Valve drops official support for SteamVR on macOS
In context: The macOS ecosystem isn’t exactly a hub of VR activity, but users have nonetheless had access to SteamVR since support for the tech was added back in 2017. However, Macs have never been known for their gaming capabilities, and that’s especially true for VR gaming. Without the use of an external GPU, most reasonably-priced Macs simply don’t have the resources to effectively power high-end VR titles and headsets.
Perhaps as a result of this, Valve yesterday announced that it has officially ended support for SteamVR on macOS. According to the company, this decision was made so that its engineers can “focus on Windows and Linux.” No further explanations were provided, and frankly, there’s isn’t much else to Valve’s announcement at all.
The only other information shared in the update notes are instructions that tell macOS users how to opt into legacy SteamVR builds by accessing the software’s “Betas” tab in its Properties menu. That’s a handy tool for macOS-using SteamVR faithfuls, but it’s a temporary measure: eventually, outdated versions of SteamVR will probably stop functioning in one way or another.
This news will certainly be disappointing to some, but Valve has likely examined SteamVR’s macOS user numbers and decided that the cost of supporting it simply isn’t worthwhile in the long run. With that said, there’s always the chance that the company will change its mind later, and we’ll let you know if that happens.