Don't expect the Oculus Rift virtual reality headset to support Mac laptops or desktops in the near future.
Nate Mitchell, cofounder of Oculus, revealed in an interview with TechCrunch that the company has no such plans in its roadmap; nothing in its to-do list suggesting that Apple computers may soon support Oculus Rift headsets.
Sorry Mac Owners, No Oculus Rift Support For You
Previously, earlier Oculus Rift development kits supported Apple's fully featured and highly spec'd computers, but increasingly demanding spec requirements for the headset eventually pushed Macs off the support roster, notes TechCrunch.
To be clear, Mitchell isn't entirely ruling out support for Macs, but he's essentially saying not to expect anything anytime soon.
"It's something near and dear to my heart, we're just not there quite yet," says Mitchell. "We do want to do OS X [macOS] support for Rift, it's not something that's currently on the roadmap for — I can even say — the next six months."
All Hope Isn't Lost
Mitchell says that company will flirt with the idea again, but the main concern with such a functionality is finding out just how much it wants to invest in the space, because it'll require significant legwork to deliver something great.
Aside from the absence of Oculus Rift on the Mac platform, Macs in general aren't regarded as VR-ready machines. The HTC Vive is similarly unsupported. In fact, the only high-profile PC-tethered head-mounted display is the OSVR by Razer, which is still a far cry from consumer-focused VR headsets the likes of Rift and Vive.
On the one hand, it's fairly reasonable that Macs don't receive their share of VR love, since VR is a predominantly gaming-focused endeavor, and Macs are comparably less vaunted as gaming machines than PCs, if Macs are regarded as such at all. Simply put, when it comes to gaming, Macs arguably still play second fiddle, and you'd have difficulty trying to find a dedicated gamer touting a Mac as their primary machine for that purpose.
Even with the lack of Rift support for Macs, Apple can still tout its own VR platform, although that looks extremely unlikely, considering Tim Cook's preference of augmented reality over VR.
To bring VR to Mac, there needs to be some toning down of requirements involved, which Oculus has indeed been working on. Its experiments in Asynchronous Timewarp and Asynchronous Spacewarp, ATW and ASW, respectively, have reportedly been successful in making Rift headsets work on laptops packed with mobile hardware, at least to some extent.
On top of improving its own platform, Oculus appears to be too busy to focus on Mac support. It recently lost a huge lawsuit against Bethesda Softworks, which has already filed an injunction which could harm Oculus rift sales. There's also corporate reshuffling happening inside the company, as Oculus nests itself further in Facebook's turf. Hugo Barra, a former Xiaomi exec, is joining Facebook as VP of VR, just after Brendan Iribe vacated his CEO position at Oculus.
Do you want virtual reality companies to start focusing on supporting Macs? Feel free to sound off in the comments section below!