Oculus' Palmer Luckey will consider Mac support if Apple 'ever releases a good computer'

The ball is in your court now, Apple.

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We spoke to Oculus VR founder Palmer Luckey recently during an Xbox press event where we took the opportunity to ask him some questions regarding the future of his company, and his product, the Oculus Rift.

One question we were dying to ask is he sees a future for the Oculus Rift with Apple computers. When asked if there would ever be Mac support for the Rift, Palmer responds by saying “That is up to Apple. If they ever release a good computer, we will do it.”

Palmer continues to clarify what he meant by that blunt statement by saying “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. 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.”

Check out our full interview with Oculus founder Palmer Luckey below:

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From The Chatty

    • reply
      March 2, 2016 7:56 AM

      This has a tinge of a being flame baity. "The ball is in your court now?" Oh well.

    • reply
      March 2, 2016 8:06 AM

      Apple will release a high end computer when they release their own VR headset.

      Apple dgaf.

    • reply
      March 2, 2016 8:12 AM

      Lucky always comes off as very condescending.

    • reply
      March 2, 2016 8:22 AM

      I guess I can see his point regarding GPU priority. But that statement just comes off as tacky and sensationalistic.

      • reply
        March 2, 2016 12:24 PM

        I sense years of years of pain trying to get Apple to consider high-end GPU's in that statement. I've always wondered why Apple never even tried to give it a shot.

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          March 2, 2016 4:18 PM

          Apple has been moving toward thinner and lighter. High end GPUs don't meld well with that design approach. Not saying it's impossible.

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            March 2, 2016 4:50 PM

            Yep, they have different priorities.

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            March 2, 2016 9:30 PM

            Is it too much to ask for an official 980Ti external Thunderbolt 3 edition that blows the doors off the competition? They could really innovate here, while preserving their thin and light aesthetic.

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        March 2, 2016 4:37 PM

        His complete statement is fine, its the headline that's clickbait.

        Capable GPUs have a significantly higher TDP than what you can put into a small portable enclosure. 165W for the GTX 970 is no joke.

        Apple's entire focus is on reducing enclosure size and improving portability. That tiny logic board in the new Macbook is what'll happen to the Macbook Pro once Intel can get that level of performance into their CPUs at that size.

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          March 2, 2016 4:39 PM

          Luckey's statement that Oculus gets you more for your money than a smartphone because there's more stuff in there is pants-on-head stupid though. Christ.

          BOM is way less important than practicality or utility.

    • reply
      March 2, 2016 8:51 AM

      That's kinda bitchy. Like it's not a good computer unless it's a top end gaming computer. Huh?

      Apple isn't going to release like a consumer grade Mac Pro, they just aren't in that market,

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        March 2, 2016 9:36 AM

        Not even the Mac Pro has enough GPU to run a Rift or Vive. Literally no Apple products are powerful enough.

      • reply
        March 2, 2016 9:43 AM

        If you read his further explanation on the comment in the link, he's just saying that Apple simply doesn't sell a model of computer that *can* meet the Rift's specs on GPU alone (regardless of everything else).

      • reply
        March 2, 2016 9:54 AM

        It's not bitchy if you read more than the attention-getting headline. It's a legit criticism.

      • reply
        March 2, 2016 4:20 PM

        This is exactly why I hate this kind of headline. It forms comments and spreads misinformation just like this.

        • reply
          March 3, 2016 1:07 AM

          I read his whole comment. It was bitchy, as if Apple don't know what they're doing by skipping a high end headless consumer computer.

          • reply
            March 3, 2016 3:56 PM

            Listening to it, it's him stating that current Apple products aren't good for Rift as they don't meet the high performance requirements. None of their current lineup does.

    • reply
      March 2, 2016 9:35 AM

      Ha! Brilliant. From a gaming perspective though he's right. Whats the point in supporting Mac if the graphics power isn't there.

      I wonder how graphically demanding whatever non-gaming content they come up with will be.

    • reply
      March 2, 2016 9:47 AM

      He's 23 years old.

    • reply
      March 2, 2016 10:35 AM

      Holy crow, "the ball is in your court apple"?

      I really hope shacknews isn't getting click-desperate. Before I read the explanation part, I still read his line as "when apple releases a good computer **for VR.**"

      Of course, once the clickbait title had its effect, we still had to separate his statement into two separate quotes so people would still read the "blunt" part first.

      Inciting drama where it didn't even need to exist.

      • reply
        March 2, 2016 11:06 AM

        Well considering Apple is reportedly working on their own VR headset, the ball really is in their court to step up the power.

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          March 2, 2016 4:22 PM

          I'm not saying they won't, but I don't see Apple tying VR to their destop, or mobile computers. I see them doing something that removes that tether. Even if it isn't as powerful as it's competitors.

    • reply
      March 2, 2016 11:57 AM

      Good job on the interview Greg, you handled Palmer really well. Man Palmer comes off as being disrespectful to anyone that interviews him, from what I have seen.

