Oculus Rift as the PC savior

oculus

Yesterday Oculus revealed the details of the first PCs that will be able to show the “Oculus Ready” tag. These computers will come from makers such as ASUS and Alienware and will allow end users to enjoy a guaranteed VR experience that (theoretically) won’t suffer for glitches and problems.

Do-it-yourselfers who scrounge around part-picking websites may be able to get a slightly better deal on an extremely bare-bones PC that can power the Oculus Rift, but the bundled savings mean these Oculus Ready towers actually provide some decent value for the money. The Oculus Ready line should also provide an easy, “all-in” solution for eager virtual reality early adopters that have more curiosity than hardware-building prowess.

Those PCs won’t be exactly cheap, and even if you upgrade your system or decide to build one of your own, you’ll have to admit one thing:

Oculus Rifts are great news for the PC market.

I suspect there won’t be an enormous growth of those PC offered with the “Oculus Ready” certification, and the reason is that I guess early Rift adopters were already gamers and had systems that complied with the minimum requirements.

The $599 price for the Oculus Rift hardware won’t appeal most users if they have to spend another $1K in parts or a whole system. Not at least virtual reality really delivers what is expected from it -and we expect a lot-. If it does, if it indeed delivers, the Post-PC era could in fact be a great lie again.

 

Steam Machine is a tough sell. Steam Link isn’t. Steam Controller? I really don’t know

Valve’s developers and Polygon’s editors share thoughts on the potentially revolutionary new hardware

As a veteran Linux user, I was really a big supporter of Steam Machines when the idea started to take off. The freedom and power that Valve was giving to the traditional PC was inspiring. Your PC could finally be your console and viceversa. Clever.

The execution has to prove many things, and Polygon editors share their first impressions about the first machine from Alienware (good design), the user interface (clunky), the openness (fantastic, but here developers must tell if it is useful or useless), the controller (amazing in some ways, confusing in others), and the games (good catalog, not perfect, big franchises out).

I admire the concept, but I guess it will be a tough sell for end users. Consoles give a pretty good environment, good user interface, fantastic multiplayer online options and the newest games… at really compelling prices. I wonder how Valve will market this.

The Steam Link is different: streaming Windows games to your TV seems a nice option to have –PCGamer agrees on this– for $50 bucks. The Xbox One supposedly will have this option in the future (you can stream games from the console to a Windows 10 PC), but for people who prefer to play on PC and has no console, the idea is pretty much perfect.

Source: Steam Machine hands-on: Does Valve’s hardware live up to its potential? | Polygon

Follow up: The Alienware Steam Machine: finally, a gaming PC for the living room | Engadget