing at $150-199, then that starts to enter impulse buy territory in order to try something new. As a PS4 gamer you've already paid up part of your investment into VR, and that hasn't been solely to get VR, but because you want a PS4 for gaming. Some PC gamers may need to invest a bit just for VR, as their current specs run games okay, but can't run the VR headsets well enough. Part of the plus, and minus in ways, to a console is it's a level playing field and there's no high or low common denominators, everyone will get the same experience at the same price point. Pretty sure the headsets will work fine on the PS5, and that's when the technical experience can be much better than entry level.

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Just out of curiosity, are people expecting these to be some new "tech revolution" and sell like mad? I saw the VR craze come and go 20 years ago, sure the tech has improved but it's hardly a new thing by any stretch of the imagination.. for me anyways it kind of ranks up there with 3D TVs and such.. have the feeling 5 years from now it'll be gone. Now AR perhaps might catch on, maybe.

 

I have the exact same feeling, this will be the next 3D...

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I think the whole problem started with outdated API DirectX 11. It's not worth to invest in higher end GPU because many AAA games couldn't even managed to sustain a minimum 60fps. You must be wondering what the heck is wrong with this and last generation games won't even run at justify fps for the price tag of hardware. Those ultra preset isn't that huge leap compared to console and we pretty much get a little bit better AA and crapwork from nvidia. In fact, lowering the hardware recommendation to r9 270x feel more sensible and less overhead as a whole.

 

If this doesn't fix soon with the help of DirectX 12 with tiny improvement in real world (Not draw calls) then VR is without doubt a niche market and not feasible for wide adoption at a faster rate.

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I heard that you have have a minimum of 70 FPS on the Oculus Rift on everything you play for it too look good and not make you sick. As well as pushing 720p per eye. So i've been expecting high PC specs from the get go.

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I heard that you have have a minimum of 70 FPS on the Oculus Rift on everything you play for it too look good and not make you sick. As well as pushing 720p per eye. So i've been expecting high PC specs from the get go.

 

Don't get to hooked up on the resolution per eye. rendering stereoscopic 3D is not like rendering two 720 scenes. most of the hard work in the rendering of the two pictures are actually shared. 

 

also technically since the 720p is vertical lines, the OR is over 1080 in the final version. 

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I don't know what people were expecting.

 

I've been following Oculus since their kickstarter and the impression I got was that they were targeting PCs because of their superior hardware specs.  As such it stands to reason that the target hardware will be higher than console specs.  Not only that but if you think you're going to buy the first commercial Rift and it's going to last you 5+ years you've got another thing coming because they've made it pretty clear that another reason they're targeting PCs they iterate faster.  They don't want to get locked into a set of console specs for the 5+ year life of a console.  As such I wouldn't be surprised if the Rift 2.0 came out just a year after the Rift 1.0 launches and I WOULD be surprised if Rift 2.0 took more than 2-3 years to come out.

 

The Rift is no doubt going to offer a superior experience to Morpheus but it's going to cost you a lot more to get it and it's going to last a far shorter amount of time.  As such I have no doubt that Morpheus will far outsell the Rift and VR will largely succeed or fail based on how Morpheus does.  If most people who try VR try it through Morpheus and they don't like the experience they're probably not going to shell out the money to get a Rift.  Oculus has even said as much and they've actively shared technology with Sony to try to make Morpheus the best it can be.  They don't see each other as competitors (There will be no Rift for PS4 and no Morpheus for PC... at least not officially).  From Oculus' point of view Morpheus seems to be the training wheels so you try VR on PS4 and you like it but you want to push beyond that then you "upgrade" to a Rift.

 

At this point I'm not even sure Oculus is going to win PC.  Valve may very well beat them by leveraging Steam.  The long term goal of Oculus seems to be to make a stand-alone device.  They just know that mobile hardware isn't there yet for that to happen and so they're using PC as an interim solution.  If VR doesn't tank 5 years from now my best guess would be that Oculus will have the dominant stand-alone device with it's own ecosystem, Valve will rule VR on PC/Mac/Linux via Steam, and Sony will have Morpheus 2 for the PS5.

