Facebook-owned Oculus is updating the minimum and recommended specs for its Rift-branded VR headsets this week, including a shift to focus on Microsoft's Windows 10 operating system. The company says the changes are meant to redirect efforts to the platform used by the vast majority of its users and that Windows 7 and Windows 8.1 will still be supported exactly as they are now. However, those who happen to still be using the tech on those platforms will not be receiving the latest features, apps, and enhancements as a result. Specifically, Oculus says that its upgraded system OS, RiftCore 2.0, will be dependant on Windows 10 features. The new OS features a redesigned Homepage, app and window multitasking, and Oculus Desktop mirror monitors. The latter of those allows the display of the Oculus headset to be mirrored in Oculus Desktop. The company's compatibility tool has also been updated alongside the new requirements in order to ensure that users are aware if they meet those.
As to the new requirements themselves, the new OS requirement appears to be the primary focus of the change. Hardware requirements, at a minimum, include an NVIDIA GTX 1050Ti or alternatively an NVIDIA GTX 960 on the graphics card front. AMD fans will need either an AMD Radeon RX 470 or Radeon R9 290 as the baseline. For main processing, an Intel i3-6100 or AMD Ryzen 3 1200 will meet the minimum requirements, with AMD's FX4350 as an alternative for older systems. At least 8GB of RAM is also required. For ports, HDMI 1.3 output is required, as are at least one USB 3.0 port and two USB 2.0 ports. The recommended specifications for a machine expected to handle Oculus Rift are obviously a bit more powerful than those – and substantially more expensive. That's especially true on the GPU and CPU requirements. For the former, Oculus bumps things up to an NVIDIA GTX 1060 or AMD Radeon RX 480 or better. An Intel i5-4590 or AMD Ryzen 5 1500X or better is recommended for graphics processing.
As mentioned above, the biggest change here is the OS requirement switching to Windows 10 or newer. As noted in the comments on Oculus' announcement, there are some systems which simply won't support the new OS for a wide variety of reasons. So some users are going to be left out of the latest new features. However, the move makes sense for Oculus since around 95-percent of its user base are already on Windows 10.