So Half-Life: Alyx has some pretty steep system requirements. Like, really steep.
Half-Life: Alyx was announced earlier this week, and we gotta say, it looks great. The trailer looks great, the graphics look great, the cinematic experience looks great, everything is all top-notch. As we should expect from Valve. And it's the closest game to even nudge the concept of Half-Life 3, so there's that going for it too.
But it's a VR game. That brings with it several complications, not the least of which is the fact that market penetration for virtual reality headsets is still a lot lower than VR developers would like.
And part of the problem might be the steep system requirements to even play a game in VR. The price of admission to virtual reality is not cheap; you need a PC running on relatively recent hardware, and you can't skimp on the video card. Ram and CPU are also two big components for VR, and a solid-state hard drive doesn't hurt either.
According to Half-Life: Alyx's Steam page, you need an Intel Core i5-7500 or a Ryzen 5 1600 CPU as your processor, an NVidia GeForce GTX 1060 or Radeon RX 580 with 6GB of VRAM as your video card, and a whopping 12 GB of RAM just to run the game. That's a relatively decent gaming PC that should be able to run most modern games at decent settings with no slowdowns (although not at 4K resolution, but hey, not everybody needs 4K just yet).
The message we're getting here is that if you don't have a gaming PC with some oomph, don't even bother with Alyx. She don't got time for you.
Even compared to other virtual reality games, Half-Life: Alyx is a beast. Skyrim VR just requires 8 GB of RAM and a GeForce GTX970 (or a Ryzen 5 1400) video card. Rick and Mort: Virtual Rick-Ality needs even less RAM at just 4 GB. You don't even need a 1000-series GTX card until you get to something like Star Trek: Bridge Crew in terms of VR games.
Admittedly, Half-Life Alyx doesn’t come out until March of 2020 and we should have a new generation of video cards coming out around the same time. But with the way PC video card pricing is going these days, people are holding off on upgrading. Will Alyx be enough to get people to open their wallets and make the jump to VR? Guess we’ll see.