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App Store chief Phil Schiller has reportedly pushed for Apple’s mixed reality headset to have a strong gaming component.
Last weekend, Bloomberg reported on the extensive list of Apple executives who were and are involved in the development of the rumored mixed reality headset. It also described their roles and influence on the device.
The section on Phil Schiller is particularly interesting. Schiller has been a member of the executive team since 1997, was Apple’s Senior Vice President of Worldwide Product Marketing, and is currently responsible for the App Store and Apple Events. According to the Bloomberg report, Schiller is responsible for the launch event of the device. In terms of software, he has been pushing for gaming content.
“Schiller, known to have a VR car racing rig at home, pushed for the device to have a strong gaming component, particularly via third-party apps, an area he oversees,” the report says.
Apple XR and gaming: many questions and contradictions
There have been conflicting reports about how much Apple will focus on gaming. One time it was said that the device would have a strong focus on gaming, another time that gaming wouldn’t matter at all.
The reports are inconsistent in that the headset will come without a dedicated VR controller and will be controlled primarily via hand tracking. The vast majority of VR games require VR controllers, with exceptions proving the rule rather than disproving it. The question then is what kind of games Apple might have up its sleeve for the launch.
Phil Schiller promises a “strong gaming component via 3rd party apps” at launch. To my knowledge, none of my peers in VR industry have been contacted by Apple, so do they mean 2D games? Junky AR apps? What are they talking about here exactly?
—Denny Unger @Cloudhead (@DennyCloudhead) May 22, 2023
The well-connected Denny Unger, CEO of VR studio Cloudhead Games, is skeptical of the report, saying on Twitter that as far as he knows, none of his colleagues have been contacted by Apple. He also points to rumors that the mixed reality headset will not support Unity or the Unreal Engine.
The Apple headset will reportedly be unveiled on June 5 at the company’s WWDC developer conference. If this is indeed the case, we will know in two weeks what kind of games Apple has prepared for the launch.
You can read all other rumors in our article about Apple’s XR headset.
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