      "when your buying a phone for $600 your not getting nearly as much stuff" seriously, ok? Does anyone actually believe that? I am really surprised Shack doesn't dog pile him for that comment.

      • reply
        March 2, 2016 12:26 PM

        He's ridiculous, and I flat out don't believe they are selling it at cost, given the price of the Vive (which they aren't selling at cost, because HTC can''t afford to)

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          March 2, 2016 4:22 PM

          for all you know Valve is subsidizing the price so HTC can sell at cost

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          March 2, 2016 4:25 PM

          HTC can't afford to not have people buy these either. One of these has Facebook backing the venture, and they have quite a bit of expendable income. VS HTC who can't afford to have poor sales of products. I could see them selling at cost if Valve and some others are taking on some of that cost.

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          March 2, 2016 4:30 PM

          And you call him ridiculous.

        • reply
          March 2, 2016 11:18 PM

          They're selling at cost.

    • reply
      March 2, 2016 12:02 PM

      I don't see any problem with that statement. Apple's made it pretty obvious they're not interested in making gaming machines. So yeah, it's definitely on them to step up.

      Makes a good headline, too!

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        March 2, 2016 12:09 PM

        Same I totally agree with you, I have no problem with it what so ever, its true.

        • reply
          March 2, 2016 4:27 PM

          I am a huge Apple fan, but I completely agree that Apple makes computers that do not provide a quality gaming experience. It was a funny quote and definitely worth the headline.

          • reply
            March 2, 2016 10:39 PM

            Cool, that this is backed by you I know its true, for I know how big of a Apple dude you are and invested in the company for real :)

            Its actually weird Apple doesn't get into games, I guess they feel its not their thing.

            For sure, I love the head line :)

    • reply
      March 2, 2016 12:19 PM

      He made a candid, kinda funny, 100 percent true statement. Get over it, nerds.

      • reply
        March 2, 2016 12:26 PM

        It's who said it, and the inferred tone, not the statement alone.

        • reply
          March 2, 2016 8:47 PM

          So your issue is what you read into it, not what he actually said?

    • reply
      March 2, 2016 4:17 PM

      Listing to it in context, it sounds absolutely fine. I'm disappointed the article is constructed in such a click bait fashion.

    • reply
      March 2, 2016 4:44 PM

      Can someone explain why Apple uses crappy GPUs? Price? Cant fit the form factor? I use a macbook pro as my daily computer but I don't play games on it because it stinks.

      • reply
        March 2, 2016 4:49 PM

        They haven't had much of a relationship with NVIDIA for a few years. Their focus is on battery life and form factor. This leads to them choosing discrete Intel graphics or inexpensive GPUs from AMD.

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          March 2, 2016 8:50 PM

          The AMD thing is new though. I have the previous rMBP that has Nvidia and it handles many 3D games competently. Not balls out like a properly equipped gaming PC of course but it gets the job done in a pinch.

          That said, supposedly Blizzard is working on their Mac games to support Metal so that might be interesting if it pans out.

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        March 2, 2016 4:52 PM

        there's really no need for them to put in a more expensive GPU because gaming on mac is insignificant, and they have no real control over it. steam is king for what little is on offer, and the mac app store is a known failure

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          March 2, 2016 8:07 PM

          Steam doesn't have anything to do with gaming on OSX. That's up to game makers to create content, and more importantly Apple to make their platform a place where they want to make their games.

      • reply
        March 2, 2016 5:05 PM

        No gaming market combined with a steady push towards miniaturization.

        The main board of a macbook pro is really small, probably smaller than the PCB/supporting circuity of a modern day gaming graphics card.

      • reply
        March 2, 2016 5:22 PM

        High end dGPUs are counter to portability and battery life.

        The logic board in the new Macbook is smaller than an iPhone. That's the future of the Macbook Pro. It'll take a couple of years but Intel's laptop i7s will work on logic boards that size, ditto Thunderbolt 3 and all the other fancy stuff coming down the way. Dedicated GPUs are on the way out for them. It'll be on Intel to do better with their IGPs.

        • reply
          March 2, 2016 8:10 PM

          Or AMD could keep it interesting...maybe

          I'll hope.

      • reply
        March 2, 2016 5:34 PM

        I imagine it's primarily battery life and partly due to size constraits since those things are so incredibly thin. I bet an Nvidia chip in there would suck the juice out of them in like 15 minutes flat

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          March 2, 2016 8:12 PM

          I agree with a lot of that, but where does that put something like Microsoft's Surface Book? It comes optioned with a discreet nVidia GPU that makes a passable gaming machine. Not quite Rift ready, but not too far away either.

          • reply
            March 2, 2016 8:13 PM

            The 15" rMBP's have NVIDIA dGPUs.

            • reply
              March 2, 2016 8:18 PM

              Which is to say it's possible but it's obviously more expensive to have 2 GPUs, costs some battery life to switch between them, and uses more space. The dGPU in the rMBPs are pretty shitty because it's just not something mac users care about.

