SteamVR for macOS is coming to the end of its very short life - The UpStream

SteamVR for macOS is coming to the end of its very short life

posted Saturday May 2, 2020 by Scott Ertz

SteamVR for macOS is coming to the end of its very short life

This past year has seen a lot of changes to the landscape of the virtual reality market. We saw the end and then open sourcing of Google Daydream. This was followed closely by Gear VR closing shop. This week, another big hit is coming to the landscape, with SteamVR support likely coming to an end for Apple computers. This would include older and current OSX and macOS implementations.

In this age of staying home, virtual reality should be seeing its renaissance. VR offers a way to escape reality and explore an alternate experience without leaving our homes. This would seem the ideal time for people to be experimenting with the technology, and yet, a whole platform is being abandoned instead. This move is not a surprise, as macOS has never been a popular platform for gaming. While it has always struggled to attract game development, the company hurt the momentum even further when they eliminated 32-bit applications, including games, in macOS Catalina.

But, the end of SteamVR for macOS does not signal anything other than Valve's recognition that its efforts to maintain virtual reality on Apple computers is not equaled by the results. The development of anything of value for macOS is a larger undertaking than developing for Windows or Linux. As such, the number of resources required are often higher than these other platforms. However, as Apple has never been a destination for gaming, the higher cost for fewer gamers is not a good investment.

Valve has no intention of moving away from either the Windows or Linux versions of SteamVR, which is good news for gamers since statistically, that's where they are. Eliminating support for macOS will give the company more resources to keep those projects going and, more importantly, keep them fresh. No timeline has been given on the official end of support, but expect it to be a slow retirement.

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