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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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slaapliedje 1 May, 2020
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Quoting: Pinguino
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?
SteamVR is the software that works with all the VR headsets vs Valve Index is the Hardware head mounted display.
Ehvis 1 May, 2020
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Most power right now is probably with the Hackintosh users. Which still use the official nvidia drivers.
ioangogo 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.

While it seems this way, when you think about users of a graphics API it makes more sense. What apple did with metal is cut down the likelihood someone would develop for it. This is due to the fact the metal API is only for 3% of the market. Vulcan due to being on windows and Linux has a much larger target base and is a better sell.

The success of VR depends on the graphics API, and apple kind of shot themselves in the foot in terms of adoption


Last edited by ioangogo on 2 May 2020 at 10:34 am UTC
orochi_kyo 1 May, 2020
No one here is to blame but MacOS, one of the richer companies on the world, still they want to force developers to use Metal and other closed source crap they own.
anth 1 May, 2020
I wonder if this is somehow related to the HP/Valve/Microsoft headset that has been teased. That partnership had me a bit concerned so I'm glad about this announcement.
Orkultus 2 May, 2020
No one buys a mac to game on..period.
slaapliedje 2 May, 2020
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Quoting: EhvisMost power right now is probably with the Hackintosh users. Which still use the official nvidia drivers.
Which Valve can't directly say they can support it, as they're definitely on the gray side of legal.
That's like a couple macbooks that were given to me, the only way to go beyond El Capitan on them is to use a hacked installer for the newer releases, to include drivers that were yanked out of the macOS releases. There literally is no other reason they can't still support systems from 2008/9, beyond they don't want to, and because nvidia and Apple can't get along.

Of course I don't know all the details of that, but from an Apple fan's perspective, it's because nvidia's drivers are crappy, and Apple had to write their own?

I think nvidia's drivers are actually pretty damned good, it's pretty much the only reason I chose them over AMD.
Corben 2 May, 2020
Oof, RIP SteamVR for macOS.

I'm curious if this will shift the focus of developers, or if VR on macOS wasn't in their interest at all. Though I have still have a MacBook Pro from 2011, I never tried VR as I think its hardware is way too weak. There were already a handful of native VR games on Linux since the beginning of VR, but I was not aware of any native macOS VR titles.

In the Steam Hardware survey macOS has a higher share than Linux, and it was (almost) never an issue for devs to support macOS... so might this be the start of the end for games on macOS? Maybe mac gamers are switching to Linux, as Windows users apparently didn't with the end of the support of Windows 7.

Though I'm a big fan of having the freedom of choice, and dropping support for a platform is limiting choice, I have to admit, that I'm happy it wasn't the drop of Linux support.
slaapliedje 2 May, 2020
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Quoting: CorbenOof, RIP SteamVR for macOS.

I'm curious if this will shift the focus of developers, or if VR on macOS wasn't in their interest at all. Though I have still have a MacBook Pro from 2011, I never tried VR as I think its hardware is way too weak. There were already a handful of native VR games on Linux since the beginning of VR, but I was not aware of any native macOS VR titles.

In the Steam Hardware survey macOS has a higher share than Linux, and it was (almost) never an issue for devs to support macOS... so might this be the start of the end for games on macOS? Maybe mac gamers are switching to Linux, as Windows users apparently didn't with the end of the support of Windows 7.

Though I'm a big fan of having the freedom of choice, and dropping support for a platform is limiting choice, I have to admit, that I'm happy it wasn't the drop of Linux support.
Oh Windows 7 will have diehard people still using it and refusing to upgrade for at least another 5 years. Pretty sure there are still people using XP, and I've even seen a continual service pack being created / added to for 98SE...

I wonder how many of the percentage of mac vs linux users on Steam are due to simpler games, like say the hidden object type games, that aren't very hardware intensive. Your average macbook would be able to handle those fine.

When was the last macbook pro you could even get a dedicated GPU on? Not many people are going to be playing games on the trash can or the new mac pro that has a crazy cost.

Here's the real question that should be asked though. It's not macOS having higher share than Linux. It's 'How many macOS users has a VR system connected to it vs how many people with Linux machines have a VR system connected to it?' I bet you it's probably 0% compared to not 0%. :)
tonR 2 May, 2020
Quoting: slaapliedjeOh Windows 7 will have diehard people still using it and refusing to upgrade for at least another 5 years. Pretty sure there are still people using XP, and I've even seen a continual service pack being created / added to for 98SE...
I'm still using the "unofficial" Win XP for synchronize/back-up my dad's 11 years old Sony Ericsson phones. :P
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