For those who know me well, you know I’ve been a VR fanatic for a long time now. It all started when I read the book Snowcrash by Neal Stephenson, it opened my mind to the idea of a world where you can put on a pair of VR goggles and experience something completely different.
As a kid I was convinced that Virtual Boy was going to kick-off the VR revolution, but as we all know, it didn’t quite go that way. Instead, a guy named Palmer Luckey created a company called Oculus that put VR back on the map. Facebook bought Oculus for $2B in 2014 and began the journey into a consumer VR solution – the Oculus Rift.
I pre-ordered the Rift and a few days ago got a notification that it’s headed my way. There’s only one problem with the current iteration of VR devices, the best (i.e. Oculus Rift and HTV Vive) require a pretty badass PC to power them. I have a Macbook and a Mac Mini.
So I made the decision to build my own VR machine, I have built computers in the past and I thought it would be fun to design one specifically for VR. I actually thought it would take a bit longer to get my Rift so all I have now is the processor, an Intel i7-6700k which is a bit overkill but will mean that I won’t have to build a new system for at least a few years.
It looks like the Rift will arrive before my computer is done which highlights the uphill battle that companies like Oculus and HTC will have to face. Requiring the consumer to have a $1,000+ gaming PC is a pretty steep requirement for most people outside of early adopters like me. Still, this is how disruption starts and from what I’ve heard the experience Oculus delivers with the Rift is absolutely incredible.
For me, the 13 year-old reading Snowcrash long into the night has come back to life. I can’t wait for my Rift…although I guess I could since I still need a computer to power it!