Palmer Luckey: Oculus Rift will support Mac if Apple ‘ever releases a good computer’

“Oculus Rift most likely won’t be coming to Mac any time soon, according to Oculus VR founder Palmer Luckey, who says that an Apple-compatible version of the virtual reality headset won’t arrive until Apple ‘release a good computer,'” Luke Dormehl reports for Cult of Mac.

“Luckey qualifies what sounds like a bit of a harsh statement by elaborating on his point,” Dormehl reports, “stating that: ‘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.'”

Dormehl reports, “If Apple did prioritize high-end GPUs in the same way that Apple did “back in the day,” Luckey says that he would be all too happy to bring Oculus to the Apple ecosystem.”

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: If you can’t get your little toy to work on any of the GPUs included in current Macs, your coders suck.

No further elaboration to qualify that statement by any measure shall be forthcoming.

Oculus co-founder says he didn’t want a deal with Apple, chose Facebook instead – March 27, 2014

Apple is working on VR user interfaces and gaming; looking for Oculus and Leap experts – February 10, 2015
Apple patent application reveals personal display headset invention – May 8, 2014
Apple continues to tweak Apple TV video headset accessory – April 10, 2014
Apple granted knockout patent for head-mounted personal display – December 10, 2013
iGlasses: Apple granted patent for head-mounted augmented reality displays – July 5, 2012


    1. A single 5K display resolution is one thing. The upgradeable video card to drive motion across multiple larger displays is very different.

      I have been saying for years that Apple’s Macs are falling behind what the pros need to innovate in video, VR, gaming, and elsewhere. It’s time for Apple to put out something really great.

    2. Luckey’s problem is he does not know Macs and does not want to learn. His basic statement that the highest end Mac Pro with “A” FirePro D700 is not fast enough is just asinine because you simply cannot order a Mac Pro with a single D700. You get two running in concert.

      Hey Mr. Luckey, if two D700s running in concert won’t run your graphics toy even at its lowest acceptable level, then your toy is just not ready for prime time.

      1. Or maybe you don’t understand the importance of extremely fast GPUs necessary for realistic VR motion. Palmer is right — you need at least twice the GPUs that the Mac Pro offers to run a smooth VR system. That would be one Mac Pro per eye, or one PC with two current GPUs. Want to guess which is the more cost effective approach?

    3. I’m running a brand new fully tricked out iMac that is in constant hesitation mode when using brushes and gradients in Camera Raw. WTF did I spend all this money on!!!!

      1. Like I said 90% or more PC’s out there even the ones being sold today can’t handle it either – these are a few speciality machines which are more expensive than most want to pay – Yes a few gamers will buy them but whatever.

        1. So what are you trying to say?

          90% of PCs can’t do VR, but 100% of Macs can’t.

          Please, just face reality: Apple is not even trying to be competitive in cutting edge graphics production, gaming, and other computing intensive tasks. Cook has made Apple a fashion/consumer company.

        2. Well as we all know Apple doesn’t really make an effort until it has a strategy to launch and sell it as a new category that it can monetarise on a big scale Evan if it forms a niche in a large market and in doing creaming off the profits. Game consoles don’t even offer that opportunity with little profit for all the effort and VR is nothing but a niche or some time to come. Creeping into it now would in all honesty be pointless for Apple. When it goes so it will do so using mostly it’s in house solutions/tech that work with decent but not exclusively expensive high end specs which simply make it a self indulgent geek product. That’s not Apples style, it likes to bring opportunities to the masses even if it doesn’t deal with the mass market itself. In that way it can launch it as a complete platform that can turn those niche concepts however good they are technically like Oculus. He is being dismissive and arrogant because he knows this and knows that Apple as and when it enters this market will do so by circumventing them with the intention of making them mostly irrelavent.

        3. “He is being dismissive and arrogant ”

          Well that’s an interesting take coming from a guy who throws around insults and calls Oculus customers “wankers”.

          Admit it: Apple is no longer cutting edge on anything anymore.

        4. “Admit it: Apple is no longer cutting edge on anything anymore.”

          So take your incessant negativity elsewhere, and go buy these other wonderful products that are so much better than Apple’s.