 

I personally don't think VR will tank but it really depends on what you expect it to do.  I think it will be like console cameras.  The PS2 had the EyeToy, the PS3 had the PlayStation Eye, the PS4 has the PlayStation Camera, The Xbox 360 had the Kinect, the Xbox One has the Kinect 2, etc.  These things sell well enough for them to keep making them generation after generation but all games haven't switched to being camera based games.  I suspect VR will be the same way.  They will sell well enough for there to be a Morpheus 2 for the PS5, a Morpheus 3 for the PS6, etc. and they'll have a library of games for them but they'll be a niche segment of the console market not what consoles evolve into.  There will be VR games for PC but most PC games won't be VR, someone will win PC VR (Rift, Valve, whoever) and they'll make multiple versions it won't die with the first generation.   Eventually the mobile Rift will come out and I suspect it will do well enough for them to make a profit on it and continue to develop but it's not going to case gamers to give up PC gaming and consoles and flock to VR only.

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I don't know what people were expecting.

 

I've been following Oculus since their kickstarter and the impression I got was that they were targeting PCs because of their superior hardware specs.  As such it stands to reason that the target hardware will be higher than console specs.  Not only that but if you think you're going to buy the first commercial Rift and it's going to last you 5+ years you've got another thing coming because they've made it pretty clear that another reason they're targeting PCs they iterate faster.  They don't want to get locked into a set of console specs for the 5+ year life of a console.  As such I wouldn't be surprised if the Rift 2.0 came out just a year after the Rift 1.0 launches and I WOULD be surprised if Rift 2.0 took more than 2-3 years to come out.

 

The Rift is no doubt going to offer a superior experience to Morpheus but it's going to cost you a lot more to get it and it's going to last a far shorter amount of time.  As such I have no doubt that Morpheus will far outsell the Rift and VR will largely succeed or fail based on how Morpheus does.  If most people who try VR try it through Morpheus and they don't like the experience they're probably not going to shell out the money to get a Rift.  Oculus has even said as much and they've actively shared technology with Sony to try to make Morpheus the best it can be.  They don't see each other as competitors (There will be no Rift for PS4 and no Morpheus for PC... at least not officially).  From Oculus' point of view Morpheus seems to be the training wheels so you try VR on PS4 and you like it but you want to push beyond that then you "upgrade" to a Rift.

 

At this point I'm not even sure Oculus is going to win PC.  Valve may very well beat them by leveraging Steam.  The long term goal of Oculus seems to be to make a stand-alone device.  They just know that mobile hardware isn't there yet for that to happen and so they're using PC as an interim solution.  If VR doesn't tank 5 years from now my best guess would be that Oculus will have the dominant stand-alone device with it's own ecosystem, Valve will rule VR on PC/Mac/Linux via Steam, and Sony will have Morpheus 2 for the PS5.

 

I personally don't think VR will tank but it really depends on what you expect it to do.  I think it will be like console cameras.  The PS2 had the EyeToy, the PS3 had the PlayStation Eye, the PS4 has the PlayStation Camera, The Xbox 360 had the Kinect, the Xbox One has the Kinect 2, etc.  These things sell well enough for them to keep making them generation after generation but all games haven't switched to being camera based games.  I suspect VR will be the same way.  They will sell well enough for there to be a Morpheus 2 for the PS5, a Morpheus 3 for the PS6, etc. and they'll have a library of games for them but they'll be a niche segment of the console market not what consoles evolve into.  There will be VR games for PC but most PC games won't be VR, someone will win PC VR (Rift, Valve, whoever) and they'll make multiple versions it won't die with the first generation.   Eventually the mobile Rift will come out and I suspect it will do well enough for them to make a profit on it and continue to develop but it's not going to case gamers to give up PC gaming and consoles and flock to VR only.

 

 

I think your totally wrong.  Your talking like PS 5 is coming out tomorrow.  It will be out 6-7 years from now.  On the other hand the PC will keep iterating PC market is still massive.  Despite what people think the PC gaming market is still growing. I think with Windows 10 we very will see a large uptake simple because most people skipped Windows 8.  Occulus, HTC device, and  Hololens.  All of these devices will be used for the more then just games. While Morpheus limited  PS4 user base which is really small.    Also don't forget most games VR games are targetting the PC not the PS4.  Some major ones like AAA star citizen,are PC exclusive.

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I think your totally wrong.

Well you're certainly entitled to your opinion.

Your talking like PS 5 is coming out tomorrow.

This is just flat out wrong. I don't even know how you could have come up with that from what I said. The point of bringing up the PS5+ at all was just to say that it's not going to be a one trick pony the disappears.

Project Morpheus hardware will not iterate during the life of the PS4. When Project Morpheus launches next year that will be the VR solution for the life of the PS4. Project Morpheus 2 will come with the PS5 when it does launch 5+ years from now, Project Morpheus 3 with the PS6, etc.

