Oculus Puts Mac, Linux Development on Hold

Oculus Puts Mac, Linux Development on Hold

Oculus Rift Consumer Edition 1

Mac users who were expecting to get the Oculus Rift at the same time as their Windows brethren may want to lower those expectations.

Now that the Oculus Rift has an official launch window, fans are understandably getting hyped up about their Virtual Reality future. After all, it has been three years since the VR headset's Kickstarter launched back in 2012. However, Mac and Linux fans may want to dial back their excitement, as Oculus has announced it is "pausing" development for OSX and Linux in order to deliver "a high quality consumer-level VR experience at launch across hardware, software, and content on Windows."

"We want to get back to development for OS X and Linux but we don't have a timeline," added Oculus Chief Architect Atman Binstock in an official blog post.

In the same post, Binstock confirmed the system specs needed for the device. "The recommended PC specification is an NVIDIA GTX 970 or AMD 290, Intel i5-4590, and 8GB RAM." However, he assured us that "This configuration will be held for the lifetime of the Rift and should drop in price over time."

These are pretty beefy specs, but given all the grunt needed to render VR at an acceptable framerate, it does seem necessary.

Meanwhile, fans and developers alike are not too happy about the "no OSX/Linux development" announcement, with one dev going so far as to post "As a game developer who thinks you've just shot yourself in the foot by abandoning OS X, I've decided to abandon Rift. My games will still be available for Windows and OS X (and Linux), I just won't support Rift."

Source: Oculus

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Having seen the recommended specs, I think losing OSX support is no great loss. Macs that actually meet those specs are... well, hackintoshes, for the most part.

P.S. Thanks

"As a game developer who thinks you've just shot yourself in the foot by abandoning OS X, I've decided to abandon Rift."

Because "delay" = "abandon", or "how dare you prioritize things and not place me first!". Is it some requirement that developers be drama queens nowadays?

I've been putting series consideration into switching to Linux for my next build. Windows has not endeared itself to me at all of late.

Microsoft's belligerence towards it's own userbase is a burden. Trying to force a tablet interface on a desktop, forcing unnecessary and unwanted Xbox integration into their OS, forcing exclusivity with DirectX, all while telling us about their commitment to PC gaming. While not releasing first party titles on PC.

One can only hope that SteamOS will be a viable alternative. I'm excited for Valve's Vive headset.

Asclepion:
I've been putting series consideration into switching to Linux for my next build. Windows has not endeared itself to me at all of late.

Microsoft's belligerence towards it's own userbase is a burden. Trying to force a tablet interface on a desktop, forcing unnecessary and unwanted Xbox integration into their OS, forcing exclusivity with DirectX, all while telling us about their commitment to PC gaming. While not releasing first party titles on PC.

One can only hope that SteamOS will be a viable alternative. I'm excited for Valve's Vive headset.

I very much feel the same way. Unfortunately the world rarely takes into consideration my feelings.

synobal:
I very much feel the same way. Unfortunately the world rarely takes into consideration my feelings.

I'm sorry you feel that way. Will a video of pugs dressed as Game of Thrones characters make you feel better?

WoW...There's shooting yourself in the foot and then there's amputating your own leg.

The Rogue Wolf:

"As a game developer who thinks you've just shot yourself in the foot by abandoning OS X, I've decided to abandon Rift."

Because "delay" = "abandon", or "how dare you prioritize things and not place me first!". Is it some requirement that developers be drama queens nowadays?

It might as well be. Focusing more or less means they'll be building around windows and then trying to hack what they've done for windows to fit for other platfoms.

It's never a good idea when a Hardware manufacturer starts picking sides.

My question is a simple one: was this promised in the kickstarter campaign? If so, people who felt betrayed about the whole Facebook thing and who use these operating systems are going to flip tables.

I for one am mostly indifferent. Maybe in ten years I'll take a look at it while playing Star Citizen but I'm not overly hyped about it.

synobal:

Asclepion:
I've been putting series consideration into switching to Linux for my next build. Windows has not endeared itself to me at all of late.

Microsoft's belligerence towards it's own userbase is a burden. Trying to force a tablet interface on a desktop, forcing unnecessary and unwanted Xbox integration into their OS, forcing exclusivity with DirectX, all while telling us about their commitment to PC gaming. While not releasing first party titles on PC.

One can only hope that SteamOS will be a viable alternative. I'm excited for Valve's Vive headset.