        5. When there is a decent market for VR, then Apple will launch the best yet affordable VR capable machines, and not one minute before. Apple is never first for faster for its own sake. Later for 3G, LTE, graphics cards and new processors. But when it’s needed for the market they will be there.

        6. I would say only about 1-2% of all PC’s at most could handle it. Vast majority of people aren’t high end gamers and buy cheaptastic PC’s for low end web and simple uses. There are 2012 Mac Pro’s NOW running Titan X cards but those are pro’s who could give a damn about Oculus Wankers.

    1. Apple views its computers as “non-user-serviceable appliances”. They’ve taken that too far lately, back-peddled in a few areas after customer complaints, but continue to produce products that need to be replaced instead of upgraded. I think they need to work harder to strike a healthy balance. Upgrading is the best way to keep a computer usable, but it won’t be done if it’s too difficult or costly for users.

      1. Indeed.

        How about a higher-end Mac box similar to the Apple II cx — three industry-standard sized card slots, easily accessed expandable memory, bigger power supply, big fan for ventilation — don’t want or need “pretty” or “sleek, elegant.”

        Functional. Who cares how noisy the fan might be, or, how “retro 1990’s plain-wrapper” the square-box appears? Don’t care about any of that — likely going to end up under my desk and out-of-sight, anyways.

        By some chance, can Thunderbolt port speeds support an outboard stand-alone graphics card box, with I/O speeds capable of hosting ultra-high end graphics cards, etc?

        That’s my optics.


  1. MDN’s take is totally off. Macs lack the GPUs found in high end gaming PCs. That’s a simple fact, and anyone pushing the limits of what those cards can do can simply not provide the same experience when those cards aren’t present.

    Apple made the decision long ago not to compete in the PC gaming market and as a result doesn’t offer mega-fan-heat-sink-and-fin monster extreme gaining rigs. They just don’t.

    If you’re like me, that’s fine. I game on iOS where Apple does prioritize gaming graphics and on a PlayStation leaving the hardcore PC gaming to others.

    And before anyone claims that the MacPro has decent graphics… Those graphics are for workstations, not gaming.

    1. As a big gamer myself, I do the same.

      iOS is my most frequently used platform followed by PlayStation. I love my Mac, but other than Blizzard and a few Mac App Store treats, I don’t do any gaming on it. And my Mac was the original Retina Display with 16GB of ram and it still is only a mediocre gaming platform. Sadly.

      But I think now that Apple has a taste of the lucrative aspects of being in the video game industry as a major console player, I don’t think they’d make those same decisions to eschew gaming in the future.

    2. Exactly right. The best configurable GPU on an iMac can only be done on the high-end 27″ iMac, i.e. $2400 to *start*, and the card is another $250… and even then it’s considered a *mobile* GPU, not a desktop one, so it’s got the graphics performance of a nearly 4-year old desktop GPU, an nVidia GTX 670.

      Search for Radeon R9 M395X in the benchmark chart…

  2. AMD sucks. And their Drivers for the GPU’s also suck. They don’t support anything properly. Metal and OpenCL are great ideas, but no one is using them. They don’t even support the latest version of OPENGL…

    1. I was going to point out the Apple VR hires as well. Who wants to bet that when Apple decides to do something they will get it to work just fine with an A-series processor, not a top of the line PC class graphics card

    2. At last someone who gets it, the more dismissive the opposition is the more scared they are in reality. The watch and car nods were/are equally dismissive and insulting. The only fools however are those who take their words, or propagate them unquestionably at face value. You can question Apples strategy when you see it in action but to do so blindly before it’s actually revealed is, well just being blind.

        1. Nope.

          Apple has to now produce on a rapidly growing global scale, whoch in the past it never had to…

          Exactly why Steve Jobs picked Tim Cook a world class production and supply chain expert manager with a stellar historical travk record that no one can take away from him.

        2. breeze, you really should take Cook’s dick out of your mouth before posting. all the Apple worship you and your alter egos dribble out here are completely naive and technically uninformed.

          just save youself the time and stop psoting. we know If it has an Apple sticker you worship it. capisch

        3. Hey sonny boy zeerb, wipe the milk from your lips and then see if you can give yourself a blow job, beofre crawling back in that hole you belong, you miserable Trump wipe, bag of misseery.

  3. 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 an ass.

