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article imageHTC and HP building VR-ready computers approved for the Vive

By James Walker     Jul 22, 2016 in Technology
HTC is reportedly going to start building capable gaming computers designed for virtual reality. Branded as Vive PCs, the systems will allow gamers to buy an off-the-shelf PC and be certain it supports the Vive. Rival Oculus already has a similar program.
According to a report from Digitimes this week, HTC will partner with HP to build and sell the computers. It will be the Taiwanese smartphone manufacturer's first foray into the desktop PC market. HP will support the company by supplying and building the hardware.
The computers will be sold under HTC's Vive brand to indicate immediate compatibility with the Vive virtual reality headset. Bundles will be offered that include both a high-end computer and a Vive headset, allowing you to get started with virtual reality without having to build a PC yourself. Everything required will be supplied in one HTC-approved box.
The move isn't much of a surprise. HTC wants to promote the Vive to as many markets as possible. By offering pre-built computers that are ready for VR, it can introduce consumers to the Vive who may not be technically savvy and could have difficulty identifying a computer capable of playing VR games.
Gaming-centric virtual reality headsets like the Vive require powerful computers to support their hardware. The processing and graphics strength required to continually render 360-degree VR content is very high. A stable framerate of 90fps or above must be maintained to prevent motion sickness.
Some system manufacturers are already adding "VR ready" marks to their pre-built machines. These don’t indicate the level of graphical fidelity that any one player will be able to experience though. Each combination of headset, game and computer will respond in a different way.
By approving computers as ready for the Vive, HTC will be able to indicate to consumers that their machine is capable of playing currently available games at a defined graphics level. The system would be guaranteed to be compatible with the Vive, allowing you to get started with VR without having to manually select components or buy a $1,000 PC on the assumption it's supported.
Several bundles will reportedly be available. It isn't clear how many will be offered or what hardware configurations will be used though. There will likely be options ranging from a basic VR-ready system up to more powerful computers with increased specifications across the system. Pricing is also unknown. Bundles that include the Rift headset are likely to reach well over $1,000.
HTC isn't the first VR company to offer prebuilt VR-ready PCs. Oculus already has a selection of "Oculus Ready" PCs from a variety of manufacturers. They differ from the new HTC and HP effort though. Oculus doesn't rebadge the computers, instead simply advertising them as compatible with the Rift. HTC appears to be looking for closer ties, guaranteeing a high-end experience that has been built around the Vive.
There's currently no indication of when HTC and HP will officially reveal the new collaboration. For HP, the company will be able to sell more computers by rebadging them as HTC Vive PCs and targeting them to a very specific audience. HTC will benefit from the deal through the expansion of its VR business and the increased exposure to consumers it'll gain.
More about HTC, Hp, Vr, Virtual reality, Gaming
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