During its recent Worldwide Developers Conference (WWDC), Apple finally unveiled its augmented reality headset, the Apple Vision Pro. Previously rumored to exist at the start of the year, the $3,500 headset has been in development for some time and marks Apple's first step into the mixed reality space.
Apple CEO Tim Cook called it "the first Apple product you look through, and not at." For all intents an purposes, it's the tech company's take on the Quest VR headsets that Meta has been making a part of its business for the last several years.
With a flick of a dial, the Vision Pro will be able to alternate between alternate reality (AR) and full virtual reality (VR). The controller-free device runs on an operating system specifically made for it (dubbed visionOS) and unlike other mixed reality headsets, will display the user's eyes using a system called Eyesight.
VisionOS will also overlay digital elements on top of the real world. Even though the device is intended mainly for productivity purposes, Apple said the Vision Pro will have capabilities that make it an entertainment device. (Disney CEO Bob Iger showed up to say the company was making content specifically for the headset, but gave no specifics.)
Apple said its Vision Pro will support controllers (like a PlayStation 5's DualSense) and feature Apple Arcade titles at launch. But unlike with the Quest product line or other VR devices like the PlayStation VR 2, games don't appear to be the primary focus of Apple's headset.
With how mixed reality is being positioned as part of video games' future, it's interesting that Apple is placing productivity as the focus of its new device. Whether that stance changes depends on how much developers get a chance to make titles for the Vision Pro. The device is expected to release in early 2024.