    1. Another possibility, I guess in ignorance, is that Facebook, oops Oculus, wrote their code to work with DirectX (Microsoft 3-D APIs) and not OpenGL, which is what Apple provides.

      Either way, oops they screwed themselves out of a market.

    2. Come on, Derek, are you honestly holding up the D700 as a state of the art GPU ???? That’s just ridiculous.

      Nobody is expending effort “optimizing” their software for an old GPU. Including Apple.

      1. Facts:

        The D700 is a rebranded FirePro W9100. It was a middling performer 3 years ago.

        I wish Apple’s fanboys would wake up to reality. The company we knew and loved is letting the Mac die without updates while the rest of the world keeps getting better.

        1. Thanks macgadgetfreek!

          silverhawk is renowned for ad hominem and shadowboxing rather than dealing with reality. haven’t read anything informative or factual from him/her/it in many years — and it wasn’t for lack of trying to have a civil discussion, either.

        2. I could understand your statement IF the Mac Pro had a single GPU. It does not. If there had been a single board with dual W9100 chips and 6 GB of dedicated graphic RAM each available for Windows machines, it would not have ben a “middling performer 3 years ago”. Claiming that such an arrangement cannot support VR even in its lowest acceptable mode is just asinine. Rift is not ready for prime time if this really is the case.

        3. Shadow, what makes you think that gaming and high-end graphics PCs have only one GPU slot?

          Fact is, the Mac Pro has about half the graphics performance compared to the state of the art PCs.

          Visit Falcon NW and configure a Mach V with 3 GPU slots, for example. Obviously you get what you pay for, but it’s not hard to configure a machine that is dialed into your specific user needs, has room to grow, and isn’t sealed and locked down. Sadly, you gotta run Windows, but on sheer performance measures, it blows away any Mac.

          I am getting the impression that there are vocal Apple worshippers who do not want Apple to respond with new user friendly hardware, that support for new cutting edge technology just isn’t interesting or important, and that whatever 3 year old graphics cards Apple releases is more than adequate. You should just accept whatever Tim feels you need, without ever having the option to configure or upgrade hardware.

          Sorry, but if this is what people are willing to accept as the future of Apple, then we are witnessing Apple’s technological decline now.

          Sure, iOS may make money, but Macs are where the next technological boundaries need to be expanded. So how com instead of urging Apple to move forward, all I hear are a bunch of apologists with their heads in the sand? MDN has truly lost its value when facts don’t matter, and brand worship becomes the order of the day.

  4. outside of a few of the niche market video and rendering markets no one is optimizing software for apples outdated and underpowered GPU choices. And they only reason they are is because they have to to keep up with the rest of the market using more powerful *nix/windows editing and rendering solutions..

  5. Games in general, and VR in particular, are a waste of time. All video games did was put a generation of kids into basements, never being able to see or appreciate a sunrise; let alone meaningful employment.

    1. Board games, card games, RPGs… all a waste of time, eh? Or are you saving your scorn just for video games?

      Funny how you don’t blame the precursor and prerequisite to video games, the television itself, as a far worse waste of time. Video games at least make you think on your feet and react to consequences of decisions you’re making on the fly.

    2. sure, silverhawk, all pastimes are a waste. Apple is wasting its time distributing movies and music and that stupid wasteful Apple TV thing. Humans should work at all waking hours. Hell, people shouldn’t bother to retire or play sports either. Those are complete wastes of time that could be better spent polishing your Tim Cook statue in your little Apple shrine.

      Are you off your meds again?

    3. I can understand your point of view, and why you have no love for video games. It depends on a stereotype, but one that breathes true to a noble mind. Still, try to imagine different generations of youth, and how each of them was despoiled. Before the generation you cite was another, in which video games did not cement kids into basements but made them wayward, frequenting commercial video arcades. Doubtless they witnessed sunrise and sunset on their way to and from those arcades. And before electronic games there there was the scourge of pinball, and before that there were horror comic books, condemned in Congress, preceded by Big Little Books and Dime Novels.

      As to meaningful life experience, passively consuming movies and television is far less energetic, far less social, and far less creative and educational than playing interactive video games.

