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Oculus ditches Windows 7 and 8 support for new Rift features

VR in Murder, She Wrote

Bad news for Rift owners still running Windows 7 or Windows 8 PCs this morning, as Oculus have announced they’ve updated the minimum OS spec requirement for their Rift VR goggles to Windows 10. That doesn’t mean your VR headset will suddenly stop working with your Windows 7/8 PC, of course – it’s just that you’ll probably miss out on all of Oculus’ new-fangled gubbins further down the line.

“Windows 7 and 8.1 users are still supported for the Rift features they know and love today,” Oculus said in a blog last night, “but they may not be able to use many new and upcoming features and apps. We encourage everyone who isn’t already running Windows 10 to upgrade now to avoid missing out on what’s next.”

In theory, this should only affect a small minority of people, as Oculus state that 95% of ‘active’ Rift owners are already running Windows 10 anyway. It’s not entirely clear what qualifies as ‘active’, all told, but Oculus go on to justify the move as simply keeping in line with Microsoft’s own dwindling support for their now quite old pair of operating systems.

“Microsoft has deprecated mainstream support for Windows 7 and 8.1, so a shift to Windows 10 ensures we’ll be able to deliver the best performance standards for Rift owners, while aligning with industry standards,” Oculus said.

Indeed, Windows 10 is a vital component of Oculus’ new, upcoming software, Rift Core 2.0, which is currently available via an opt-in beta and will be rolled out later this year. This will introduce a redesigned Home interface, better multi-tasking in its Dash UI as well as a new feature called Oculus Desktop that mirrors your Windows desktop in VR. The latter only works with Windows 10, so it kinda makes sense to get people onboard now before the big update happens later on.

“Rift owners whose PCs aren’t running Windows 10 may find their systems are incompatible with some new apps and games,” Oculus continue. “You’ll still be able to get the same VR features and functions you have today, including things like responding to platform notifications, interacting with friends on the platform, managing your device, and running VR apps that don’t require Windows 10. You can still use Windows 7 and Windows 8 with most of Rift Core 2.0’s core functionality, but things like Oculus Desktop require Windows 10, as does the ability to run Dash as an overlay.”

Fortunately, the rest of Oculus’ minimum and recommended spec remain pretty much unchanged:

Minimum specification:

CPU: Intel Core i3-6100 / AMD Ryzen 3 1200, FX4350 or greater
GPU: Nvidia GeForce GTX 1050Ti / AMD Radeon RX 470 or greater
Video Output: HDMI 1.3
USB Ports: 1x USB3 port, 2x USB2 ports
OS: Windows 10

Recommended specification:

CPU: Intel Core i5-4590 / AMD Ryzen 5 1500X or greater
GPU: Nvidia GeForce GTX 1060 / AMD Radeon RX 480 or greater
Video Output: HDMI 1.3
USB Ports: 3x USB3 ports, 1x USB2 port
OS: Windows 10

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Who am I?

Katharine Castle

Hardware Editor

Katharine writes about all the bits that go inside your PC so you can carry on playing all those lovely games we like talking about so much. Very partial to JRPGs and the fetching of quests. She's also RPS' resident deals herald.

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