2016 is the year when the wealthy shall ascend into virtual reality, leaving the rest of us behind to refill their tubes of nutrient paste, massage their feet, and empty their buckets. The Oculus Rift is launching in March for $600/£500, while the HTC Vive coming in April for $800 (plus, probably, tax and shipping), and they demand a hefty PC to power 'em too. Our lad Jeremy has talked about the hardware needed for cybergoggles but now there's a simple way to test if your hogbox is up to it.
Valve have released the SteamVR Performance Test, a program which shows some Portal-y scenes to rate your performance.
The SteamVR Performance Test takes two minutes to run through a sequence from Valve's own Aperture Robot Repair VR demo, then at the end will tell you if your PC is up to it. Like so:
If you, like me, have a laptop with multiple GPUs, do be aware that the test doesn't properly understand them. Remember to set your swish GPU to run the test, then ignore the message at the end saying your Intel Graphics GPU isn't good enough - the text and numbers should make it clear enough.
This is no guarantee that even the initial wave of VR games will all run on your PC, but it will at least tell you fairly bluntly "Nah mate, don't even bother" if you need to hear a hard truth.
Here's how the test looks, though the quality is auto-adjusting down low to keep FPS up (thanks, recording overhead!):