If Apple want the highly anticipated Oculus Rift technology, then here’s what they have to do according to Oculus VR founder Palmer Luckey – “make a good computer.”
This blunt statement was made when Shacknews asked him about the chances of the highly anticipated Oculus Rift technology making its way onto Apple Computers. Headsets are already scheduled to be rolled out for PCs shortly, so the absence of any provision for Apple users looks, at first sight, like something of a glaring omission.
His response, though, is likely to rile a few of Apple’s more hard core fans. “That is up to Apple,” he said. “If they ever release a good computer we will do it.”
Before Apple fans leap up in rage it’s fair to point out that he was only referring to the lack of high end GPU support in even the top Apple systems. Even the most expensive Mac Pros, with the top of the line AMD FirePro D700 processors still do not meet the minimum requirements of the Rift system.
It is a case of Apple switching its focus. If Apple were to switch their focus to support higher end GPUs, then the chances are we’d be seeing a link-up between OR and Apple pretty soon. Until then, it seems it’s simply not viable.
So why are Oculus Rift’s requirements so steep? The issue stems from the particular requirements of virtual reality. This needs a much higher frame rate than a typical computer screen can provide if it is to function effectively. Any drop of frames – even relatively small – can interrupt the viewing experience and make the user feel nauseous.
The feeling now is that Apple simply does not possess the technical capabilities in terms of GPU performance to support Oculus Rift, and as far as we know they have no immediate plans to introduce anything like that for the time being. Is it a missed opportunity and might Apple change their approach once they see Oculus Rift succeed?
Time will tell. There have been some rumblings about a possible entry for Apple into the VR landscape, but until now there have been no genuine confirmations. Tim Cook, Apple’s CEO, did make some complimentary comments about the VR space which have got some people speculating about the chances of a move – either now or in the near future.
The question is – is Apple missing a trick? VR is a developing sector with space to become a market leader. Apple would be well placed to take a leading role and if they do not, it begs the question whether they’ve missed out on a big opportunity.