      Moreover, as to employment, a dedicated “basement-dweller” has a greater opportunity to cash in his or her youthful gaming experience for a lucrative career as a game tester, or working in 3D modelling, story development, or programming, than a couch potato has in getting a job as an extra in a Woody Allen movie. The videogame industry surpasses Hollywood in revenue and employs a comparable number of people. Run one of those videogames to the end and you’ll see a credit roll as long, or longer, than a high-budget studio-produced blockbuster film.

      But you are right about VR being shadier than the other forms.

  6. When you look at the app store and see almost every game there is for teeny boopers or some form of candy crush, you get the idea of where Apple stands on games. PC’s still rule for high end gaming and if you think otherwise, you are deluded.

    1. You are right trondude,

      But the high end PC gaming market is such a $mall niche compare to the casual gamer in all of us, that Apple, once again, quietly created an industry by creating the device (pod,pad,phone) and doesn’t even spend a dime on marketing games for iOS, developers are on it!

      Smart ass Apple. Those guys are into big market. When Apple will release a VR device, it will be a game changer. The VR market is young.

  7. So they built an expensive headset that needs an expensive computer to power. Who are they trying to sell this to? Mom and Dad are not spending 2 grand on little Johnny so he can play VR. At least not in a any sort of volume that makes real money.

    1. “The average age of someone who plays games is 31 years old. In fact, more gamers are over the age of 36 than between the ages of 18 to 35 or under the age of 18.”

      Pretty sure the gaming parent(s) will spend this 2 grand on themselves, not little Johnny, though Johnny might get trickle-down playtime, like they do now with a parent’s iPhone or iPad.

      And if they’re single, or a couple with no kids, let’s just say they have a lot more disposable income than those with kids.

      And dedicated gamers will spend more than 2 grand on a system. 3 or 4 screens, on mounts, with more than one top-of-the-line GPU cards to drive them, high-end power supply, liquid cooling, etc etc… not cheap.

      And if that sounds like an expensive hobby, a lot of high-end bicycles are over $2000.

  8. I get where they are coming from, after experiencing an early Ocular Rift prototypes. You can’t make any compromises with graphics processing, and still expect virtual reality work. If graphics updating speed falls below the eye’s ability to perceive it, or else the entire experience falls apart, and you end up frustrated and with a bad headache.

    Also, I’d like to own an good and affordable Mac with an upgradable GPU. Don’t think that’s too much or too juvenile to ask Apple for. Why shouldn’t Apple give users like me what we want and cash in on all the pent-up demand for such a computer? Just make it happen, already.

  9. As others have stated, Palmer is right on this one.

    The reason the specs are so high is because the idea is to render high-end games that are already designed to push the limits of graphics cards, but instead of rendering it once you need two slightly different perspectives, one for each eye. Add to this the fact you must render at very high resolutions, because each “screen” encompasses the eye’s entire field of view, all while maintaining a higher frame rate than typical displays. If the frame rate is too low, or there aren’t enough left-over system resources to process head-tracking calculations with low lag and jitter, the whole experience becomes vomit-inducing. Not what you want your product associated with. This is a punishing technical hill to climb.

    My top-of-the-line 5K iMac can’t run most modern games at anything close to native res or max graphics, even *without* the necessary overhead introduced by VR. The only thing that would come anywhere close to delivering acceptable gaming performance for VR would be a Pro, and it’s got workstation cards that are just “okay” compared to real high-end gaming graphics.

    Perhaps the new Skylake-based Macs with Thunderbolt 3 (carried over USB C) will finally deliver on the promise of powerful, upgradable, external graphics. Several companies have demoed concept products, and there’s already a thriving community of users who have been rigging external graphics “hacks” for years. Even Thunderbolt 3 will not be capable of bus bandwidth comparable to current-gen PCI-E, but it’s getting good enough that it isn’t the pinch point it once was. External graphics are really the only way Macs will be competitive with PC counterparts in the gaming sphere, barring Apple seriously upping the power built into new products.

  10. I’m an apple fan, typing this on an old Mac Pro, also have Macbook Pro etc. but unfortunately in the GPU arena Macs ARE behind…

    look at the Barefeats Gaming Mac shootout:
    a 5 year old Mac Pro with UPGRADED VIDEO CARD is almost TWICE to THREE times as fast a CURRENT M.P on GPU intensive games and 5 times faster than a Macbook Pro.

