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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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Philadelphus 2 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.
The first thing that comes to my mind is, sure, MacOS may have more users than Linux in absolute terms, but what if you just compare the number of VR users? From the points others have raised in the comments it's not too far-fetched to think that there are more Linux VR users than Mac ones. We might not have access to those numbers, but it's a safe bet that Valve does. From that perspective (plus all the difficulties people have raised with developing for MacOS), this probably is the financially sensible solution.

Though it's also Valve, who do their own thing. :) Betting on Linux was hardly financially sensible*! They could just be tired of dealing with MacOS, or have something else in mind.

*at the time, obviously I and they both think it's a good long-term investment but I'm hardly sure we've collectively spent enough money on Steam to pay off the work done on Linux support yet.
sub 2 May, 2020
I hope nobody is happy about a different platform gets support (partially) cut.

Yet, what I like about that news is that Valve being clear about ending support
instead of letting it die silently and communicating it.

Should this be the fate of Steam for Linux in the future (I wouldn't rule it out),
I hope they'll communicate it that clearly as well.
slaapliedje 4 May, 2020
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Quoting: subI hope nobody is happy about a different platform gets support (partially) cut.

Yet, what I like about that news is that Valve being clear about ending support
instead of letting it die silently and communicating it.

Should this be the fate of Steam for Linux in the future (I wouldn't rule it out),
I hope they'll communicate it that clearly as well.
I am more happy that Valve sees the reason in not supporting a company that supports any sort of open development.

With the very strong rumor (not sure they have officially announced anything?) That Apple is going to be switching their macbook pro line over to their own ARM processor, why would Valve continue to support what is in essence, a dead platform? As their specific need is to support x86.
Eike 4 May, 2020
Quoting: GuestWhat i wonder is how it will influence Feral. Will they continue to do Mac ports ? And if they don't do Mac ports, is it worth it for them to do Linux ports ?

Did they port any VR game yet?
Mohandevir 4 May, 2020
Quoting: GuestI believe not. But i am not certain. But my concern is more about the non support of Vulkan and the migration towards ARM. Plus the moderately friendly stance towards devs.

It might explain why they began porting games to the Nintendo Switch and Android... Just a guess.
Praxach 4 May, 2020
I am indifferent about the lack of MacOS support. Sucks that they are dropping it, but at the same time it is probably due to Apple's walled garden approach to everything.

Personally I am glad they are moving forward with more Linux support for VR. The wife got an Oculus Quest last week and now she wants to see what we can do with a PC powered VR system. I didn't want to buy one only to find out that it wasn't going to be supported in the future. Now I just have to wait for them to come back in stock.
ageres 4 May, 2020
Quoting: PraxachThe wife got an Oculus Quest last week and now she wants to see what we can do with a PC powered VR system. I didn't want to buy one only to find out that it wasn't going to be supported in the future.
I thought Oculus doesn't support Linux. Does it?
Praxach 4 May, 2020
Quoting: ageres
Quoting: PraxachThe wife got an Oculus Quest last week and now she wants to see what we can do with a PC powered VR system. I didn't want to buy one only to find out that it wasn't going to be supported in the future.
I thought Oculus doesn't support Linux. Does it?

No that does not support anything. it is a complete standalone system. (https://www.oculus.com/quest/)

It is really nice since it is portable and you don't need the stands in a room to use VR. Games are short and expensive, but I think that is the same for any VR system right now. You can side load apps on the system so you can bypass the Oculus (facebook) store to purchase apps for the device.

I really hope valve takes a look at the Quest and comes up with a way to do a similar setup so you don't need to have the sensors in the room.
pskosinski 5 May, 2020
All Mac users I know play only on consoles anyway.
slaapliedje 5 May, 2020
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Quoting: Praxach
Quoting: ageres
Quoting: PraxachThe wife got an Oculus Quest last week and now she wants to see what we can do with a PC powered VR system. I didn't want to buy one only to find out that it wasn't going to be supported in the future.
I thought Oculus doesn't support Linux. Does it?

No that does not support anything. it is a complete standalone system. (https://www.oculus.com/quest/)

It is really nice since it is portable and you don't need the stands in a room to use VR. Games are short and expensive, but I think that is the same for any VR system right now. You can side load apps on the system so you can bypass the Oculus (facebook) store to purchase apps for the device.

I really hope valve takes a look at the Quest and comes up with a way to do a similar setup so you don't need to have the sensors in the room.
Trust me, you will want those sensors, also the Index is basically king. I refuse to give Facebook money.
This is from someone who has had VR since the first Vive was being shipped. I also have the Vive Pro. It is a good headset, especially for viewing movies, the deep blacks and colors are great. But the Index wins on being able to read things a bit more, and the wider FOV is very nice!
One day I was testing between the two, and the feeling of having binoculars strapped to your face is far more obviouse with the Vive Pro.
But having sensors at the edge of your room that don't require cables to your PC is far nicer than Occulus, which you need three camera set up from what I understand to get the same tracking.
The Quest is a different beast though and if I recall is based on an accelerometer, and does not track your hands as well?
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