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Oculus VR: Mac support for Rift is "up to Apple"

By Matthew Handrahan

Oculus VR: Mac support for Rift is "up to Apple"

Fri 04 Mar 2016 8:25am GMT / 3:25am EST / 12:25am PST
HardwareVirtual Reality

CEO Palmer Luckey said a lack of emphasis on graphics means even high-end Macs aren't up to the task

Mac users interested in buying an Oculus Rift may be in for a wait, and Oculus VR's Palmer Luckey has said that the lack of support is entirely down to Apple's product strategy.

Speaking to Shack News at an Xbox press event last week, Luckey's response to an enquiry about the company's plans for Mac support was refreshingly blunt - to a degree that the Oculus VR CEO might be given cause to regret.

"That is up to Apple, and if they ever release a good computer then we will do it," he said.

It's a soundbite that immediately calls for a sensationalist headline, but Luckey wasn't stating that Apple makes 'bad' computers. Rather, Apple's computers simply aren't 'good' in the way that Oculus' VR technology needs them to be.

"It just boils down to the fact that Apple doesn't prioritise high-end GPUs"

"It just boils down to the fact that Apple doesn't prioritise high-end GPUs," he continued. "You can buy a $6,000 Mac Pro with the top of the line AMD FirePro D700, and it still doesn't match our recommended specs."

Should Apple launch hardware with graphics as a priority then Oculus would, "love to support Mac." Luckey actually noted that Apple has made high-end GPUs a priority before, but only, "for a while, back in the day." At this point, though, "there's just no audience that can run the vast majority of software out there."

There is no reason to doubt that Oculus would prefer to support the Mac. Apple has a large number of loyal customers, all of whom are accustomed to spending the sort of money on a new computer that could buy a Rift-ready PC. However, Luckey has been very clear about Oculus VR's commitment to making the best possible VR headset ever since the company first started talking about the consumer version. That's why the Rift sells for $600, and why the recommended PC specs are dauntingly high.

Nevertheless, those barriers to entry haven't prevented the Rift from surpassing Oculus VR's pre-order expectations. "I feel for people for whom it was more than they thought it would be, but at the same time we're maxing out our production capacity and exceeding all of our estimates," he said.

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Murray Lorden Game Designer & Developer, MUZBOZ

213 77 0.4
I must say, starting to work with the HTC Vive dev kit has forced me back to my PC for the first time in a LONG time. My Macbook Pro just cannot get in on the action, unfortunately, and same for Oculus. Bit of a shame really. Hope Apple get on board with supporting these VR platforms, if the issue is at their end.

It seemed like at least part of the problem is with the VR makers supporting the Mac too, though.

Posted:7 months ago


Murray Lorden Game Designer & Developer, MUZBOZ

213 77 0.4
I guess we can't really expect the Macbooks to put $1000 graphics cards in there, if most users don't need it, and it's just driving the price up even more.

But you'd hope a Mac Pro could handle the VR performance needs.

Posted:7 months ago


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