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Apple ups VR developer support with Metal 2, Steam VR SDK, and more

Apple ups VR developer support with Metal 2, Steam VR SDK, and more

June 5, 2017 | By Alissa McAloon

Apple shared a number of announcements from the stage of its Worldwide Developers Conference keynote earlier today, many of which centered around expanding both virtual reality and VR development to Mac hardware.

Chief among those announcements is an update to its Metal graphics tech that is set to ship alongside its upcoming MacOS update, High Sierra. Apple notes that the updated API, dubbed Metal 2, is set to run 10 times faster than its predecessor and will additionally support external graphics units.

And with an external GPU in tow, many Mac computers will then have the power needed to join the world of virtual reality-enabled devices. This is, in no small part, thanks to the next bit of news shared by Apple: Metal 2's support for VR tech.

Metal 2 brings with it support for Valve’s Steam VR SDK as well as support for VR development through both Unreal and Unity, essentially opening up VR to both Mac-owning developers and players all at once.

There’s no word yet on how much a dev kit for Metal 2 will set developers back, but Apple has announced that those kits, which come with an external AMD GPU, will be available at some point later today.

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