Valve just ended SteamVR’s support for macOS. “Legacy builds” will continue to be available.
SteamVR is Valve’s PC-based virtual reality platform, supporting Windows and Linux. Mac owners can continue to use the latest versions of SteamVR by installing Windows as a secondary OS.
- BViQ® brings the Bullet Valve® to the masses with a modular plug-in approach. MAC Valves multi patented Bullet Valve® and subsequent products utilizing Bullet Valve® Technology have brought innovation to the air valve industry with MAC's patented balanced lifting-type solenoid design resulting in superior life, reliability, and repeatability, as well as superior flow in a compact package.
- Valve will release its Steam digital distribution service for Mac along with Mac-native versions of its own games, the company confirmed today, calling the Mac a 'tier-1 platform.'
Facebook’s competing Oculus Rift platform hasn’t supported Macs since early development kits, which preceded the Rift. In 2016, founder Palmer Luckey claimed this was due to Apple’s lack of priority on GPU power.
Apple went all-in
The MAC 'lifting' configuration is unique, however, in that the valve maintains a balanced design - a signature feature of a MAC valve - shifting forces are consistently high and response times are repeatable regardless of inlet pressure fluctuations. 2-way and 3-way configurations of the BV cartridge (10mm, 14mm, and 21mm) are available. Just pair an MFI or Steam controller to your device, connect to a computer running Steam on the same local network, and start playing your existing Steam games. Requirements:. iPhone or iPad using iOS 11.0 or higher. Computer running Steam - Windows, Mac, or Linux. iOS device must be on the same local network as the computer running Steam.
Support for macOS was announced by Apple itself during its annual developer conference in 2017. Craig Federighi, who reports directly to Tim Cook, revealed the support with excitement — VR would be a showcase of Apple’s new commitment to high performance graphics.
At the time, Apple released updates to Metal, its equivalent of Vulkan/DX12, to make it suitable for high performance low latency VR rendering, including via external GPUs on MacBooks. The company even worked with Unity and Unreal Engine to make this available to all developers.
Later in the conference, employees from Industrial Light and Magic gave a live onstage mixed reality demo of VR on macOS — a Star Wars scene running on Unreal Engine.
In September 2018, Apple added support for HTC’s Vive Pro, including giving developers access to the onboard stereo cameras, presumably for AR development.
Less than two years later, Valve is announcing ending support for macOS. Apple doesn’t seem to have made a statement on this yet, but we’ve reached out to employees who worked on Metal’s VR support.
According to Valve’s Hardware Survey, just under 4% of Steam users are using macOS, with over 95% using Microsoft’s Windows. Given that just over 1% own a VR headset at all, it’s easy to see just how niche VR on macOS likely was.
Valve states it will now “focus on Windows and Linux”. Despite being even less popular than macOS, Linux is preferred by developers, and required for certain advanced enterprise and government use cases.
Best Valves For Steam Service
Apple is reportedly working on a standalone mixed reality headset slated for 2022. The company may decide to support this in MacOS in a similar way to Facebook’s Oculus Link. Alternatively, it may have decided that the tethered market just isn’t big enough to focus on.
We’ll keep a close eye on Apple this year for any further news about its support for virtual reality.
Steam Control Valves
This story originally appeared on Uploadvr.com. Copyright 2020