CES 2016: HP and HTC partner for VR ready desktop PC, HP ENVY Phoenix

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HP ENVY Phoenix: the VR
HP ENVY Phoenix: the VR desktop PC designed for gamers

On display at CES this week is a new virtual reality (VR) ready desktop PC, the HP ENVY Phoenix. Designed for gamers, the new PC powers Vive, the new VR system from HTC. This delivers an  immersive VR experience with room scale tracking capabilities, combined with photosensors on the headset and controllers, to track a user’s movement within a 3D space.

Together, the Vive by HTC and HP’s VR-ready ENVY Phoenix provide the most immersive room scale VR solution available today, claims HP.

“As virtual reality becomes the next wave of innovation for gaming, customers need a desktop PC specifically configured with quality, performance and computing power to enable the experience,” says Kevin Frost, vice president and general manager, consumer personal systems, HP Inc.

“HP is excited to be working with HTC to be at the forefront of this new technology to deliver the HP ENVY Phoenix, a purpose built desktop PC to power amazing virtual gaming experiences.”

Through its collaboration with HTC, HP will deliver a gaming tower PC that addresses the key issues that impede on a great experience. By testing each configuration against Vive by HTC to optimise for VR, HP and HTC are resolving graphic cards issues to ensure the correct resolution is assigned and detected in the settings when connected to Vive by HTC and that the graphics driver recognises the headset as a secondary display.

HP is also optimising driver performance and the power profile in order for gamers to achieve the most performance without having to adjust their power to High Performance.

“HTC and HP are collaborating to test and optimise hardware to ensure a great customer experience when using HP technology with Vive by HTC,” says Dan O’Brien, vice president, HTC. “By testing against the most intensive games on the market, HP and HTC are pushing hardware to the limits to enable constant frame rates for smooth and glitch-free virtual gaming experiences.”

The HP ENVY Phoenix now offers a special configuration to make it the most VR-tuned consumer desktop by HP for gamers who are at the forefront of virtual reality gaming and want a painless out-of-the-box experience.

On board is a 2 TB hard drive so the HP ENVY Phoenix can host a massive amount of large format VR games, videos and short animations. What’s more, there’s a 128GB SSD to allow for rapid data access so users don’t have to wait for games and videos to load. To tackle all CPU processing needs for VR, the HP ENVY Phoenix comes with Intel® CoreTM i7 K-series processors with overclocking capabilities.

For the best VR experience, the HP ENVY Phoenix gives customers an NVIDIA GTXTM  980 Ti  graphics card in order to minimise latency between rendering of each frame. The powerful CPU is needed in order to make sure that all of the body tracking is done quick enough in order to allow the GPU to be fed the correct information about where to render the frame in order to match the location of the user’s head.

VR is CPU intensive so to manage the heat the HP ENVY Phoenix uses liquid cooling, an advanced thermal system, to keep it running quiet and cool. It also boasts customisable LED lighting tied to the CPU temperature so users can be aware of how the tower PC is running especially when it is overclocking.

The HP ENVY Phoenix is expected to be available in the UK in February. Pricing will be announced closer to product availability. Vive BY HTC is sold separately. For more information, please visit www.hp.com/go/VR

 

Chris Price