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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.

Article taken from GamingOnLinux.com.
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mike456 1 May, 2020
oh well if Apple would support Vulkan...
Liam Dawe 1 May, 2020
Update: Added a wee bit more info and thoughts.
Mohandevir 1 May, 2020
In case of VR Linux... Linux is a niche and VR is a niche
In case of VR MacOS... MacOS is a niche, VR is a niche and having a MacOS VR capable hardware is probably the nichest of the niches.

It's starting to be a lot of probability layers, against MacOS. Add to this the fact that the Mac ecosystem is a walled garden and does not support Vulkan natively... Waste of time?


Last edited by Mohandevir on 1 May 2020 at 4:30 pm UTC
mirv 1 May, 2020
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It's not just Vulkan that MacOSX needs - it's extensions needed for VR (i.e full driver support), and possibly some tweaks to their rendering management system (no idea here, but wouldn't surprise me) to reduce framebuffer to display delays. This kind of thing Valve has helped to fund for GNU/Linux desktop as well, though it's less well known.

I don't know enough of Metal, and don't care to, but I wouldn't be surprised if it had very little VR support. Then there's the amount of Apple hardware that can support VR to a reasonable performance level for gaming, and the number of mac games that provide VR; I'm guessing it's quite a niche market.

Compare that to the range of available hardware that could potentially have GNU/Linux on it (i.e everyone running VR via Windows has the potential to try it on GNU/Linux as well), that Valve can directly invest in and direct development on GNU/Linux (as they've already done and continue to do), and it kind of makes sense to drop OSX but keep GNU/Linux. And obviously keep Windows support, with GNU/Linux as a threat to keep Microsoft from abusing their position.
Shmerl 1 May, 2020
macOS is a DOA system for gaming. Quite expected. And Apple were doubly dumb by shooting themselves in the foot with their Metal NIH. Apple management doesn't care about gaming in the least.


Last edited by Shmerl on 1 May 2020 at 4:47 pm UTC
CatKiller 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.

OK :D

Valve have been the primary driver behind Vulkan, from the glNext days. Apple aren't the least bit interested in Vulkan, using Metal exclusively. When Ubuntu wanted to drop maintenance of 32-bit libraries without a robust containerisation system already in place, Valve opted to only support those distros that could keep everything working. In the same situation, Apple just said "too bad, so sad." Linux doesn't bring Valve a lot of money, but makes Valve's job a lot easier. Apple doesn't bring Valve a lot of money, and makes Valve's job a lot harder. Valve wanted a backup plan should Windows ever be untenable; Apple have made it clear that macOS isn't going to be it. If Valve are going to create a VR future, and they seem to be interested in that, it's too much of an uphill struggle to involve macOS in that.
Pinguino 1 May, 2020
Quoting: ageres
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.

What is SteamVR, then?
Xaero_Vincent 1 May, 2020
Gaming will only get worse for Mac users when Apple finally drops the ball and entirely removes their deprecated OpenGL support. This will mean only 64-bit Metal games will work and all the past games not updated for it will be SOL. It also means that it will completely break OpenGL-based WineD3D that Wine uses for DirectX 9 support for Mac games. In fact, Wine is completely broken on Catalina and requires a special build of Crossover that supports 32 to 64 bit thunking and introduces new bugs and problems.

Furthermore, Apple is reportingly planning to slowly transition their Macs to the ARMv8 platform that their iPhones and iPads use. When that happens, it's fair to assume that Steam will no longer work at all or it will have to run with with an x86 translation layer, reducing performance due to overhead.

If you like PC gaming, stay away from Apple Macs like the plague, unless you plan to install Windows or Linux on your x86 Mac. IMO, It's better not to give Apple your money in the first place.


Last edited by Xaero_Vincent on 1 May 2020 at 6:17 pm UTC
ElectricPrism 1 May, 2020
The Apple has gone rotten lol.

It doesn't take a genius to see the direction a company is headed to predict the future. Years back their refusal to update to current OpenGL, and then their hostility toward holding back Steam from a update on the App Store and then refusal to allow Vulkan on OSX -- and now for "reasons" Valve is dropping their experimental OSX support -- I guarantee it's because Apple made it difficult and lent no hands -- I mean why would they when they both make money on a % of App Sales -- they are direct competition in that model.

I'm just so glad I swore off their products 10 years ago after the absolute shit-show it was to download and upload music to and from a iPod

Download Music From Your iPod ???

!<!>!<!< bUUt ThAt WoULd bE STeALiNg !.!.!>!>!>!

F. Apple
F. Facebook
F. Google

Back in the day it just used to be Microsoft shafting users -- now all these companies have joined the club. May they Rot in pieces, we don't need them or want the trash they're pushing.
slaapliedje 1 May, 2020
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I would like to know who was using SteamVR on the Mac?
1) most of them simply do not have the GPU power to do it. Unless you get an expensive eGPU.
2) what software worked in VR? They have to wrap VK through Metal
3) Who still games on a mac? I'd think most mac users who game do it on either a Win/Lin computer, or on game consoles.
4) Most hardware that used to be game worthy have stopped getting new OS updates made for them (specifically the nvidia based ones).

I'm just wondering what sort of hardware was even required that Apple provides that could handle VR?
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