    PCS can get 12 GB cards now, the Mac Pro has 3 GB cards (and starts at $3000 with a puny 256 GB drive)…


    I put out my prayer mat, point myself towards Cupertino and GENUFLECT chanting a mantra:

    —- (chant: ) upgrade the Mac Pro , upgrade the Mac Pro!
    (kowtow towards Cupertino)

    —- (chant) Mid Tower Mac ! Mid Tower Mac !
    (note the Mid Tower is the mythical Mac between the crippled Mac Mini and the crippled Mac Pro. about $1500, one multicore workstation processor, upgradable RAM, GPU)

    (kowtow towards Cupertino)

    —- REPEAT chant until knees red.

    (someone said I should put out ‘crystal pyramids near my current Macs’ to help out. I said I had to make space next to my Cote and Koh voodoo dolls… )

    1. I stopped bowing to Cook long ago, but best of luck to you. We’re hanging onto our old pre-2012 Mac Pros as long as we can hold out, and then we might be forced to move back to the dark side if Apple can’t do any better.

      Apple has room on desktop for at least 5 Mac lines:

      1) mini – entry level, go ahead and seal in the low grade portable components, Apple.
      2) iMacs – again, the sealed solution
      3) mid- tower – PLEASE. let the user swap a couple drives and upgrade RAM, PCI cards, and GPU whenever they want
      4) cylinder — might as well lower the price and install Intel Core chipsets. Otherwise it would be better if the cylinder was scrapped and they designed a new replacement that was rectangular & rack mountable and called an iServe, but i’m not getting my hopes up
      5) Xeon powered workstation (similar to pre-2013) with ultimate user flexibility.

      I get out my voodoo doll and poke Cook every day because he killed off #5 without warning.

    2. Build yourself a hackintosh…

      You will have a faster better Mac Pro, for less then the cost of an actual Mac Pro… and guess what.. you can upgrade parts later to make it better over and over again…

      google tonymacx86

      1. I actually wasn’t too clear with my post:
        Apple can keep the not upgradable cylinder mac for those who are fashionistas, what I wanted was what MacUser mentioned, something like the old box (with new subsystems of course) which can be upgraded . Even better would be a cheaper Mid tower with fewer empty slots etc but upgradable components and Thunderbolt 3.

        As for hackintosh it’s fascinating, if apple doesn’t fix their lineup it might be solution.
        the only issue is that it’s to Apple technically ‘illegal’, I’ve read some people concerned it might compromise their Apple ID and updates , cloud privileges etc. Might Apple cause a hack to freeze Hackintosh like jailbreak phones or those like Error 53 (in future OS updates for example) ?

        for a gaming rig maybe it’s ok to take the risk but a work computer?
        (I don’t really know a lot of Hackintosh although I’ve gone through the videos on how to set it up so sorry if I’m off base)

        1. I hadn’t thought of myself as a fashionista, but perhaps I am. I do say it is exemplary in its assigned duties. It occupies a privileged position in my inner sanctum; the others are arrayed in a machine room. I understand it is not what you want, or perhaps even what the world wants, but it has enhanced the quality of my working life considerably. Following an unending avalanche of criticism, I wanted to put in a good word for the poor little cylinder. i hope you don’t mind.

        2. the machine is beautiful, the engineering innovative…etc

          but for certain high end pros the weird fact that’s it’s video cards are not upgradeable means it’s not a good match, not to mention it’s small standard HD…

          BOX macs shouldn’t cost much in R&D (a ‘Classic’ Mac Pro and a new Mid Tower) as people can even build hackintosh in their basements so Apple should add tower macs to their lineups. Every time there are discussions on this issue there are so many comments so obviously this is a hot topic for lots of people .

        3. Upgradeability is a serious issue with these Macs. And Apple is thinking about it. My feeling is that lately they have spread themselves too thin to give Mac Pro the attention she deserves. And I’ve shared my concerns with them. I’ve told them how mich I fear their shutting down the Texas factory in favour of something that feeds the bottom line better than does the meagre P.R. they garnered by siting a factory in the U.S. I dripped my cynicism all over their nobility. But I doubt one person can make a difference to their business model. It stings to understand that corporations thrive not on carbohydrates and proteins, but sales.. They’ll talk to you as if you matter, but only listen if you and 5000 others are saying the same thing.

Reader Feedback

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.