The Oculus Rift, a virtual reality device that is due to be released during the first quarter of this year, has long been requested to support Apple’s Mac computers and laptops.
That is because, despite the fact that it is a revolutionary device, the VR headset requires a very powerful computer in order to run.
Palmer Luckey, the founder of Oculus, has finally given word on when his virtual reality device would support Apple’s devices.
“That is up to Apple and if they ever release a good computer we will do it,” Luckey said in an interview with ShackNews.
— Engadget (@engadget) March 3, 2016
Luckey added that even high-end Apple devices do not prioritize Graphics Processing Units (GPUs), which allow a device to run demanding graphics.
“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 spec,” he said.
Meanwhile, Apple’s dual discrete GPUs are equipped in its high-end MacBook Pros, but unfortunately they are designed to carry out processes for professional applications and not for gaming.
The Oculus founder added that there’s not a single Apple machine that can support the Oculus Rift headset for gaming. Luckey added that while they would love to support the Mac on the software, nothing would be able to run it on the hardware part.
— Brooke Crothers (@mbrookec) March 4, 2016
The inventor also said that if Apple had only stuck with its support for gaming just like what it did a few years ago, it would have been easier to provide Mac support for Oculus Rift.
VR headsets have become increasingly popular in recent months, especially since the Rift will make its debut this quarter. Other advanced VR headsets that will follow suit are the HTC Vive, which has been showcased in this year’s Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas, and the PlayStation VR that will also arrive later this year.
— Popular Science (@PopSci) March 3, 2016
Meanwhile, Apple CEO Tim Cook has also expressed its interest in virtual reality devices and how they can contribute to application processes in the future. Unfortunately, that interest might not turn into a concrete action yet, leaving Mac OS devices to be left behind in the VR revolution.
The Oculus Rift is currently available on pre-order, and should begin to be shipped out to buyers by the end of the month on March 28. There were earlier rumors that the device will provide support for Mac computers and laptops, but it requires NVIDIA GTX 970, AMD 290, or equivalent in order to run 400 million pixels per second.
In fact, this graphic load is also difficult to process even for high-end PC desktops and laptops, which are both considered gamer-friendly.
A traditional 1080p game at 60Hz needs 124 million shaded pixels per second. Out of Apple’s laptops and computers, only a few of them can handle such graphics demand properly.
Unfortunately, the Rift is a different beast altogether, and runs at 2160 x 1200 resolution at 90Hz, and split over two displays, consuming 233 million pixels each second. This means that Apple’s most powerful MacBook Pros should have triple the GPU power in order to run the VR device.
— techradar (@techradar) March 3, 2016
And as far as the MacBook is concerned, it was not built, nor was it intended for gaming. So it is a no-brainer that Apple has not decided to include a more powerful GPU cores in its computing devices.
However, there are floating rumors claiming that the manufacturer may be planning to develop its own VR headset similar to the Oculus Rift, so the company might soon come up with a solution.
[Image by Christian Petersen/Getty Images]