Linux gamers shouldn’t preorder the Oculus Rift with Linux development on hold – PCWorld

Linux gamers, beware! The Oculus Rift is now available for preorder at the surprisingly high price of $599, but it won’t support Linux as originally planned. Oculus dropped support for Linux and Mac OS X in 2015, making the first consumer version of the Rift Windows-only.

The Oculus Rift’s Linux support is paused

Linux support wasn’t just something Oculus promised in the future. It was something they were actively developing.

Version 0.2.3 of the Oculus SDK—released in mid-2013—added support for Linux. Red Hat’s Richard Jones blogged about his experience with it in August 2013, finding that the original Oculus Rift developer kit offered a basically plug-and-play experience on Linux. “Surprisingly, using Linux is not a problem at all. How the world has moved on,” he wrote.

But it’s a problem now. Oculus changed its mind in May 2015. In a blog post titled “Powering the Rift,” Oculus wrote that the minimum operating system required was Windows 7 SP1, and elaborated:

“Our development for OS X and Linux has been paused in order to focus on delivering a high-quality consumer-level VR experience at launch across hardware, software, and content on Windows. We want to get back to development for OS X and Linux but we don’t have a timeline.”

On December 8, 2015, Oculus CEO Palmer Luckey once again promised Linux support 

“Linux support is on the roadmap post-launch, Mac support is on the roadmap post-decent Apple hardware release, whenever that is.”

Of course, there’s no actual date here. It’s generally a bad idea to buy a product based on a vague promise of what it will do in the future, rather than what it actually does today.


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