I very much feel the same way. Unfortunately the world rarely takes into consideration my feelings.

Honestly, I'd consider SteamOS if it still had some form of work application. Movie editing, Image processing, the ability to work in Unity's DevKit... Excel... >.> I also won't enjoy the inability to be seamless with a dual boot option. My computers are strictly budget. Loading the WinOS still takes time.

That's the biggest problem with Linux to me, there's just so much I do with the comfort and ease of Windows that learning a whole new OS is just, well... Pointless. Quite frankly, I'm not happy with the state of WINE either when it comes to games and my ability to enjoy them without any hassle. I'm just not interested in a gamble, even if it is 90%/10%. I'll admit it's been a few years, and well, I know how fast the industry moves. Hell, it's been one year since I stopped looking altogether, and it's already left me behind. I've blanked out in Mac's OS and I have no training in Win10, and only personal use training with Win8. I refuse to work on XP anymore, partially because of cost/worth and partially because I've forgotten the quirks of the piece of shit. Some languages I know are starting to look like code again, and C# is the only language I'm actually still comfortable in. At least hardware troubleshooting never changes. I'll never forget that click-clack of a dead HDD motor and read-head.

I am probably gonna goof around with Slax though. I have a laptop with a pseudo touch screen, and here's hoping there's some linux drivers for th thing.

On topic though, I fuckin' called it. I really wouldn't be surprised if this went the direction of Towns. It's Facebook, so the backer's response is going to be that they'll just roll over and take it. What else are they gonna do? Think about it, we really haven't seem a whole lot from them since they took the project, and competition has been battering at the gates as of recent. We'll just have to wait for a better manuf. to provide a better product.

Captcha: "hear me roar!"
RRRRAAAAAAAUUUUUUGGGGGHHHHH~~ :3

The decision makes sense. If they don't get the Rift out on time and competitive, they are going to lose a lot of ground to the Vive, possibly to the point where it will be impossible to recover. I still haven't decided which of the two I'll get, but supported games is going to be a big factor.

The Rogue Wolf:

"As a game developer who thinks you've just shot yourself in the foot by abandoning OS X, I've decided to abandon Rift."

Because "delay" = "abandon", or "how dare you prioritize things and not place me first!". Is it some requirement that developers be drama queens nowadays?

Well he's apparently an OSX developer, I think "drama queen" likely applies.

Oh Apple how the mighty have fallen. Once the kings of computer gaming with the apple II, yet now you have painted yourselves into a corner with your sleek yet close gated mac's. Oh apple, what went wrong?

Redlin5:
My question is a simple one: was this promised in the kickstarter campaign? If so, people who felt betrayed about the whole Facebook thing and who use these operating systems are going to flip tables.

I for one am mostly indifferent. Maybe in ten years I'll take a look at it while playing Star Citizen but I'm not overly hyped about it.

Um... Honestly? As a backer, I don't recall any promises about OS support. All I remember is the concept of a practical, working, high field of view VR headset that didn't require a mortage to buy. (pre-rift, a system with worse specs would set you back 10-100k)
Which the prototype already delivered.

kat-pottz:
Oh Apple how the mighty have fallen. Once the kings of computer gaming with the apple II, yet now you have painted yourselves into a corner with your sleek yet close gated mac's. Oh apple, what went wrong?

Well, considering they were a company that for close to 2 decades had an active disdain for the very idea of someone using a mac for something as trivial as gaming, is it any surprise the support for mac gaming is abysmal?
That can hardly be considered a surprise when the company making the things is actively against gaming, and basically only has games on their systems bregrudingly, because they can't actually stop people making them...

OK, sure, they may have changed in recent times, but that was seriously their attitude for quite some time... Blame Steve jobs for helping to start that mentality... >_>

Anyway, I'm not surprised. With high framerates being essential to a comfortable VR experience, and good graphics and high resolutions being essential to fending off whining about 'crappy graphics', the required specs were inevitably going to be pretty up there.

And unfortunately, not a single mac meets the hardware requirements, and linux is still so niche that you could largely forgive anyone for making it an afterthought...

This situation is unfortunate, but it shouldn't really surprise anyone that was paying attention.

I'm betting this news stems from Oculus/Facebook attempting to push up their release schedule so they can get the Rift to market as close to the release of the Vive as possible.

Which is hilarious, since HTC's Vive already has Windows, OSX, and Linux support thanks to Valve's SteamVR/OpenVR APIs and SDKs.

