Check out our Monthly Survey Page to see what our users are running.

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.

Article taken from GamingOnLinux.com.
41 Likes
We do often include affiliate links to earn us some pennies. We are currently affiliated with GOG and Humble Store. See more here.
About the author -
author picture
I am the owner of GamingOnLinux. After discovering Linux back in the days of Mandrake in 2003, I constantly came back to check on the progress of Linux until Ubuntu appeared on the scene and it helped me to really love it. You can reach me easily by emailing GamingOnLinux directly.
See more from me
The comments on this article are closed.
54 comments
Page: «2/6»
  Go to:

ageres 1 May, 2020
Quoting: cusa123What 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!
You must be confusing SteamVR with Valve Index.
Nanobang 1 May, 2020
Apple's its own little clique and its members love it for what it does for them. There are other VR headsets, and, if I'm honest, if VR really becomes more than a niche gaming thing, Apple will come out with their own VR kit, and it'll be as sleek and sexy and integrated as everything else that they do. I'm not worried one jot for the Apple tribe over this.

Frankly, anything that results in the phrase "more resources being directed at Linux" is a win worthy of a hearty "Hip hip hooray!" in my book.
Beamboom 1 May, 2020
Pheeeew - I received my Index just one week ago, and my heart got stuck in my throat here for a second.

From a purely selfish point of view this is great news - it'll probably allow them to allocate more of the "secondary efforts" on Linux instead of spreading thin.

And hot damn how cool it is to play VR on Linux - thanks to Index and Steam Play. I've yet to install a Windows VR game that *didn't* work. And I've pretty much emptied my wallet all over VR on Steam now. :D

If anything, this has cemented my dedication to Steam when it comes to gaming. No Steam = no purchase for me now. Steam or nothing. AfaI'm concerned they ARE Linux gaming.


Last edited by Beamboom on 1 May 2020 at 1:51 pm UTC
Creak 1 May, 2020
I am mostly worried about the reason why they dropped VR for an entire platform that has more users than Linux's. Obviously, financially, it makes little sense.

We can speculate as much as we want, we don't know the facts behind this choice. It is nice to see they chose Linux over MacOS, but why? Put in another, more positive way: why Linux won over MacOS?

Finally, this kind of decision may bite Valve back because it opens the door to a competitor that would support all three platforms.

It is all very hypothetical, that is why a rational of this decision would have been nice.
Cyril 1 May, 2020
Unusual and quite interesting.
Ehvis 1 May, 2020
View PC info
  • Supporter Plus
Quoting: CreakI am mostly worried about the reason why they dropped VR for an entire platform that has more users than Linux's. Obviously, financially, it makes little sense.

This is exactly why I would have liked a bit more detail from Valve.
jrt 1 May, 2020
QuoteSeems odd to see such a big shift announced so abruptly, with no other reasoning.

I don't think that this was abruptly. The Index never listed MacOS as an official platform and indicated therefore a MacOS drop for months. The reason they support linux as much as they do is to get away from Windows getting more restrictive and Apple walled-garden like. Proton also does not officially support MacOS, making it a significantly worse choice for VR gaming than Linux. Apples decision to not support Vulkan was the nail in the coffin imho.
ageres 1 May, 2020
Quoting: CreakI am mostly worried about the reason why they dropped VR for an entire platform that has more users than Linux's. Obviously, financially, it makes little sense.
I think it's obvious. Apple computers are expensive but weak and aren't intended as a gaming platform. AFAIK, Proton is not available on MacOS too. Though I don't know why have Apple decided to ignore videogames, but that's what Apple always do - deciding for their customers what they are allowed to do and what they are not.
Arten 1 May, 2020
Quoting: CreakI am mostly worried about the reason why they dropped VR for an entire platform that has more users than Linux's. Obviously, financially, it makes little sense.

We can speculate as much as we want, we don't know the facts behind this choice. It is nice to see they chose Linux over MacOS, but why? Put in another, more positive way: why Linux won over MacOS?

Finally, this kind of decision may bite Valve back because it opens the door to a competitor that would support all three platforms.

It is all very hypothetical, that is why a rational of this decision would have been nice.

From my point of view reason is clear. Look on Steam hw Survey mac's graphics cards. Only minority has something dedicated plus only metal as graphic API, there is no chance that it can support VR games for majority mac gamers in near future.
Liam Dawe 1 May, 2020
Quoting: jrt
QuoteSeems odd to see such a big shift announced so abruptly, with no other reasoning.

I don't think that this was abruptly. The Index never listed MacOS as an official platform and indicated therefore a MacOS drop for months. The reason they support linux as much as they do is to get away from Windows getting more restrictive and Apple walled-garden like. Proton also does not officially support MacOS, making it a significantly worse choice for VR gaming than Linux. Apples decision to not support Vulkan was the nail in the coffin imho.
Sure but Valve also helped to liberate MoltenVK, specifically so they could use Vulkan themselves on macOS. Noted that yes, Index never mentioned macOS but this news still did come out of nowhere with no prior other hints or discussion that I can see.
While you're here, please consider supporting GamingOnLinux on:

Patreon, Liberapay or PayPal Donation.

This ensures all of our main content remains totally free for everyone with no article paywalls. We also don't have tons of adverts, there's also no tracking and we respect your privacy. Just good, fresh content. Without your continued support, we simply could not continue!

You can find even more ways to support us on this dedicated page any time. If you already are, thank you!
The comments on this article are closed.
Livestreams & Videos
Community Livestreams