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Today Valve made quite a big announcement about the future of VR, including an entire platform being dropped.

In a really short post on the official SteamVR page on Steam, Valve said "SteamVR has ended OSX support so our team can focus on Windows and Linux." with there now being a legacy branch of SteamVR for macOS. This is not long after the release of SteamVR 1.11, the "Spring Cleaning" update on April 20.

Seems odd to see such a big shift announced so abruptly, with no other reasoning. Worth noting though, Valve's own hardware with the Valve Index was never stated as supported on macOS, only "Windows 10, SteamOS, Linux". It's always sad when a platform gets support for anything dropped, which we as Linux gamers know too well, but in this case it's actually a boost for Linux for once.

With Valve now having more resources for Linux (and Windows), we might now see an increase in attention on SteamVR for Linux which has been quite rough. It's also great to see other areas of Valve call out Linux specifically as being a focus for them. We also have the Linux version of Half-Life: Alyx with Vulkan support coming hopefully sometime soon.

Since Linux is open source, as are the drivers for AMD and Intel, it makes sense to continue Linux support. Valve can (and already do) experiment a lot with Linux and pay contractors to work on various things. At times, they can do things quicker on Linux than they can on Windows (and vice versa - some bits don't work on Linux).

As of the March data from the monthly opt-in Steam Survey, 1.29% of people surveyed had a VR kit. The most popular being Oculus Rift S with the HTC Vive close behind. The Valve index already captured quite a big chunk though too at over 10%.

What do you think to this news?

In related news, Collabora have been progressing well on their fully open source OpenXR runtime Monado.

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vipor29 May 1, 2020
Oculus rift support would be nice
Spyker May 1, 2020
While it's sad for Mac owners, it's perfectly understandable as the platform is becoming less open for developpers outsisde of Apple's walled garden. And if the rumor of Apple to drop x86 in favor of Arm is true it will be even more difficult to support.
legluondunet May 1, 2020
One of the main reason Linux becomes a platform more interesting for gaming than MacOSX is Vulkan integration.
Faalagorn May 1, 2020
How bad I feel for Mac users, it's Apple sticking in their bubble doing a disservice to their uses and shifting progress to Linux when it comes to gaming. Feral and Unity do Metal ports, but Valve on the other hand want to invest in Vulkan, even with the help of MoltenVK, but no help from Apple. Similar to dropping 32-bit support abruptly – they seem to want to get prepared for inevitable drop of 32-bit altogether (with things steam linux runtime and leveraging more things off the client - chat, new library…) and for Mac they released a 64-bit client, but when it comes to rushing to port all their older games that's too much, which was the case for Feral, Aspyr and many other games as well.
Ehvis May 1, 2020
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Sucks for mac users. Too bad the message is so short because some details would have been nice. Obviously Apple is having its own lockdown and it may be that (besides the lack of Vulkan support), that supporting hardware through the Steam client is going to be a problem in the future. None of the mac users that I know have VR hardware, so not sure how big the impact will be.
Termy May 1, 2020
I got a little heartattack when reading "Valve drops support for SteamVR.."....but what a relief that "macOS" followed xD

Sucks for Mac-Users, but is kind of understandable given Apples policy to screw devs over all the time...
officernice May 1, 2020
I can't really feel sorry for Mac users. They chose their own poison. It's bound to bite them in the butt at some point. Just like Windoze. They're more than welcome to break free of their chains, though.
Eike May 1, 2020
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Quoting: TermyI got a little heartattack when reading "Valve drops support for SteamVR.."....but what a relief that "macOS" followed xD

Sucks for Mac-Users, but is kind of understandable given Apples policy to screw devs over all the time...

Wanted to write the very same. :-D
mphuZ May 1, 2020
QuoteWhat do you think to this news?
This is really great news!

Apple has repeatedly poked Valve's face in the dirt.
I think that gradually everything is going to completely remove support for mac OS from Steam.

Last edited by mphuZ on 1 May 2020 at 12:22 pm UTC
cusa123 May 1, 2020
What makes me angry about valve is that it is not available worldwide. I want to buy one in my country but it doesn't arrive or there isn't one.
I want to go to linux!
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