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Using Asynchronous Spacewarp, Oculus finally brings VR support to lower-end PCs

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While virtual reality is becoming more ubiquitous with each passing day, Oculus is today adding to the innovation with the announcement of a much-awaited technological update. Until today, you not only required an expensive Rift headset but also needed a high-end gaming PC to explore the virtual world — especially without any latency issues or hiccups.

But, the team at Oculus are today introducing the Asynchronous Spacewarp (ASW) technology that’ll enable you to easily run your Oculus headset on PCs with much lower specifications than the gaming one. Earlier, if you owned a VR headgear, you required to run games at 90 frames per second to ensure a smooth VR experience. Be generating extrapolated frames, ASW reduces judder, improves efficiency, and delivers consistent low latency output to enable you to render the same content at half the frame rate.

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Asynchronous Spacewarp is a frame rate smoothing technique that automatically changes gears(or comes into action) the moment the system detects dropped frames due to insufficient processing power. It immediately extrapolates previous frames from the app running on the display to nearly halve the CPU/GPU time required to output at par quality content. What this actually means is that you’ll now be able to enjoy the same virtual experiences using your aging gaming rig. You would soon not be required to spend a hefty $2,500 or more to get yourself a high-end Nvidia or AMD powered gaming system.

The Facebook-owned VR company hasn’t been very detailed about the specifications required to successfully use the Oculus VR headset on lower-end PCs but it did say that “ASW will let [Oculus] bring your title to minimum spec systems.” This update could, however, mean that VR games and experiences will now be supported on AMD RX 400, Nvidia 900 or 1000 series GPUs, which start at $120.

Also, the highlight of the release of this technique is that the company will now be able to extend its VR experiences to a wider audience – who’s previously been weary of spending large chunks of money on the headset+gaming rig. In addition, Oculus has also debuted custom avatars, and First Contant to help you get familiar with Touch in virtual reality. Both of these additional features will be available to developers and users on December 6.

A hands-on guy fascinated by new apps, technologies and enterprise products.

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