New immersive content is coming for Vision Pro’s launch


New immersive content is coming for Vision Pro's launch

Image: Apple

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Apple’s Vision Pro launches soon and new immersive content will be available for early adopters to enjoy.

FACTS

Apple’s Vision Pro is launching for US customers in February. However, there will be a limited number of immersive apps and content for this new product category in its first year.

To help alleviate this concern, Apple mentioned several key productivity and collaboration apps, including Fantastical, Freeform, JigSpace, Microsoft 365, and Slack. Apple notes more than a million iPhone and iPad apps can appear in large windows side-by-side, or you can use Mac Virtual Display which creates a 4K window to interact with macOS apps running on your Mac or MacBook.

For video content, Apple said more than 150 3D titles will be available in the Apple TV app. The new Apple Immersive Video will offer 3D content in a 180-degree range with Apple’s Spatial Audio. The interactive experience, Encounter Dinosaurs, previously shown during Apple’s announcement of the Vision Pro in June 2023, was highlighted.

Vision Pro will offer a new gaming experience, featuring over 250 titles from Apple Arcade that can be played on large, virtual 2D screens with popular game controllers. Apple also mentioned a few spatial games, including Game Room, What the Golf?, and Super Fruit Ninja, that “transform the space around players, offering unique and engaging gameplay experiences.”

CONTEXT

Accessing familiar iPhone and iPad apps, 3D content from Apple TV+, and Apple Arcade games is convenient if you already have a library of apps and you’re a subscriber to Apple’s paid services. That fills gaps which are likely for to be found in the Vision Pro App Store. While Meta’s Quest 3, HTC’s Vive, and PC VR headsets have had years to develop vast libraries of compelling VR games, apps, and experiences, Apple and third-party Vision Pro developers are just getting started.

The Vision Pro will run visionOS and come with standard system apps like Safari, Messages, FaceTime, and others that are found on your iPhone and iPad. Apple wants to make customers to feel at home when putting on the Vision Pro for the first time and seeing the same icons and accessing iCloud content could help new users acclimate to the system faster.

An example of content available on the Apple Vision Pro.

An example of content available on the Apple Vision Pro. | Image: Apple

With a powerful Apple M2 chip, the Vision Pro should excel at spatial computing, running 2D productivity apps, browser apps, streaming video services, and flat games with ease. The challenge for Apple will be convincing developers to create new, immersive content for this $3,500 platform.

3D movies and videos are available on most VR headsets. Content exclusive to Apple TV+ will only be available to Vision Pro users.

Only Apple’s Vision Pro can run iPhone and iPad apps, but connecting to a Mac to run computer apps isn’t a unique feature. In fact, VR apps like Immersed and Virtual Desktop let you use your Windows PC or Mac remotely from a Meta Quest Pro, Quest 3, or even the 2020 Quest 2.

Apple’s limited selection of “spatial games” include a couple of titles already available for competing headsets: What the Golf? and a VR variant of Fruit Ninja. Apple Arcade games will be a Vision Pro exclusive but those are flat games.

OPINION

In the future, the Apple Vision Pro will get more immersive content and developing for Apple devices is usually a winning strategy. On the other hand, Apple Watch developers have struggled. It seems most likely that early adopters will be hungry for apps and games that show off the full potential of the impressive hardware in the Apple Vision Pro.

Only time will tell how quickly major developers will commit to the platform and how many small studios are willing to risk making games and apps specifically for the Vision Pro. There’s a chance Apple’s latest hardware will receive ports of older VR titles rather than games optimized for the Vision Pro.

I’ve speculated before that Apple’s Vision Pro strategy could be wrong. However, I definitely wouldn’t bet against Apple’s track record. I simply advise caution when considering a purchase.


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