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I buy that. Being that close, the resolution and framerate requirements for immersion makes sense. No, litterally, I'd buy that. Just make it happen -- NVid-yah!
The folks at Nvidia, the world's largest maker of stand-alone graphics chips, are good at numbers. So I talked to them recently about their expectations for virtual reality gaming. They showed me some demos of the Oculus Rift and HTC Vive virtual reality headsets, powered by a PC using Nvidia's GeForce GTX Titan X graphics chip. The demos were just a taste of the many VR experiences we'll see at the 2016 International CES, the big tech trade show in Las Vegas next week.
And they said that it takes graphics processors that are about seven times more powerful to run VR, compared to a standard PC game. By next year, when the first major PC-based VR headsets ship, there will be about 13 million PCs in the market that will be powerful enough to run VR - in the right way. Nvidia says it can extend that number to 25 million if the VR game makers use Nvidia's Gameworks VR software, which makes the VR processing more efficient.
That shows that the market for VR won't be gigantic in 2016, at least on the PC. Sony is also launching PlayStation VR on the PS4 video game console. Sony's installed base of 30 million PS4 units means that its market potential will be bigger than the PC's. But Nvidia notes that VR on the PC will be more demanding in terms of graphics processing required.
We recently interviewed Jason Paul, general manager of Nvidia's Shield, gaming, and VR business. Paul said Nvidia is in contact with more than 600 companies that are working on VR projects. That's a huge VR ecosystem, and Nvidia wants to be one of the leaders that makes it all happen.
Here's an edited transcript of our conversation.