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Apple is finally bringing virtual reality to the Mac

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Apple is finally bringing virtual reality support to its Mac laptops and desktops, bringing the company up to speed with what many see as the next phase of computing.

At Monday's Apple WWDC event in San Jose, the company announced that with this fall's MacOS High Sierra update, the Mac will support external graphics hardware — meaning you can plug in a box and greatly increase your machine's graphical capabilities. 

In turn, that external hardware will give the Mac the boost it needs to support virtual reality headsets, which require superior performance to create an immersive experience. Previously,most Macs didn't support those specs, meaning that headsets like Facebook's Oculus Rift and the HTC Vive focused entirely on developing for Windows PCs.

Furthermore, the just-announced iMac Pro, an all-in-one computer starting at $4,999, will have enough horsepower for virtual reality built in, says Apple.

When High Sierra launches, it will support virtual reality with the HTC Vive headset and VR content created with the popular Unity and Unreal game engines. Notably, support for Facebook's Oculus is not included, at least so far.

Apple says it will make test kits available to MacOS developers soon, sporting an AMD Radeon RX 580 card and a USB-C hub in a box with a Thunderbolt 3 connector. That's enough for those developers to get started building virtual reality games and apps for the Mac.

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