Are Apple getting serious about VR game development?

5th December 2017
Group standing and looking at laptop

There have been issues with some older Apple computers not supporting VR game development and users finding it difficult to work out which are compatible and which are not.  But that will not be the case for much longer as things are changing for the good with the introduction of Apple’s new High Sierra OS.

Addition of metal 2 API + eGPU

As we already know, within the High Sierra update there is already an improved version of Apple’s Metal graphics API and this, together with the eGPU Development Kit, enables developers to continue on their journey of creating apps with full VR content.
HTC Vive now supported by High Sierra
To date Apple users have been ignored by the gaming industry, however with the release of High Sierra Mac users now have the whole VR experience at their fingertips.  The virtual reality headset from HTC known as Vive will now be fully attuned to the latest operating system provided by Apple.

Steam VR now compatible

If we read this concurrently alongside Apple’s recent announcement that it is also working with the VR game make Valve with regard to making their SteamVR platform compatible with High Sierra, it would appear that Apple are definitely making positive moves in the right direction.
Going forward, both content creators and developers will be able to make use of the beta version of SteamVR in conjunction with the MacOS, High Sierra whilst at the same time being fully empowered to connect the Vive VR headset to their Macs.   When used in this way, SteamVR will provide exactly what is needed; 360-degree, room-scale tracking in the same way that Linux and Windows do.
Having worked directly with Unity and Epic to provide Mac extensions of content created whilst making them as easy to use as possible, extension tools for these engines and other like them will be accessible via this beta.  At the same time, Steam have ensured that Mozilla will facilitate full WebVR provision on Firebox.  All of this means that developers working with MacOS will be able to get serious about VR.
No longer do Macs have to go to the back of the queue when it comes to working on VR game development as changes made by Apple are going to make a world of difference.