Oculus Founder Disses Apple Over Power of Its Computers to Run VR

Oculus founder Palmer Luckey says he'd consider supporting Mac OS on the Rift VR headset if Apple "ever releases a good computer."

Oculus VR, Oculus Rift, Samsung Gear VR, virtual reality, VR, VRheadsets, Apple, Mac, computer hardware, Palmer Luckey

The Oculus Rift VR headset still doesn't support Mac OS because Apple doesn't build any computers that are powerful enough to meet the high-performance standards the headset requires, according to Palmer Luckey, founder of virtual-reality vendor Oculus VR.

In fact, said Luckey, a Mac release could only come if Apple would up its performance game, according to a March 2 story by ShackNews. "That is up to Apple and if they ever release a good computer, we will do it," Luckey said in an interview with ShackNews. "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 specs."

What Apple would need to do is bolster its hardware to allow a Mac version to be created and supported, he added. "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."

Presently, the Oculus Rift VR headset works with Microsoft Windows to bring virtual-reality experiences to cutting-edge technology users.

To run a Rift VR headset on Windows, Oculus recommends minimum PC hardware, including an NVIDIA GTX 970, AMD R9 290, or equivalent or greater video card; an Intel i5-4590 processor equivalent or greater; at least 8GB of memory; an HDMI 1.3 video output; at least three USB 3.0 ports plus one USB 2.0; and an operating system of at least 64-bit Windows 7 with Service Pack 1, according to the company's Website.

The interview isn't likely to win Luckey many Apple fans, even if his claims may be valid from a technical standpoint.

Apple did not respond on March 4 to an eWEEK inquiry seeking comment about Luckey's remarks.

Oculus has been active lately in marketing its VR headsets in a variety of ways. In February, the company announced that its Rift virtual-reality headsets are being bundled with specially built PCs from several manufacturers to give VR fans the right gear to get started in the world of virtual reality.

The bundles, which will include an Oculus-ready PC and a Rift VR headset, were announced on the Oculus Blog on Feb. 9. The special PCs will be built by Asus, Alienware and Dell.

The PC and Rift bundles are available for preorder from Best Buy, Amazon and the Microsoft Store starting at $1,499. Each bundle includes an Oculus-certified PC and a Rift and its accessories, including a sensor, a remote, an Xbox One controller, and the EVE: Valkyrie Founder's Pack and Lucky's Tale games. The bundles are expected to ship in limited quantities to select countries and regions from retail partners starting in April, according to Oculus.

In January, Oculus began taking preorders for its $599 Oculus Rift virtual-reality headsets, which will ship starting in May. Oculus also posted a Rift compatibility tool on its Website to allow prospective buyers to download and run it to be sure that their Windows computer will be compatible with the hardware and software.

In June 2015, Oculus revealed more details about the upcoming Rift's features and components, including that it is equipped with dual active-matrix organic LED (AMOLED) displays that are designed to provide users with incredible visual clarity as they explore virtual worlds with the device. The Rift also uses an infrared LED constellation tracking system that provides precise, low-latency 360-degree orientation and position tracking for users for accurate and fluid control and operation when playing games and simulations.

The Rift VR system is an all-in-one integrated unit that includes dual low-persistence AMOLED displays that are designed for virtual-reality activities. They are worn on a user's head and have an appearance similar to a scuba diving mask, but with darkened lenses.

Rift users will be able to see and experience a wide variety of virtual-reality games and simulations through the device, as well as play with Rift users from around the world through an online gaming community of Rift players.

The competition in the VR viewer marketplace has been growing in recent months.

Last fall, Samsung launched its own $100 Gear VR virtual-reality headset, which allows users to view video games, movies and more in immersive new ways, according to an earlier eWEEK story. The Samsung Gear VR is a consumer version of virtual-reality headsets made by Oculus. The Gear VR works with recent Samsung smartphones.