Looks like Facebook is strangling Rift, as predicted.

The Rogue Wolf:

"As a game developer who thinks you've just shot yourself in the foot by abandoning OS X, I've decided to abandon Rift."

Because "delay" = "abandon", or "how dare you prioritize things and not place me first!". Is it some requirement that developers be drama queens nowadays?

If i were to put an investment into developing software for a hardware that promised to release simultaneously on all platforms only to go back on their promise i would be pretty pissed too. Its not about "me first", its about "you broke your promise".

BeerTent:

Honestly, I'd consider SteamOS if it still had some form of work application.

SteamOS is just gutted linux with steam preinstalled. if you want an multipurpose computer that runs like steamOS you could just use Linux.

As far as for the rest of your post, im in pretty much same situation.

At least hardware troubleshooting never changes. I'll never forget that click-clack of a dead HDD motor and read-head.

Youd think that, but SSDs dont clack.....

Its amazing how many people for example dont even know what a dial tone is anymore because they never heard it....

infohippie:

The Rogue Wolf:

"As a game developer who thinks you've just shot yourself in the foot by abandoning OS X, I've decided to abandon Rift."

Because "delay" = "abandon", or "how dare you prioritize things and not place me first!". Is it some requirement that developers be drama queens nowadays?

Well he's apparently an OSX developer, I think "drama queen" likely applies.

A "drama queen" wouldn't surprise me. Steam currently shows an over 95% market share on Steam. The reality is, even with Valve's and few other developers' efforts to support Linux and Mac, Windows is still the god-king of gaming on PCs. Facebook Oculus probably wants to reach the biggest demographic as soon as possible, especially since the competition is moving quick now.

OT: Well, now that they've angered some devs and any Mac and Linux users excited for VR, let's see what how Valve handles the Vive launch. (They're still supporting Mac and Linux at launch, right?)

I'm just glad I'm not interested in spending whatever it will cost to strap some heavy crap to my face. The recommended specs alone are too much for me right now. Probably by the time I build a new PC, VR will either have proven itself, or we will already have started forgetting about it. (Though, I hope it drives monitor prices down a little.)

Vigormortis:
I'm betting this news stems from Oculus/Facebook attempting to push up their release schedule so they can get the Rift to market as close to the release of the Vive as possible.

Which is hilarious, since HTC's Vive already has Windows, OSX, and Linux support thanks to Valve's SteamVR/OpenVR APIs and SDKs.

I've been looking for anything official regarding OS support for the Vive and am coming up blank. Citation, please?

Those minimum spec are considerably less than I was expecting, most of the people I know using DK2 are running at least one Titan/980 and a lot are using sli set ups to get the good frame rates.

It looks like the Rift might be sounding the death knell of my 7970 though, poor bugger, no more jet fighter noise.

Strazdas:
[...]

At least hardware troubleshooting never changes. I'll never forget that click-clack of a dead HDD motor and read-head.

Youd think that, but SSDs dont clack.....

Its amazing how many people for example dont even know what a dial tone is anymore because they never heard it....

Yeah, but SSD's don't lock up older computers, and strangle-hold everything until the OS just gets their way. I can just stick one in my computer, check the SMART Param's and be on my merry way. I've only ever had to work on one, because most people around who have them would much rather work on their own machines. Which is a shame, I'd like to get my hands on a few failed ones.

> AMD 285.....FFUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUU

The vast majority of PC gamers have Windows as their only operating system. The rest have it on dual boot. This decision makes sense. Also - delay doesn't mean abandon, as others have mentioned before me.

On one hand I think Facebook is probably pushing this to ensure Oculus Rift hits the market while it still matters ensuring market share and domination.
On the other hand it is really a reasonable approach as most users probably use Windows. It makes little sense to risk delay of the project for a minority of users.

Scars Unseen:

I've been looking for anything official regarding OS support for the Vive and am coming up blank. Citation, please?

As far as I'm aware, there's been no official company statement as such[1], but the API for SteamVR and OpenVR, as well as the current SDK, come with native OSX and Linux support.[2] And from what I've read thus far, the Vive was designed around the SteamVR platform.

Now, whether the planned game titles set to release during the Vive's launch window will support OSX and Linux is an entirely different matter....

[1] Beyond an extremely tentative release schedule for the dev edition and the consumer model.
[2] It's funny, for some time the OSX build was causing Rift demos to invert all tracking systems.

