Asus creates Beyond VR Ready program to pimp its own products

Asus Beyond VR Ready

There is no universal formula for running every bit of VR content available, but there are recommended requirements for different headsets like the Oculus Rift and HTC Vive. Both require a well equipped PC with a certain level of hardware, and to ensure what you're buying meets or exceeds what's required, Asus has launched its own "Beyond VR Ready" program.

You might be tempted to roll your eyes at this point, though Asus says there's an actual "testing and configuration" process associated with the Beyond VR Ready program, one that involves it and "partner engineers cooperating on the optimization of firmware and drivers for superior VR compatibility and performance." Products bearing the Beyond VR Ready logo have been "tested to deliver a reliable and immersive VR experience."

Take from that what you will. From our perspective, this appears little more than a marketing maneuver that's more focused on highlighting the company's own products than it does with truly assisting the VR category. It's also not entirely clear what exactly Asus is alluding to by looking beyond VR. To us, that suggests either certifying components that exceed the recommended specs—as in, beyond what's required for an adequate VR experience—or certifying parts that both meet VR requirements and are well equipped for non-VR tasks. It appears neither one is correct, and instead Asus is playing the compatibility angle.

"While it is easy for consumers to discover the minimum specifications necessary for building or buying a PC that could be capable of running the latest VR headsets and programs, confirming component compatibility and interoperability is a difficult job. Asus Beyond VR starts with tested components or systems and the assurance that when everything is connected, powered on, and the game or application is launched that a seamless, deep immersion into virtual reality is the consistent result," Asus explains.

If you're concerned about compatibility, then there you go. For now, Asus is listing products on its Beyond VR Ready website that it tested with the Oculus Rift, which includes 30 different motherboards and 17 graphics cards. Asus has plans to include the HTC Vive at a later date.

It's worth reminding here that Oculus has its own VR Ready certification. Whether buying pre-built or rolling your own rig, Oculus recommends the following for the full Rift experience:

  • CPU: Intel Core i5-4590 equivalent or greater
  • Videocard: Nvidia GeForce GTX 970 / AMD Radeon R9 290 equivalent or greater
  • Memory: 8GB+ RAM
  • Video Output: Compatible HDMI 1.3
  • USB Ports: 3 x USB 3.0 plus 1 x USB 2.0
  • OS: Windows 7 SP1 64-bit or newer

The recommendations for HTC Vive are similar:

  • CPU: Intel Core i5-4590 / AMD FX-8350 equivalent or greater
  • Videocard: Nvidia GeForce GTX 970 / AMD Radeon R9 290 equivalent or greater
  • Memory: 4GB+ RAM
  • Video Output: Compatible HDMI 1.4 or DisplayPort 1.2 or newer
  • USB Ports: 1 x USB 2.0 or greater
  • OS: Windows 7 SP1 or newer
Paul Lilly

Paul has been playing PC games and raking his knuckles on computer hardware since the Commodore 64. He does not have any tattoos, but thinks it would be cool to get one that reads LOAD"*",8,1. In his off time, he rides motorcycles and wrestles alligators (only one of those is true).