Oculus Rift creator Palmer Luckey doesn’t think that Apple makes any computers good enough to run the Oculus Rift, though he would support it if the company did.
Oculus Rift creator Palmer Luckey has dropped a harsh bomb for Apple-owning VR hopefuls: he doesn’t think the company produces good computers. To clarify, he’s specifically talking about the quality of their GPUs as opposed to the rest of the computer’s architecture, and is singling out the lack of high-end GPUs as a bottleneck for the Oculus headset.
The VR entrepreneur was responding to a statement about if the Oculus Rift would ever come to Apple computers, which he said is something that could only happen if Apple stepped up their GPU game. If they start producing more powerful Macintosh rigs, it looks like Palmer has a definite interest in entering the market.
Here’s Luckey’s explanation behind the lack of OSX support for Oculus:
“It just boils down to the fact that Apple doesn’t prioritize high-end GPUs. You can buy a $6,000 Mac Pro with the top-of-the-line AMD FirePro D700, and it still doesn’t match our recommended spec. So if they prioritize higher-end GPUs like they used to for a while back in the day, we’d love to support Mac. But right now, there’s just not a single machine out there that supports it.”
Luckey’s harsh comment may be a blow to Apple fans, but the problem of having a computer capable of running the demanding hardware behind the Oculus Rift isn’t exclusively an Apple one. Earlier this year, Nvidia stated that roughly only 13 million computers – less than 1 percent of all computers on the planet – are powerful enough to smoothly run VR games. One of the VR industry’s biggest challenges, it seems, is finding a middle ground of affordability and accessibility for the average consumer, who may not have a powerhouse computer rig at home.
For its part, Apple has expressed an interesting in the virtual reality business. CEO Tim Cook has stated that VR is “really cool”, and the Apple Boss was spotted taking a trip to Valve some years ago. Valve went on to make the Vive VR headset, and are hardly the only company in the running to cement their place in the pioneer days of mainstream virtual reality gaming. This week, Six Flags has announced that they’ll be using the Samsung Gear VR to bring roller coaster rides into a virtual world mid-ride, just in case their rides weren’t vomit-inducing enough already.
The Oculus Rift is poised to ship at the end of March after securing plenty of pre-orders, despite the hefty $600 price tag. When Sony attempted to launch a console for the same price back in 2006, they were met with much criticism from fans and industry analysts alike. Luckey has defended the price point for the headset, but only time will tell if the majority of gamers will embrace the technology.
It looks like even if Apple embraces the requirements behind it, there’s still a long way to go for the Oculus to find success in that demographic. Luckey said there’s no audience to be found in terms of Apple users, despite the fact that he had stated earlier that he would do it ‘if they ever release a good computer’ for the Oculus.
The Oculus Rift will start shipping at the end of March.