This week’s big news for anyone eagerly anticipating the dawn of the virtual reality era was the official announcement that HTC’s Vive will cost $800. Now, there’s a tool for anyone who’s had their interest piqued by that price point, and wants to know if their computer is up to the job.
Valve has launched the SteamVR Performance Test, a utility that will put your rig through its paces and give you all the information you need to make an informed decision when it comes to buying a headset. It’s available to download now, but you’ll need to Steam client to do so.
Crucially, this test will run even if you don’t have a VR headset connected to your computer. It’s not just for early adopters eager to see how well their system fares compared to benchmarks — if you’re on the fence about whether or not your PC is capable, you can now remove all doubt from the equation.
The headset itself is only one portion of the costs associated with a potent VR set-up. The likes of the Vive and the Oculus Rift also require a robust PC, and there will be many who need to undergo some serious upgrades just to meet the minimum requirements.
This is going to be a barrier between the casual gamer and this technology but, at this point in time, it’s indicative of the sort of rendering power that VR demands. However, given that PC hardware is in a constant state of forward progress, there will be far more cost-effective options available a few years from now.
If you’re planning to be one of the VR early birds taking the Vive for a spin later this year, it’s well worth using the SteamVR Performance Test tool so you’re not caught short. To download the Steam client and gain access to the test, head to the service’s official website.