Oculus has doubled down on its position that its Rift virtual reality headset won’t be supporting Apple’s macOS anytime soon. This is according to Oculus co-founder and head of Rift operations Nate Mitchell, who, speaking to TechCrunch, said that the company is "not quite there yet".
"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," Mitchell said. "We will continue to revisit it, the real challenge for us is just how much we invest into that space because it does require a lot of our time and energy to get it right and to deliver a great experience."
The company initially experimented with supporting Mac and Linux back in early development, but ultimately shelved support in 2015. Oculus founder Palmer Luckey had been scathing in his criticism of Apple’s hardware and gave an interview last March where upon being asked about Mac support bluntly replied "That is up to Apple. If they ever release a good computer, we will do it.”
“It just boils down to the fact that Apple doesn’t prioritize high-end GPUs. 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. So if they prioritize higher-end GPUs like they used to for a while back in the day, we’d love to support Mac. But right now, there’s just not a single machine out there that supports it.”
The company has however since reduced the required specs to run a Rift, meaning Rift is now runs on machines with at least an Intel i3-6100 or AMD FX4350 processor and an Nvidia GTX 960 or AMD Radeon R9 290 GPU. Newer Mac machines run comparable specs, but this is the latest indication that the company has no immediate intentions to create a Mac software suite or compatible APIs.
For now, Oculus is focusing on parring down the technology to make it as accessible to as wide an audience as possible, complemented by the company’s decision today to cut pricing. On its own website, the Rift bundeld with a touch controller sits at £598 (was £688), while the controller on its own is £99 (was £189).
We don’t know how many Rift units have shipped but, according to Epic Games founder Tim Sweeney, that out of the approximately half a million PC VR headsets sold to date, HTC Vive has outsold the Rift by about two to one. This means that the Rift can’t have sold more than a couple hundred thousand units. Oculus will hope that by lowering the price, more potential users will be attracted to the VR headset.