Is Oculus Rift Mac and Linux Friendly in the Future?

Wondering if Oculus Rift is going to support Mac and Linux in the future? Latest news about it are not very promising in terms of full-scale compatibility with different operating systems other than Windows.

Here is what Oculus site blogged about CV1 few weeks ago:

Our development for OS X and Linux has been paused in order to focus on delivering 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.

Oculus Rift has been supporting different operating systems for a while now on their development kits, but now that the CV1 release date gets closer by each day, news about the recommended specs start to surface. And as we see, Mac and Linux won’t be getting that piece of cake.

 

Is it a bad thing though?

oculus rift mac linux (2)

By looking at the Crashed Lander sales figures in Steam, we see that 93% of gamers use Windows, followed by 4% Mac and 3% Linux.

We can’t take these numbers as complete facts but it does draw quite a good picture. Most gamers are using Windows. Mac was never a good gaming platform, and Linux ain’t the best either for good gaming experience.

Taken these numbers into consideration, Oculus could save a lot of headache by focusing on one OS.

If you have Mac and Oculus Rift, you probably have encountered a lot of compatibility issues, as there are some problems with getting it to work properly. Even in Oculus Home you can see that half the Oculus Rift games are only available for Windows.

Only in some areas like robotics that may run entirely on Linux can you be upset for the loss of that OS support.

But overall, focusing only on one OS can be beneficial in the long run.

Oculus has partnered up with Microsoft, promising us a much better user experience once the Windows 10 comes out (which is July 29, 2015). It would only make sense to drop the development for OS X and Linux to maximize the comfort for majority of players.

 

But will Mac and Linux ever get Oculus Rift support?

Well, if we only take the last part of the news “We want to get back to development for OS X and Linux but we don’t have a timeline”, then yes, they may get the support.

But who are we fooling. It is their way of saying adios to Mac and Linux, while still trying to please the crowd by maintaining a fraction of hope. My guess is, Mac and Linux users better switch OS’s because Rift isn’t going to visit you anytime soon.

 

  1. Linux support is a key part of both keeping the involvement of the hardcore Unix/Linux community, which in the past has given us, oh, the Internet, the World Wide Web, Doom (written almost entirely on the NeXT workstation) and far far more than you appear to believe, as well as holding on to the proprietary platform independence that allows one to target both very small (cell phone and *way* smaller) and very large (supercomputers) markets. Linux allows hardware to be released with zero cost overhead for OS licensing, which becomes a very big deal when cost efficiency and profit matters – game consoles are one possible future, made a lot more likely by Android, a Unix, being all over the place now. Linux is a huge enabler for revolutionly software and new kinds of HCI. Maintaining cross platform development means doing the same thing a huge number of companies already do – including scads of tiny little game shops that simultaneously release on four platforms at once. The part you’ve missed is that developing an in-house framework for cross-platform dev during general development is much easier than trying to retrofit it later, because it provides a brake on the ridiculous, OS-bound assumptions that otherwise are so easily made and make porting to another OS extremely hard later.

    An Oculus that only supports Windows, to many of us, just doesn’t exist. A massive long-term strategic blunder, both from a research and from a long-term profit perspective. A wildly underwhelming choice.

  2. I can understand people saying that Mac isn’t that great for gaming, after all they’re usually (but not always) pretty underpowered for playing games especially as you can’t just upgrade them when the time comes. However Linux runs on whatever you please and has gained an incredible amount of support for gaming especially since Steam put their weight behind it. In some ways Linux is already better than Windows for gaming as it’s a damn sight more robust.

  3. “By looking at the Crashed Lander sales figures in Steam, we see that 93% of gamers use Windows, followed by 4% Mac and 3% Linux.”

    We are small, but vocal.
    We are lacmus indicator of maturity of technology.
    If we don’t have what we want to have – WE WILL support competition.
    If not Occulus – there will be someone else. Even Microsoft recognizes us and creates software for Mac and Linux. I do post about things I buy on face book, whenever its computer game or some super cool new hardware. It’s not much, but it’s something. I shall continue doing so, Occulus wont be that any time soon. Valve has been very Linux friendly.
    I am pretty sure they will take over Occulus in this regard, if Occulus wont be fast enough.

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