More Detail on Alienware and Oculus Rift

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“2016 is the year of virtual reality.”

That statement Alienware and XPS General Manager Frank Azor makes in the video below might sound like hyperbole, but after CES 2016 and all the products and experiences there related to virtual reality (VR), even this somewhat-jaded virtual world evangelist can believe it.

And it was exciting to be there when Azor was joined by Palmer Luckey, founder of Oculus and inventor of the Oculus Rift, to reveal during an exclusive dinner that we have partnered with them to create “Oculus Ready” systems that will make it that much more accessible for not only gamers, but anyone ready for a personal VR experience – something that moved one writer for TIME to be moved to tears!

The Oculus Ready program is sort of like an “easy button,” designed to give customers an easy way to know which platforms and configurations are ideal for the best VR experience using the Oculus Rift.

The Verge noted that buying the Rift with an Oculus Ready PC will be more affordable than doing it separately, and Yahoo! Tech calls it “a solid deal.”

To help make the process easy, I wanted to add some more details to what has been reported by the media. If you pre-order Rift through Oculus today, select “receive offers and updates” at the end of  checkout and in February you will receive a coupon worth $200 for the  Alienware X51  Oculus Ready configuration. That coupon will come to you via email and you can then redeem it when purchasing on Alienware.com. System delivery time will vary, but you can expect your PC to arrive ahead of your Oculus Rift headset – plenty of time to get it set-up and prepared for your future VR experience, although you should check you individual order status for specific delivery dates.

Did you already pre-order your Rift, but chose not to opt-in for the future promotions mentioned at that time? Don’t worry. We’re working to make sure you can still be included and not miss out on this one. [UPDATE: You can go back to your pre-order status page on Oculus.com and opt in for the offer at any time before your RIFT ships.]

Not interested in a $200 coupon? (What, were you a Powerball winner?) You can still go today and purchase a stand-alone Oculus Ready Alienware system for $1,199. Delivery times will vary, but you will probably still get it before you get your hands on a Rift of your own.

 Frank Azor of Alienware and Palmer Luckey of Oculus shake hands on stage at the Dell space at CES 2016

Here are a few other questions we anticipate customers might have, but leave a comment with any others not covered and we’ll make sure to get them answered.

Also, if you’re still not really sure what Oculus Rift is all about, Chelsea Stark has your answers over on Mashable.

What are the specs for the Oculus Ready PC’s from Alienware?

The specs will be announced in early February when the systems are certified. In the meantime, you can order the following systems that meet Oculus’ recommended specs:

  • Alienware X51: Intel Core i5 6400, Windows 10, 8 GB Dual Channel DDR4 Memory, 1 TB Hard Drive, NVIDIA® GeForce® GTX 970 with 4GB GDDR5 Graphics Card
  • Dell XPS 8900: Intel Core i5 6400, Windows 10, 8 GB Dual Channel DDR4 Memory, 1 TB Hard Drive, NVIDIA® GeForce® GTX 970 with 4GB GDDR5 Graphics Card 

Will the Oculus Coupon apply to other Dell or Alienware systems? 

The coupon from Oculus will only be applicable to the Oculus Ready certified configurations and made available once systems have passed testing.

What about the Area 51, is that VR capable? 

Yes, the Area 51 is VR capable – it can meet and exceed the Oculus recommended spec and is in the certification process for the Oculus Ready program – it is Alienware’s most powerful and configurable  desktop platform. The coupon from Oculus though currently does not apply to this platform. 

When will the systems be considered Oculus Ready (tested and certified)? 

Oculus is working hard to crank through the testing.  Currently the plan is to announce Oculus Ready configurations in February. 

Will Dell or Alienware sell the Oculus Rift Headset? 

The Oculus Rift is only available from Oculus.com, starting for pre order on January 6th.  As the VR ecosystem hits the market and matures, Dell and Alienware continue to work with Oculus to enable as many sales channels as possible and we look forward to a point in time in the future when a consumer can purchase an entire Oculus Ready solution from Dell or Alienware directly.  

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  • godwisper

    quite disapointed that my one month old alienware 15 R2 does not support the oculus rift

  • DELL-Laura

    @godwisper – VR is a brand new, emerging technology and our teams are working closely with Oculus to test and certify platforms and configs that we know will work great. We are currently working hard to add more soon configs and platforms soon, stay tuned for more news. And while the Alienware 15 R2 is not officially “Oculus Ready” I’m sure there will be some users in our communities who find ways to make it work (note – your VR experience may vary so be careful). Check out and feel free to start these conversations on AlienwareArena.com.  

  • Bob Foster

    There were concerns before the DK2 came out that we wouldn't be able to push 1080p over HDMI @ 75hz due to optimus rendering over Intel's GPU which might have limited ability to push that refresh rate. So far though I haven't seen anyone actually experience those issues but I could be wrong.

  • vchavez

    Disapointed that my Dell Precision M4800 is not enought to run the Oculus rift or someone clarify If Im wrong please, doing the test with Oculus hardware app to verify requirements always detects the lowest video card and not the second Nvida K2100M thats the only issue.