It's been almost a year now since Oculus announced that the consumer version of the Rift virtual reality headset would only support Windows PCs at launch—a turnaround from development kits that worked fine on Mac and Linux boxes. Now, according to Oculus co-founder Palmer Luckey, it "is up to Apple" to change that state of affairs. Specifically, "if they ever release a good computer, we will do it," he told Shacknews recently.
Basically, Luckey continued, even the highest-end Mac you can buy would not provide an enjoyable experience on the final Rift hardware, which is significantly more powerful than early development kits. "It just boils down to the fact that Apple doesn’t prioritize high-end GPUs," he said. "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," he added. "Even if we can support on the software side, there's just no audience that could run the vast majority of software on it."
This isn't the first time Luckey has trash-talked low-end hardware as not being robust enough for virtual reality. Back in 2013, he said that new consoles like the Xbox One and PlayStation 4 were "too limited" for the Oculus Rift (Sony's PlayStation VR is reported to use an external box to help with a little external audiovisual processing). And back in January, Luckey said bluntly that for most users, "your crappy PC is the biggest barrier to adoption [for high-end VR]..."Last May, Oculus Chief Architect Atman Binstock said that OS X and Linux support had been "paused in order to focus on delivering a high quality consumer-level VR experience at launch across hardware, software, and content on Windows. We want to get back to development for OS X and Linux, but we don’t have a timeline."
For what it's worth, though HTC promised months ago that the Vive headset would support Mac and Linux from "day one," the SteamVR Performance Test Tool that Valve released last week will only run on Windows machines. That hasn't stopped a few enterprising Mac owners from dual-booting their Mac Pro systems and installing an upgraded Nvidia graphics card to get in on the VR action, though.