Facebook is fixing one of the biggest problems with VR: The need for a powerful, expensive PC

Oculus announced during its Connect 3 event on Thursday that you’ll no longer need a powerful, expensive PC to run virtual reality content smoothly at the high, ideal 90 frames-per-second.

Indeed, the minimum specs the Oculus Rift demanded when it was first released earlier this year were pretty high, even for gamers that might already have powerful gaming PCs. And anything less than 90 frames-per-second could cause nausea, let alone a poor experience.

To make sure we could get a PC that runs the Rift properly, Oculus partnered with PC companies to offer Oculus-ready PCs that cost up to $1,000. Soon, Oculus’ solution would let you use the Oculus Rift VR headset with a PC that costs half the price, or $500.

That solution is two technologies Oculus calls “Spacewarp” and “Timewarp,” which let PCs play VR content at 45 frames-per-second, or half the recommend frame rate, while Spacewarp and Timewarp in the Rift headset “synthetically” fills in the other 45 frames-per-second to make for a smooth, 90-frame-per-second experience.

That means a PC only needs to render 45 frames-per-second compared to the 90 of yore, while the rest is filled in by the Rift headset.

How much do the less powerful PCs cost?

Oculus is partnering with PC company CyberPowerPC to offer Oculus-ready PCs for $499.

What’s even better is that the current (and only) version of the Oculus VR can receive Spacewarp and Timewarp via a normal firmware update. There’s no need to buy a new Rift headset.

This dramatically reduces the cost of entry for the Oculus VR, which is already pricey itself at $600. It could have costed you $1,600 for the Oculus Rift headset and Oculus-ready PC combo.

Oculus’ new Spacewarp and Timewarp technologies essentially shave about $500 off the $1,600 combo. And if you already have a mid-range PC that wasn’t powerful enough to run VR content on the Oculus Rift, it might now match the new recommened specs.

Yet, we still need to see a new recommened specs list to see what kind of parts a mid-range PC would need.

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