Few Computers Have the Power to Support Virtual Reality

Virtual reality is facing some real problems. There are numerous technology giants who are preparing to introduce the first VR headsets this year, and very few people own hardware which will completely support Facebook’s Oculus Rift or other systems.
 
As per the estimate made by Nvidia, the largest computer graphics chips maker, around 13 million PCs across the globe will support graphics capabilities in 2016, which is required to run VR. According to the Gartner research firm, the high end machines only account for fewer than 1 percent of the 1.43 billion PCs which are expected to be used worldwide in 2016.
 
The VR headsets will allow the wearer to interact and explore the immersive 3D environments at CES 2016. The massive consumer electronics trade show, which will be held in Las Vegas on January 6, will have more than 40 exhibitors demonstrating VR products, around a 77 percent increase since 2015. The Taiwanese gadget maker HTC is expecting to unveil a new version of its Vive headset at CES, before launching it in stores in April. Facebook is still on its way to sell its very first VR products by the end of March, Oculus co-founder Palmer Luckey tweeted on Dec 22.
 
The IHS has recently estimated that around 7 million VR headsets will be used by the end of 2016. The Consumer Technology Association, which organizes CES, forecasted that the VR headset will sell around 1.2 million units in 2016.
 
The VR has captivated people's imaginations and has wowed them with the latest demonstration: A virtual climb up Mount Everest allows the wearer to cross crevasses on a narrow ladder, inching along  as if the user were actually at the edge of the precipice.
 
Making the virtual seem real is highly hardware-intensive, and heavy-duty computers struggle to meet the requirements of VR. Facebook has recommended that Oculus Rift owners have computers with a Nvidia GeForce 970 or AMD Radeon 290 graphics card, each of which costs around $300, which is quite similar to the cost of Playstation 4 or Xbox One. The graphics card is the most important item; however, along with that, Oculus Rift would require  anIntel i5-class processor, with more than 8 gigabytes of memory and two USB ports of 3.0.
 
The main reason for VR demanding such processing power is that with anything less you might have to likely face a hurdle. Earlier, we have seen VR prototypes cause testers to suffer from motion sickness, due to slight delays in the screen’s response to user’s movements. A standard PC game would run on 30 frames per second; however, in order to deliver fluid and natural motions, our brain needs to be convinced that the image is real, and hence the VR would need to achieve 90 frames per second on two video projections, one for each eye. Thus, it would mean that you would require a laptop that cost $1500.
 
Nvidia expects that VR would help in boosting up the struggling computer market. The company is expecting the number of VR-capable machines to rise to 100 million by 2020. They also expect that the demand for the VR will boost the sales of graphics chips.