Oculus Rift is one of the most prominent headsets in the virtual reality scene right now. However, Mac users looking to invest miiiight want to reconsider. Oculus founder Palmer Luckey has shut down the possibility of any devices supporting OS X…at least until “Apple releases a good computer”.
The nerve! The disrespect! How could Luckey say such a thing?!
The answer: Oculus Rift needs good graphics
Of course, Luckey does have a point—though a bit rude on its phrasing. All Macs use mobile GPUs, which allow for a lighter computer. Oculus Rift prides itself on intense graphics that make virtual reality, well, realistic. Rift will gravitate away from OS X for the same reason gamers do: graphics performance. The headset requires certain specs that even the most expensive Macs can’t meet, even when running Windows.
Rift might become OS X compatible if Apple suddenly decides to prioritize graphics, but this change doesn’t seem likely. Us Mac users love our lightweight computers. Switching to Rift-standard GPUs could make for bulkier and slower hardware—two things that should never be associated with anything Apple.
Luckey’s point highlights an issue Apple might face in implementing virtual reality. Stepping foot in the world of VR without graphics to match its competitors would be detrimental to the rumored Apple headset. This is another indicator that Apple is probably leaning towards augmented reality.
So, can Mac users get a virtual reality fix in the meantime? Sure—if you buy a PC. Unfortunately, no VR headsets seem to run on or even support OS X. This makes the anticipation for an Apple VR/AR product even more pressing! Apple lovers can always try out one of the many iPhone-compatible headsets on the market for a similar (and much more affordable) experience.