Apple will make it easier for HTC Vive Pro owners to use their virtual reality headsets with their Mac.
Mac OS 10.14 Mojave: support for HTC Vive Pro VR
Karol Gasinski from Apple’s GPU software architecture team confirmed support for the HTC Vive Pro, adding that it will be “plug-and-play” with macOS 10.14.
“We have been working very closely with Valve and HTC to ensure that Vive Pro is compatible with the SteamVR runtime in macOS,” advised Gasinski.
The HTC Vive Pro uses a pair of 1440 x 1600 AMOLED displays with a pixel density of 615 ppi, a 37 percent increase in pixel density and a 78 percent increase in resolution compared to previous Vive headsets. The headsets also include front-mounted stereo cameras, enabling use in mixed reality applications, and are also compatible with the SteamVR Tracking System 2.0, which can increase the available space in which the headphones can be tracked.
The VR headset support was included in macOS High Sierra, along with similar changes that allowed the use of eGPUs. Last year, Valve launched SteamVR for macOS, extending the framework from PC to work with compatible Macs, and simplifying development to make games work on both platforms.
In Metal 2, Apple’s graphics architecture is based on the existing version of Metal, with features that include GPU-controlled pipelines, accelerated machine learning training, and improved processing of ray and triangle intersections for rendering. Most importantly, Metal 2 also includes specialized support for Mac systems using external GPUs and for VR headsets.
Apple’s support for adopting Metal 2 has been criticized by developers after it was revealed that OpenGL and OpenCL will be declared obsolete in macOS Mojave, although they will not be removed from the system for the time being in the next two years, they will simply not be updated. Apple confirmed in the developer documentation that older cross-platform graphics technologies will be phased out, which could cause problems for cross-platform development, as well as for older OpenGL-based games to continue to work in future versions of macOS.
Although additional support for HTC Vive Pro was announced during WWDC, it is not included within the initial macOS 10.14 beta provided to developers. It is likely that support will be included in a future beta version for developers, prior to the planned release of the operating system in the fall.