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VR-ready gaming PC for $499 means this tech is getting affordable

AMD and CyberpowerPC promise a $499 desktop, as part of an Oculus Rift bundle.

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The new CyberpowerPC Gamer Ultra VR Desktop PC.
CyberpowerPC

The idea of an expensive VR headset can induce sticker shock in prospective virtual-reality gamers, with headsets running from $599 to $799 for the Oculus Rift and HTC Vive.

But that's not as bad as the high-end gaming PCs needed to run VR hardware. In CNET's extensive hands-on testing, $2,000 has been the sweet spot for price and performance, although some VR-ready desktops have dropped down to half that with a bundle discount.

PC builder CyberpowerPC and chipmaker AMD have teamed up to announce a new $499 desktop that hits the latest (and recently lowered) minimum-required specs for Oculus Rift. It does this by using AMD components, rather than the typically more expensive Intel and Nvidia parts.

Note that, for now, the $499 system is only available as part of a bundle with the full-priced Oculus Rift headset, bringing the total cost to $1,099. Purchased without the bundle, the desktop costs $649.

The CyberpowerPC Gamer Ultra VR Desktop PC includes a 4.2GHz AMD FX 4350 CPU, a Radeon RX 470 graphics card, 8GB of RAM and a 1TB hard drive. That's not especially high end, but this PC is half the price of the previous least-expensive Oculus-ready desktop.

The Gamer Ultra VR Desktop PC is available now from Best Buy and Amazon, again as part of a bundle that includes the Oculus Rift headset.

New products from CES 2017: Check them out here.

CES 2017 -- what you shouldn't have missed: Didn't make it to Vegas? CNET shows you what you need to see here.