In an unsurprising turn of events, Valve has announced that it is ending SteamVR support for macOS. Spotted by Apple Insider, the company made a terse announcement on its website, stating that “SteamVR has ended [macOS] support so our team can focus on Windows and Linux.” Legacy builds will remain available, though, so tinkerers can still code VR experiences that run on Apple hardware. SteamVR first came to Apple’s operating system with the 2017 launch of macOS High Sierra. The OS enabled the use of an external GPU (eGPU) over Thunderbolt 3, which could provide the additional processing power needed to run high-end VR applications. Valve didn’t provide explicit reasons for cancelling support, but gaming hasn’t been the Mac’s strong suit for decades, so lack of interest on the part of developers and users could have been a contributor.
There were several signs that the end was nigh. Valve’s own VR headset, the Index, does not support macOS, and Apple even removed photos featuring VR gadgets from its website, as just a few examples. Meanwhile, rumors persist that Apple is developing its own VR and AR glasses. The future of VR on macOS isn’t clear. Apple could turn things around with its own headset, though there’s no guarantee that the company’s AR/VR projects will come to fruition.