Vigormortis:
I'm betting this news stems from Oculus/Facebook attempting to push up their release schedule so they can get the Rift to market as close to the release of the Vive as possible.

Which is hilarious, since HTC's Vive already has Windows, OSX, and Linux support thanks to Valve's SteamVR/OpenVR APIs and SDKs.

Well I know which one I'd go with. Oculus abandoned Linux so I'll abandon Oculus :-P

Vigormortis:

Scars Unseen:

I've been looking for anything official regarding OS support for the Vive and am coming up blank. Citation, please?

As far as I'm aware, there's been no official company statement as such[1], but the API for SteamVR and OpenVR, as well as the current SDK, come with native OSX and Linux support.[2] And from what I've read thus far, the Vive was designed around the SteamVR platform.

Now, whether the planned game titles set to release during the Vive's launch window will support OSX and Linux is an entirely different matter....

Seems like a fair analysis, though I would possibly call it into question if Valve doesn't say something a bit more direct on the matter soon. After all, what better timing than after an announcement like this to remind everyone that Valve - and by extension their products - support all three major OS platforms?

I guess it doesn't really matter to me either way. I don't and won't own an Apple anything, and Linux is still a long way from being worth switching to for gaming purposes.

[1] Beyond an extremely tentative release schedule for the dev edition and the consumer model.
[2] It's funny, for some time the OSX build was causing Rift demos to invert all tracking systems.

Scars Unseen:

Seems like a fair analysis, though I would possibly call it into question if Valve doesn't say something a bit more direct on the matter soon. After all, what better timing than after an announcement like this to remind everyone that Valve - and by extension their products - support all three major OS platforms?

I guess it doesn't really matter to me either way. I don't and won't own an Apple anything, and Linux is still a long way from being worth switching to for gaming purposes.

With the Vive being HTC's product, they may jump at the opportunity. I'm not sure Valve would do so, though. It's not really their product to push, and they generally don't make such fast-response company announcements. They seem more interested in cultivating a VR-minded dev community with SteamVR and OpenVR, as well as furthering development on Lighthouse. That and 'Valve Time" would require that they make such an announcement no less than five years from now.

Still, don't get me wrong, I'm actually not criticizing Oculus/Facebook's decision to delay OSX and Linux development. From a 'target demographic' stance, it actually makes sense, if the intention is to push the release date up. I'm just convinced that the push is so they can get the Rift to market as close to the Vive's release as possible.

Oculus isn't really sitting in a comfortable position anymore. For over two years they've been in the top spot. The "God King" position. They had all the attention, all the hype, all the praise. They could be as slow, and if I may, complacent, as they wanted. They had no real deadlines beyond vague Kickstarter promises.

But now? They have two serious competitors knocking at the door. (Google Cardboard doesn't really count) HTC will be the first out of the gate, and Sony will be hot on their heels. I feel as though they're now in panic mode, after having been in such a cushy position for so long.

And this isn't even taking into account Microsoft's 'Hololens'.[1]

[1] Though, I'm exceptionally dubious about Microsoft's claims about the Hololens. I just can't buy that AR tech has come even remotely close to as advanced as they're promising it is.

Vigormortis:

Scars Unseen:

Seems like a fair analysis, though I would possibly call it into question if Valve doesn't say something a bit more direct on the matter soon. After all, what better timing than after an announcement like this to remind everyone that Valve - and by extension their products - support all three major OS platforms?

I guess it doesn't really matter to me either way. I don't and won't own an Apple anything, and Linux is still a long way from being worth switching to for gaming purposes.

With the Vive being HTC's product, they may jump at the opportunity. I'm not sure Valve would do so, though. It's not really their product to push, and they generally don't make such fast-response company announcements. They seem more interested in cultivating a VR-minded dev community with SteamVR and OpenVR, as well as furthering development on Lighthouse. That and 'Valve Time" would require that they make such an announcement no less than five years from now.

Still, don't get me wrong, I'm actually not criticizing Oculus/Facebook's decision to delay OSX and Linux development. From a 'target demographic' stance, it actually makes sense, if the intention is to push the release date up. I'm just convinced that the push is so they can get the Rift to market as close to the Vive's release as possible.

Oculus isn't really sitting in a comfortable position anymore. For over two years they've been in the top spot. The "God King" position. They had all the attention, all the hype, all the praise. They could be as slow, and if I may, complacent, as they wanted. They had no real deadlines beyond vague Kickstarter promises.

