Nvidia announced a new graphics solution for virtual reality developers at its GPU Technology Conference in San Jose, Calif. today. Called VR Ready, it combines Nvidia's Quadro GPUs with a software development kit that PC makers can incorporate into their designs.
HP and MSI have already lined up products that incorporate VR Ready technology. MSI's WT72 mobile workstation is the first laptop to include the Quadro M5500 GPU, which Nvidia says is the fastest mobile GPU on the market. The WT72 has a 17.3-inch display, weighs in at 8.4 pounds, and will include a mobile Xeon processor, according to Anandtech. There's no word yet on pricing or availability.
HP's new line of VR-ready Z workstations is aimed at content creators who will be developing games and other software for headsets like theHTC Vive, which HP says has been tested to work with the new Z computers.
"We are embarking on a new frontier that will change how content producers and artists develop the most immersive, visually stimulating content available," HP Workstations VP Jeff Wood said in statement.
Customers will be able to configure their Z workstations with up to two Quadro M6000 cards, each with 24GB of memory. Two GPUs are required to run Nvidia's VR Scalable Link Interface technology, which effectively doubles the system rendering power for VR applications.
Pricing for the Nvidia VR Ready HP Z Workstation, which is available now, starts at $4,363. Currently shipping workstations don't include the dual Quadro cards, which can be added in later. If you want HP to install the Quadros, you'll have to wait until May, when they'll be available as an integrated add-on.
The workstations also don't include an HTC Vive headset, which HP says it will not offer as a configurable add-on. Developers will have to separately purchase a $799 headset, which will begin shipping in May. A limited number of developers already have access to Vive Pre headsets.
In addition to the MSI and HP announcements, Nvidia says it is working with Dell and Lenovo to develop more VR workstations. Dell announcedits own line of VR-ready workstations last week.
VR is still on the tech frontier, but judging by the partners that have already lined up to support headsets from Sony, HTC and Oculus, developers seem to have a keen interest in writing compatible software. So the HP and MSI workstations will likely be popular for larger studios that want a fleet of computers that are already tested to support the high frame rates necessary for VR content.