On the other hand the PC will keep iterating PC market is still massive. Despite what people think the PC gaming market is still growing.

I specifically said "another reason they're targeting PCs they iterate faster."

You say that like you're disproving something I said but you're just saying the same thing I did despite starting out saying I was totally wrong.

As for the PC market I made no comment on the size of the PC market at all. I didn't say it wasn't massive and I didn't say it wasn't growing.

Again you act like you're refuting something I said when I said no such thing.

I think with Windows 10 we very will see a large uptake simple because most people skipped Windows 8.

Consider it's a free upgrade that's not exactly a bold prediction. I totally agree and it has absolutely nothing to do with anything I said.

Occulus, HTC device, and Hololens.

Hololens isn't even VR. It's AR which is a different thing. Hololens is more like Google Glass on steriods than the Oculus Rift and Valve's VR solution.

HTC is just the first company to make Valve VR Hardware and if SteamVR takes off you can expect a bunch of different OEMS to make the hardware not just HTC.

All of these devices will be used for the more then just games.

At no point did I say ANY of the VR solutions would be used only for games. You make these statements as if you're disproving something I said but I said no such thing.

Also don't forget most games VR games are targetting the PC not the PS4.

Most VR games right now are just tech demos. There are more for Oculus than anything else because the Rift has had hardware available to developers for the longest.

Developers will go where the users are and more users will buy Morpheus, not because the PS4 has a larger install base, it doesn't, but because it will be the more affordable solution.

Some major ones like AAA star citizen,are PC exclusive.

There will be Project Morpheus exclusive games as well, so what. Sony set up a whole new studio dedicated to making VR games for PlayStation.

PC will no doubt rule the indy game VR scene but most AAA VR games will likely be multi-plat just like for non-VR games now and consoles will have their own AAA exclusives.

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I don't know what people were expecting.

 

I've been following Oculus since their kickstarter and the impression I got was that they were targeting PCs because of their superior hardware specs.  As such it stands to reason that the target hardware will be higher than console specs.  Not only that but if you think you're going to buy the first commercial Rift and it's going to last you 5+ years you've got another thing coming because they've made it pretty clear that another reason they're targeting PCs they iterate faster.  They don't want to get locked into a set of console specs for the 5+ year life of a console.  As such I wouldn't be surprised if the Rift 2.0 came out just a year after the Rift 1.0 launches and I WOULD be surprised if Rift 2.0 took more than 2-3 years to come out.

 

The Rift is no doubt going to offer a superior experience to Morpheus but it's going to cost you a lot more to get it and it's going to last a far shorter amount of time.  As such I have no doubt that Morpheus will far outsell the Rift and VR will largely succeed or fail based on how Morpheus does.  If most people who try VR try it through Morpheus and they don't like the experience they're probably not going to shell out the money to get a Rift.  Oculus has even said as much and they've actively shared technology with Sony to try to make Morpheus the best it can be.  They don't see each other as competitors (There will be no Rift for PS4 and no Morpheus for PC... at least not officially).  From Oculus' point of view Morpheus seems to be the training wheels so you try VR on PS4 and you like it but you want to push beyond that then you "upgrade" to a Rift.

 

At this point I'm not even sure Oculus is going to win PC.  Valve may very well beat them by leveraging Steam.  The long term goal of Oculus seems to be to make a stand-alone device.  They just know that mobile hardware isn't there yet for that to happen and so they're using PC as an interim solution.  If VR doesn't tank 5 years from now my best guess would be that Oculus will have the dominant stand-alone device with it's own ecosystem, Valve will rule VR on PC/Mac/Linux via Steam, and Sony will have Morpheus 2 for the PS5.

 

I personally don't think VR will tank but it really depends on what you expect it to do.  I think it will be like console cameras.  The PS2 had the EyeToy, the PS3 had the PlayStation Eye, the PS4 has the PlayStation Camera, The Xbox 360 had the Kinect, the Xbox One has the Kinect 2, etc.  These things sell well enough for them to keep making them generation after generation but all games haven't switched to being camera based games.  I suspect VR will be the same way.  They will sell well enough for there to be a Morpheus 2 for the PS5, a Morpheus 3 for the PS6, etc. and they'll have a library of games for them but they'll be a niche segment of the console market not what consoles evolve into.  There will be VR games for PC but most PC games won't be VR, someone will win PC VR (Rift, Valve, whoever) and they'll make multiple versions it won't die with the first generation.   Eventually the mobile Rift will come out and I suspect it will do well enough for them to make a profit on it and continue to develop but it's not going to case gamers to give up PC gaming and consoles and flock to VR only.

