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Nvidia Reveals GameWorks VR, GTX 980 Ti GPU with Free Batman: Arkham Knight

Last month saw Oculus VR announce the recommend PC specifications for running its Oculus Rift head-mounted display (HMD) for when it launches in Q1 2016. Among the list of requirements was an NVIDIA GTX 970 GPU. NVIDIA itself has been a keen supporter of virtual reality (VR) over the past year, and has this week announced a new, superior GeForce GPU that’s even more capable of handling VR experiences. Alongside this reveal, the company has also announced a new software development kit (SDK) in GameWorks VR.

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The Nvidia GeForce GTX 980 Ti, as the new GPU is named, features 6GB of memory and places a strong emphasis on 4K resolutions. Crucially the set also features support for Microsoft’s DirectX 12 graphic application programming interface. The kit is set to start shipping today and is priced at $699 USD. It even comes with a free copy of Batman: Arkham Knight. Note that while this is considered the company’s flagship GeForce GPU, it doesn’t replace the Titan X GPU that was announced during March 2015’s Game Developers Conference (GDC).

Perhaps even more exciting for VR fans is the announcement of GameWorks VR, which NVIDIA notes contains the features of its previously-announced VR Direct system. This includes Multi-Res Shading (MRS) in which ‘each part of an image is rendered at a resolution that better matches the pixel density of the final displayed VR image.’ There’s also VR SLI that increases performance of VR apps by assign multiple GPUs to a specific eye. Context Priority enables control over GPU scheduling while Direct Mode offers ‘plug-and-play’ support for HMDs. Finally, Front Buffer Rendering allows the GPU to render directly to the front buffer to reduce latency.

Companies such as CCP Games, Epic Games, HTC, Oculus, and Valve are already working with an alpha version of the GameWorks VR SDK. Those interested in receiving the kit can head to a GameWorks VR Developer page to sign up for it. VRFocus will continue to follow NVIDIA’s work in VR, reporting back with the latest updates on it.