Microsoft is planning to support virtual reality experiences for all Windows 10 PCs as part of the Creators Update next year. While HTC’s Vive and Oculus’ Rift use their own custom software, Microsoft is attempting to create its own VR platform with Windows Holographic, the same environment that powers the company’s HoloLens headset. The software giant revealed that VR headsets for Windows 10 will start at $299, and now it’s starting to detail the PC specs required to power those VR experiences.
In the latest test builds of Windows 10, Microsoft is now including a "Windows Holographic First Run" application that tests a machine to ensure it’s compatible. I’ve tested a variety of machines, and it appears that Microsoft’s minimum requirements are pretty basic:
- 4GB of RAM
- USB 3.0 port
- A graphics card with DirectX 12 support
- 4 CPU cores, including dual-core processors with hyperthreading
That’s good news for anyone interested in stepping into virtual reality without the big costs of PC power and the actual headset itself, but we'll need to see what types of apps and games will be available at this level. Microsoft is planning to detail more about its VR headsets for Windows 10 at an event in December. While the first run app is present in Windows 10 test builds, the full holographic shell is not yet available to run on devices like HTC’s Vive. We’re expecting Microsoft to enable this in the coming weeks as the company starts to discuss more about its VR plans.