 

I agree with pretty much most of this. Very good points about the fact that all those invested in VR are in many ways working together. The actual tech specs of Morpheus unit from the new prototype, which are posted on Neowin, were quite impressive, like OLED, FPS, FoV, etc (it's the PS4 powering it that hampers the experience vs the PCs power). I'm certain the Morpheus will support PS5 as well, but if VR does well enough to warrant it there will be a new version for the PS5 as well.

 

Sure the PS5 isn't coming out tomorrow, but planning will be well underway. I expect an announcement in 3~4 years time.

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Just out of curiosity, are people expecting these to be some new "tech revolution" and sell like mad? I saw the VR craze come and go 20 years ago, sure the tech has improved but it's hardly a new thing by any stretch of the imagination.. for me anyways it kind of ranks up there with 3D TVs and such.. have the feeling 5 years from now it'll be gone. Now AR perhaps might catch on, maybe.

 

yes, I remember that and it failed miserably. the VR. I never thought the 3D TV thing would ever catch on. how about them making something simple that is USEFUL for once?

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Well you're certainly entitled to your opinion.

This is just flat out wrong. I don't even know how you could have come up with that from what I said. The point of bringing up the PS5+ at all was just to say that it's not going to be a one trick pony the disappears.

Project Morpheus hardware will not iterate during the life of the PS4. When Project Morpheus launches next year that will be the VR solution for the life of the PS4. Project Morpheus 2 will come with the PS5 when it does launch 5+ years from now, Project Morpheus 3 with the PS6, etc.

I specifically said "another reason they're targeting PCs they iterate faster."

You say that like you're disproving something I said but you're just saying the same thing I did despite starting out saying I was totally wrong.

As for the PC market I made no comment on the size of the PC market at all. I didn't say it wasn't massive and I didn't say it wasn't growing.

Again you act like you're refuting something I said when I said no such thing.

Consider it's a free upgrade that's not exactly a bold prediction. I totally agree and it has absolutely nothing to do with anything I said.

Hololens isn't even VR. It's AR which is a different thing. Hololens is more like Google Glass on steriods than the Oculus Rift and Valve's VR solution.

HTC is just the first company to make Valve VR Hardware and if SteamVR takes off you can expect a bunch of different OEMS to make the hardware not just HTC.

At no point did I say ANY of the VR solutions would be used only for games. You make these statements as if you're disproving something I said but I said no such thing.

Most VR games right now are just tech demos. There are more for Oculus than anything else because the Rift has had hardware available to developers for the longest.

Developers will go where the users are and more users will buy Morpheus, not because the PS4 has a larger install base, it doesn't, but because it will be the more affordable solution.

There will be Project Morpheus exclusive games as well, so what. Sony set up a whole new studio dedicated to making VR games for PlayStation.

PC will no doubt rule the indy game VR scene but most AAA VR games will likely be multi-plat just like for non-VR games now and consoles will have their own AAA exclusive

 

 

 

Historically peripherals for consoles have not done well that is why I don't expect the Morpheus to do well at all.  Even the Kinect was a smaller blip then people think. The Morpheus simple does not have any big title like Star Citizen to showcase. That game alone will dwarf anything the comes on Morpheus alone.  It really not as capable as the competition.  Occulus. and HTC will have bigger showcase The reason why Hololens is important even though it is  AR and the others are VR is because massive development it will bring to 3D development on the PC. 

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yes, I remember that and it failed miserably. the VR. I never thought the 3D TV thing would ever catch on. how about them making something simple that is USEFUL for once?

 

The thing is, the goggles back then was like 320p or maaaybe 640p if you really paid a years worth. the tracking also wasn't very good and had significant delays.

 

consider how visible the pixels are on the 720p and even the 1080p goggles today and the seasickness of the delayed response and it's clear why it never got anywhere. add on the fact that the gamer public was a fraction of the size it is today, and the sim gamers that is the primary audience for these things are a very niche set of gamers, especially the sim gamers who can also afford them.

 

today the gaming market is so big you can afford to put money on the niche markets(unfortunately the flight sim market is still being neglected because they're so expensive to develop you can barely make money on it, if you're successful).

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