But now? They have two serious competitors knocking at the door. (Google Cardboard doesn't really count) HTC will be the first out of the gate, and Sony will be hot on their heels. I feel as though they're now in panic mode, after having been in such a cushy position for so long.

And this isn't even taking into account Microsoft's 'Hololens'.[1]

I agree with pretty much everything you said there, and you're probably right about Valve with their policy on announcing things. I'm not really invested in Oculus itself(didn't Kickstart it or buy into the dev kits), but I am really excited about finally getting to the point where HMDs are viable for gaming.

My main complaint at this point is the lack of a common Open standard between VR options. We really need an OpenGL in the VR arena, and until we get one, I feel that having multple VR options is going to be a hindrance to progress rather than a boon. It's going to be like the bad old days where developers had to program versions of their games separately for the 3dfx and Riva cards because the technologies were incompatible.

[1] Though, I'm exceptionally dubious about Microsoft's claims about the Hololens. I just can't buy that AR tech has come even remotely close to as advanced as they're promising it is.

Scars Unseen:

I agree with pretty much everything you said there, and you're probably right about Valve with their policy on announcing things. I'm not really invested in Oculus itself(didn't Kickstart it or buy into the dev kits), but I am really excited about finally getting to the point where HMDs are viable for gaming.

My main complaint at this point is the lack of a common Open standard between VR options. We really need an OpenGL in the VR arena, and until we get one, I feel that having multple VR options is going to be a hindrance to progress rather than a boon. It's going to be like the bad old days where developers had to program versions of their games separately for the 3dfx and Riva cards because the technologies were incompatible.

This may be the case, sadly, but I think initiatives like SteamVR/OpenVR may help. (notably the latter)

http://venturebeat.com/2015/04/30/valve-launches-openvr-dev-kit-for-virtaul-reality-hardware-makers/
https://github.com/ValveSoftware/openvr

Hopefully this effort to keep the tech open-source but collaborative will help mitigate many of the coding issues inherent with disparate hardware architectures.

BeerTent:

Strazdas:
[...]

At least hardware troubleshooting never changes. I'll never forget that click-clack of a dead HDD motor and read-head.

Youd think that, but SSDs dont clack.....

Its amazing how many people for example dont even know what a dial tone is anymore because they never heard it....

Yeah, but SSD's don't lock up older computers, and strangle-hold everything until the OS just gets their way. I can just stick one in my computer, check the SMART Param's and be on my merry way. I've only ever had to work on one, because most people around who have them would much rather work on their own machines. Which is a shame, I'd like to get my hands on a few failed ones.

No, they just die quickly, quietly and irrecoverably.

SMART can be decieving as well, though its a good general measure. Its made to hide problems from you though.

Ever since development for Outcast 2 was "Momentarily Suspended" for around 2 years before the inevitable cancellation I've always been highly suspicious when development for anything is Paused or similar. The no timeline thing is a worry too, I read that as they'll get back to it when they feel like it, if ever...

It's probably a good thing. Getting it perfect for the more popular and easier to navigate platform will mean that when it does get implemented for the others the launch will go more smoothly.

CrystalShadow:

kat-pottz:
Oh Apple how the mighty have fallen. Once the kings of computer gaming with the apple II, yet now you have painted yourselves into a corner with your sleek yet close gated mac's. Oh apple, what went wrong?

Well, considering they were a company that for close to 2 decades had an active disdain for the very idea of someone using a mac for something as trivial as gaming, is it any surprise the support for mac gaming is abysmal?
That can hardly be considered a surprise when the company making the things is actively against gaming, and basically only has games on their systems bregrudingly, because they can't actually stop people making them...

OK, sure, they may have changed in recent times, but that was seriously their attitude for quite some time... Blame Steve jobs for helping to start that mentality... >_>

It absolutely has changed. Mac gaming has come leaps and bounds in terms of developer support and cross-platform launches. Years ago I would have had to wait a whole 6-8 months after an initial release for a port to come out, but now many games come out on both platforms at launch.

The sad irony is that Apple themselves have made graphics cards less prevalent in their machines, because they're going the way of Dell. When my illustrious Macbook pro finally passes away I'll be making a tough choice between forking out a ridiculous amount for a decent model to keep my current setup working, or jumping ship to Windows and having to reorganise my entire system.

 

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