(Photo by Marcin Nowak on Unsplash)
I’ve been wanting to write this post for a while now. Some Mac users are quite upset (and quite vocal on various social media) about the lack of a native Mac client for Sansar.
Let’s get one thing straight.
CURRENTLY THERE IS NO NATIVE VIRTUAL REALITY SUPPORT FOR MACINTOSH. PERIOD.
Right now, the only proper VR headsets commercially available are the Oculus Rift and the HTC Vive. Both are Windows-based VR platforms only. There is no Mac support. (I’m not talking about the PlayStationVR and those cheap VR headsets where you snap in a mobile phone. There’s absolutely no way you can transfer enough data to support Sansar using those.)
Sansar is being designed first and foremost as a virtual world that supports VR headsets. Read Inara Pey’s excellent blogpost to understand why Linden Lab is focusing on virtual reality in designing Sansar, especially the entire section titled “Running Sansar in Desktop Mode”. It perfectly explains, in quotes from Linden Lab staff, why they have to focus on VR and how the benefits to desktop users flow down from that.
Asking Linden Lab to provide native Mac support for hardware that currently only exists in a Windows hardware configuration is absurd. In my opinion, they are correct to concentrate their focus on the hardware platforms that currently support virtual reality.
In today’s notes from last Friday’s in-world product discussion meetup, there is the following quote:
When is Mac support coming to Sansar?
For the most part, there has been little publicly-available VR hardware on the Mac platform. For this reason, Sansar development has primarily been focused on Windows users that have access to Oculus Rift or Vive hardware.
Sansar user Livio Mondini posts in the Sansar group in Facebook:
About the rant…[I] have a Mac and no Sansar client, is true but is not a fault of Sansar, ask Apple why they don’t take care of VR with the right hardware until now.
Livio posts two links to Macworld articles that every Mac user should read:
Can you use Oculus Rift with Mac? (June 7, 2017)
For a while, it was assumed that the Oculus Rift would work with Mac just as it was intended to work with Windows, but back in May 2015, the company cleared up the confusion in a blog post. Sadly, it wasn’t the news that VR fans with a Mac were waiting for – in fact, the blog post informed users that development for both OS X and Linux had been paused to concentrate efforts on the PC release.
How to use VR on a Mac (July 10, 2017)
So, to summarise, we’ve shown you that while it’s theoretically possible to use VR on a Mac, the reality is that it’s awkward to do and ridiculously expensive and even then, you could still run into compatibility issues.
Blaming Linden Lab for this situation is frankly ridiculous.