Valve will soon be bringing SteamVR to Linux and Mac OS

Valve will soon be bringing SteamVR to Linux and Mac OSX

Valve will soon be bringing SteamVR to Linux and MacOS

Valve will soon be bringing SteamVR to Linux and Mac OSX

For a long time now Valve has worked to diminish the Windows pseudo-monopoly on the PC gaming platform, encouraging developers to develop games that also work on MacOS and Linux.  
Now Valve has announced that they have plans to bring OpenVR/SteamVR to Linux and Mac OSX, with a beta planned within the next few months. This is in stark contrast to Oculus, who have currently put any plans to support their Rift headset on Mac and Linux "on hold" for the foreseeable future. 
At an OpenVR event, Valve has showcased an HTC Vive running on an unspecified Linux distro, with plans to release beta support for SteamVR to MacOS and Linux within the next few months. 


Valve will soon be bringing SteamVR to Linux and MacOS


The main barrier which blocks SteamVR's support and usability on Macs and Linux based PC is the fact that most VR games currently run using a form of DirectX, locking the majority of VR games to the Windows platform. Developers will need to move to the OpenGL or Vulkan APIs in order to run their games on Linux and Mac-based PCs, which may turn out to be a difficult task.  

One other problem with bringing SteamVR to Macs is that there Apple currently has no Macs meet the PC system requirements for SteamVR, especially the GPU requirements, though this may encourage Apple to release more powerful products in the future. 

This move from Valve is great for the concept of OpenVR and gaming on Linux as a whole, giving developers more incentives to base their game on the Vulkan API and giving Microsoft more reasons to improve upon their new DirectX 12 API. Hopefully this move will help more developers to move to modern APIs like Vulkan and improve their support for Linux and Mac-based operating systems, creating a wider PC gaming market to take advantage off. 


You can join the discussion on Valve's plans to bring SteamVR support to Linux and Mac OSX on the OC3D Forums


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