If you’re excited about the first new Half-Life game in 12 years and you’re seriously thinking about a VR headset, you should know that it may not be your only expense. In fact, some people who already use headsets may need to shell out extra cash. That’s because, as Ben Kuchera at our sister site Polygon notes, the minimum system requirements for Half-Life: Alyx are higher than what VR has traditionally asked for.
While the VR minspec has stayed relatively stable ever since the Oculus Rift and HTC Vive first appeared on the scene in 2016 — a fast dual-core CPU, Nvidia GTX 970 or AMD Radeon RX480 or better, and 8GB of RAM — Alyx now demands a quad-core Core i5 chip or better, a GTX 1060 or better with 6GB of video RAM, and 12GB of system memory.
Sure, those aren’t super demanding requirements for PC gamers who had enough disposable income to consider a VR headset to begin with. But according to a quick tally of Steam’s own Hardware Survey, they may be a bit beyond what most PC gamers currently have:
- Only around 45 percent of the Steam audience surveyed has 12GB or more of RAM
- Only around 35 percent have a graphics card that would qualify
- Roughly one-quarter of the Steam audience still has a CPU with fewer than four cores
Now, the survey counts laptops and desktops, so it’s quite possible that gamers’ secondary systems are skewing some of those results. But it’s also true that PC building guides have suggested for a while that gamers didn’t really need a quad-core CPU or 16GB of memory quite yet. And memory, in particular, was fairly pricey for a while.
Also, these are the minimum specs to play Half-Life: Alyx. We asked Valve what its recommended specs are, and we’ll update if we get that answer.
In the meantime, here are the full minimum requirements, as listed on Steam:
- OS: Windows 10
- Processor: Core i5-7500 / Ryzen 5 1600
- Memory: 12 GB RAM
- Graphics: GTX 1060 / RX 580 – 6GB VRAM
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