Oculus has announced that seven different Rift-ready PCs will be available to pre-order beginning next week. The bundle prices start at $ 949, without the accompanying VR display.
Dell, Alienware, and Asus will each be offering at least one model. The least expensive is the Asus G11CD, with an i5-6400, 8GB of RAM, and a GTX 970. This model, priced at $ 949, barely exceeds the minimum specifications. Asus’ other two models increase RAM, processor spec, and GPU model.
Dell’s base configuration mirrors Asus’ offering. It is priced at $ 999 (when bundled with an additional Rift purchase at $ 599).
Note that none of the announced models come in at or below Oculus’ $ 1,499 price point. The company is still touting that bundles will be available at that price, however.
The most expensive of the current Rift-ready PCs comes from Alienware. Priced at $ 2,549, the Area 51 includes an Intel i7-5820K (overclockable), Nvidia GTX 980, and 16 GB RAM.
All of the prices mentioned above are before the $ 599 Oculus Rift purchase, which includes an Xbox One controller, wireless adapter, remote, camera, carrying case, and the head-mounted display.
As a point of reference, I was able to build my own PC recently with a more powerful processor and video card while spending less than the Alienware Area 51 costs. If you are looking to maximize your dollar, building is the way to go. However, it isn’t without its challenges.
I’m curious about what other bundles might be coming, given that even the most pared down of these offerings don’t get down to the promised $ 1,499. It seems like the only thing left to reduce is the processor from the i5-6400 to the less powerful i5-4590.
I would strongly urge if you are considering a new PC for a Rift that you attempt to future proof a bit. You don't need the Cadillac, but you should try for something more than the Honda Accord.