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              March 2, 2016 8:20 PM

              The GPU might look good on paper, but it's not really that great for actual gaming.

              • reply
                March 2, 2016 8:38 PM

                Yeah, neither is the SB one. They're pretty much just there to service business users for CAD/Photoshop

          • reply
            March 2, 2016 10:08 PM

            That GPU is comparable to what's in the Macbook Pro - it's very far away from being VR ready.

            • reply
              March 3, 2016 4:00 PM

              That's my mistake. I seriously thought they were using a different part, not a 960M.

      • reply
        March 2, 2016 5:41 PM

        their customers don't care

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          March 2, 2016 5:45 PM

          until mac makes their own VR suited setup, that is correct. the under the hood stuff doesn't matter in the least. all that matters is the external aesthetics and the DPI of the monitor. looks sharp on the digital screen, looks sharp on the brushed aluminum... voila. that's all folks care about. that, and port locations.

          Mac will monetize this wisely. They are vertically oriented as fuck and won't be using anyone else's.... anything for this. People will happily buy the MacVR-Pro or whatever they call it and it will cost double, amirite? trolololol

          • reply
            March 2, 2016 5:49 PM

            any VR effort will be focused on iOS. OSX will get as much support as necessary to placate existing users. The future is iOS.

          • reply
            March 2, 2016 8:13 PM

            Too bad they already used the term Retina display. That'd been the perfect name for something that's inches away from your eyeballs at all times.

      • reply
        March 2, 2016 5:45 PM

        They sell all-in-one's for the most part. They only have two products that don't have a screen attached to it. A good GPU would drive the price way up, not be upgradeable, blah blah blah. Their target market just doesn't really want a computer for gaming.

      • reply
        March 2, 2016 8:04 PM

        Apple doesn't make gaming PCs. Apple makes Macs.

        • reply
          March 2, 2016 8:24 PM

          But they are known for video editing, so wouldn't you need a badass video card anyway to do movie quality shit?

          • reply
            March 2, 2016 8:57 PM

            Nah, not really. What they have Ina Mac Pro is plenty for video rendering. No one is doing 3D work on a Mac and that's mostly offline rendering anyway.

            Besides, from what I've seen, macs are used by producers almost exclusively. Everyone else is using pcs running either Windows or Linux.

            Not to say Macs don't get used for editing, just not in such a dominant way.

            • reply
              March 2, 2016 9:00 PM

              Well I would also think that once you get to the editing phase the heavy lifting has been done. I mean, the $35 Raspberry Pi 1 can pull off 1080p video with 5.1 sound because the SoC was designed for things like the Roku. Flat video has been a solved problem for a while now, seems like.

              • reply
                March 2, 2016 10:00 PM

                Actual editing and subsequent rendering still needs some horsepower to be fast (you wouldn't do that on a Raspberry Pi. What he Pi has is good for decoding one stream, not much more than that) but it's not like 3D stuff.

          • reply
            March 2, 2016 9:03 PM

            Nope. Encoding is the most intensive thing needed and a Core i7 or Xeon are plenty for that

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            March 2, 2016 9:48 PM

            Yeah but specific video editing cards perform pretty badly at games, they're a different type of setup with lots more working memory.

            http://www.nvidia.com/object/quadro.html

            Some of those cards come with 12GB of VRAM if you can believe it.

            Gaming cards focus on speed, production cards focus on memory size and bandwidth I believe. I'm no expert on this but that was always my impression of things.

            • reply
              March 2, 2016 9:52 PM

              Production cards also focus on accuracy, same reason you see ECC RAM in Mac Pros

      • reply
        March 2, 2016 8:06 PM

        Gaming is not a big concern for Mac users.

    • reply
      March 2, 2016 8:58 PM

      Ok like others here I was going to write this guy off as a douche nozzle until I read further.

      That said, could he problem be in part that this entire VR thing is just a little ahead of itself? I mean the Rift has taken for-fuck-ever to come out and it's $600 and requires a beefy, fairly-specific machine, and it's considered the cheap option. Vive looks to be more advanced and it's even more expensive. And once you get to HoloLens (which is AR and not VR I know) you get to oh-fuck-you dollars.

      Maybe it is just that Apple's focus is in a different direction than what VR needs right now and that might change over time and they can handle it at some point. But maybe VR is a barely-pulling-it-off thing at the moment so this has less to do with a specific vendor and more that their product only works when you have all the right elements in place and on a platform like the PC where you can come up with the right combo of things it's possible but on a platform like Mac where there's a low-double-digit number of combos you can't make it work yet.

      • reply
        March 2, 2016 9:06 PM

        there're reasonable $99 options from Oculus and that's part of why the Rift aimed higher

    • reply
      March 2, 2016 9:02 PM

      HOW DARE HE

    • reply
      March 5, 2016 6:32 AM

      What a doucheknob. So I guess a computer is only "good" if it can work with your product.