July 14, 2017 // 11:30 a.m.
Overclockers UK has announced the launch of the Gaming Optic, which it claims to be the UK's first pre-built, sub-£1,000, VR-ready gaming PC with bundled Oculus Rift and Touch Controller virtual reality accessories.
Following Oculus VR dropping the price of its Oculus Rift and Touch Controller bundle to £399 as part of a six-week sale period earlier this week, Overclockers UK is the first out of the gate to take advantage of the new pricing with a bundle that almost gets you started with virtual reality below the magic £1,000 mark. 'Almost', that is: While the bundle includes a pre-built gaming PC, Oculus Rift, and Touch Controller, it does not include a monitor, keyboard, or mouse.
The PC itself features an Intel Core i5-7400 Kaby Lake processor in an Asus H110-Plus motherboard, with two 4GB Team Group Vulcan T-Force DDR4 2,400MHz memory modules for 8GB of RAM, an Asus Nvidia Geforce GTX 1060 6GB graphics card, and a Seagate Barracuda 1TB mechanical hard drive with a Windows 10 64-bit installation pre-loaded, all packed into a Kolink Victory ATX midi-tower case. From the specifications, it's clear certain corners had to be cut to meet the sub-£1,000 price bracket: a Core i5 rather than Core i7 processor, motherboard based around the entry-level Intel H110 chipset, and a mechanical hard drive rather than a solid-state drive.
The deal also includes the full Oculus Rift retail bundle, which packs the eponymous virtual reality headset and integrated headphones and microphone with two tracking cameras, a Microsoft Xbox controller, and a pair of Oculus Touch motion-tracking controllers. All the cables you'll need are also included, though as previously mentioned you'll have to pick up a monitor, keyboard, and mouse to complete the bundle and get ready to play.
The launch comes as Bloomberg (obnoxious auto-play video warning) publishes claims that Facebook-owned Oculus VR is planning to release a standalone virtual reality system priced at just $200 (around £155 excluding taxes) some time next year. At such pricing, though, the resulting system is more likely to compete with smartphone-powered platforms like the Samsung Gear VR - itself featuring licensed Oculus VR technology - than the Oculus Rift.
The machine is available now at Overclockers UK, priced at £999 (inc. VAT) under stock code FS-1BP-OG.