- So far, Valve has confirmed Portal and Torchlight to be “among the initial titles available” when Steam arrives on Wednesday. The Mac library of games should expand quickly, though, as Valve.
- May 01, 2020 Valve says legacy builds of the virtual reality platform will remain accessible for OS X users by right-clicking on SteamVR in Steam and selecting Properties, followed by Betas.
- Bringing Valve's gaming engine Source, and the company's Steamworks development and publishing suite, to the Mac will make it easier for developers to bring games to OS X. 'Steamworks for the Mac.
- Steam is the ultimate destination for playing, discussing, and creating games.
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Valve has confirmed that it will be bringing Steam, its market-leading digital download services, to Mac formats this April.
The service supports a library of games including Valve's own Left 4 Dead 2, Team Fortress 2, Counter-Strike, Portal and the Half-Life series, and the recently announced Portal 2 will be the company's first simultaneous Windows and Mac release.
'As we transition from entertainment as a product to entertainment as a service, customers and developers need open, high-quality internet clients,' said Gabe Newell, president of Valve. 'The Mac is a great platform for entertainment services.'
Jason Holtman, director of business development at Valve, added that a new feature – Steam Play – will allows users who have paid for a game on one format to play on the other, for free.
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'Steamworks for the Mac supports all of the Steamworks APIs, and we have added a new feature, called Steam Play, which allows customers who purchase the product for the Mac or Windows to play on the other platform free of charge.
“For example, Steam Play, in combination with the Steam Cloud, allows a gamer playing on their work PC to go home and pick up playing the same game at the same point on their home Mac. We expect most developers and publishers to take advantage of Steam Play.'
For third-party partners, the Steamworks suite of tools is also available for immediate use, said Valve.
'We looked at a variety of methods to get our games onto the Mac and in the end decided to go with native versions rather than emulation,' commented John Cook, director of Steam Development.
'The inclusion of WebKit into Steam, and of OpenGL into Source gives us a lot of flexibility in how we move these technologies forward. We are treating the Mac as a tier-1 platform so all of our future games will release simultaneously on Windows, Mac, and the Xbox 360.
'Updates for the Mac will be available simultaneously with the Windows updates. Furthermore, Mac and Windows players will be part of the same multiplayer universe, sharing servers, lobbies, and so forth. We fully support a heterogeneous mix of servers and clients. The first Mac Steam client will be the new generation currently in beta testing on Windows.'
Valve just ended SteamVR’s support for macOS. “Legacy builds” will continue to be available.
SteamVR is Valve’s PC-based virtual reality platform, supporting Windows and Linux. Mac owners can continue to use the latest versions of SteamVR by installing Windows as a secondary OS.
Facebook’s competing Oculus Rift platform hasn’t supported Macs since early development kits, which preceded the Rift. In 2016, founder Palmer Luckey claimed this was due to Apple’s lack of priority on GPU power.
Apple went all-in
Support for macOS was announced by Apple itself during its annual developer conference in 2017. Craig Federighi, who reports directly to Tim Cook, revealed the support with excitement — VR would be a showcase of Apple’s new commitment to high performance graphics.
At the time, Apple released updates to Metal, its equivalent of Vulkan/DX12, to make it suitable for high performance low latency VR rendering, including via external GPUs on MacBooks. The company even worked with Unity and Unreal Engine to make this available to all developers.
Later in the conference, employees from Industrial Light and Magic gave a live onstage mixed reality demo of VR on macOS — a Star Wars scene running on Unreal Engine.
In September 2018, Apple added support for HTC’s Vive Pro, including giving developers access to the onboard stereo cameras, presumably for AR development.
Valve Steam For Mac Installer
Less than two years later, Valve is announcing ending support for macOS. Apple doesn’t seem to have made a statement on this yet, but we’ve reached out to employees who worked on Metal’s VR support.
According to Valve’s Hardware Survey, just under 4% of Steam users are using macOS, with over 95% using Microsoft’s Windows. Given that just over 1% own a VR headset at all, it’s easy to see just how niche VR on macOS likely was.
Valve states it will now “focus on Windows and Linux”. Despite being even less popular than macOS, Linux is preferred by developers, and required for certain advanced enterprise and government use cases.
Valve Steam For Mac Pro 15
Apple is reportedly working on a standalone mixed reality headset slated for 2022. The company may decide to support this in MacOS in a similar way to Facebook’s Oculus Link. Alternatively, it may have decided that the tethered market just isn’t big enough to focus on.
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We’ll keep a close eye on Apple this year for any further news about its support for virtual reality.
This story originally appeared on Uploadvr.com. Copyright 2020