Oculus Rift support for Macs? If Apple 'ever releases a good computer,' founder says

Palmer Luckey disses the power in Apple computers when asked about Oculus' virtual reality coming to Macs.

Mac users, look away. Oculus Rift's virtual reality worlds are just a dream, for now.

Josh Miller/CNET

If you're holding out hope of using the Oculus Rift on your Mac, you may have a long wait.

The holdup isn't with Oculus, according to Palmer Luckey, founder of the virtual-reality headset maker owned by Facebook. It's with Apple, Luckey explained when asked whether he ever saw a future in which the Oculus Rift worked with Apple computers.

"That is up to Apple. If they ever release a good computer, we will do it," he told Shacknews at a recent Xbox press event.

Luckey would like all you suddenly slack-jawed Mac users out there to know that Apple doesn't make a computer that packs the muscle to support Oculus' deeply immersive experiences.

"It just boils down to the fact that Apple doesn't prioritize high-end GPUs," he said. "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."

This year has been widely expected to be virtual reality's big coming-out party, with several companies planning software and hardware releases that will transport goggle-wearing users to digitally created 3D worlds. In addition to Oculus VR headsets, the Sony PlayStation VR and HTC Vive are also landing in consumers' hands this year, when industry watcher Juniper Research expects sales of about 3 million headsets. By 2020, Juniper expects that number to hit 30 million.

This isn't the first warning that we've heard that most of today's computers are woefully underpowered for VR. In January, Nvidia, the world's largest maker of stand-alone graphics chips, said the graphics processor in your computer is going to have to be a lot stronger to render VR images -- about seven times stronger than the average power found in gamers' PCs today. Worse, only 13 million PCs worldwide will have that kind of power, Nvidia said.

The Oculus Rift, which is now up for pre-order and costs $599, £499 or AU$649, is expected to begin shipping to consumers on March 28.

Apple did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Featured Video