Apple’s new product, the Vision Pro headset, is a big leap in mixed-reality tech. It costs $3,500 and people are calling it the “ultimate entertainment device”, which is a strong statement considering there are already known devices like the Meta Quest 3 out there. Pre-orders have started and they’ve had to delay the delivery dates cause loads of folks want one. The Vision Pro is Apple’s biggest launch since they brought out the Apple Watch back in 2015.
Entertainment at Your Fingertips… Or Not?
Even with its cutting-edge tech and steep prices, the Vision Pro’s first batch of entertainment apps is a bit hit or miss. Some big players in online video and music like Netflix, YouTube, and Spotify don’t have their apps at launch. Users can still use these services using the web browser, but not having dedicated apps may let down those who want a smoother experience.
That said, the gadget isn’t short on things to watch or listen to. It works with lots of streaming platforms, such as Disney+, ESPN+, Max, Discovery+, Amazon Prime Video, and more. Plus, Apple is going for it with its stuff like AppleTV and Apple Music, making sure they work well with the Vision Pro.
What’s Available on the Vision Pro?
While some big names are missing, the Vision Pro is not short on content. It offers over 150 3D-immersive movies, including blockbusters like “Dune” and “Avatar: The Way of Water.” Users can also enjoy a variety of sports channels like ESPN, NBA, MLB, and PGA Tour.
Streaming Apps Lineup
The full spectrum of 3rd-party streaming apps available at launch includes:
- Amazon Prime Video
- Pluto TV
Working and Socializing in Virtual Reality
The Vision Pro also positions itself as a potential workspace tool, offering apps like Microsoft 365 and Slack, and supporting virtual meetings through Zoom and Cisco Webex. This functionality, combined with the ability to use Apple’s “Personas” virtual avatars in FaceTime, hints at a future where work and social interactions might increasingly shift to virtual spaces.
Gaming on the Vision Pro
While not primarily a gaming device, the Vision Pro will host several games, including:
- What the Golf?
- Super Fruit Ninja
- NBA 2K23 Arcade Edition
- Candy Crush Saga
- Rec Room
Despite its limited gaming library at launch, the Vision Pro’s compatibility with Xbox controllers and PlayStation DualSense, and the potential for future integration with Microsoft’s Game Pass cloud gaming, suggest a growing space for gaming experiences in the future.
Compatibility and User Experience
One of the key factors in the Vision Pro’s adoption will be its compatibility with other devices and the overall user experience. The headset can connect wirelessly with Macs and is capable of running iPad apps, although some major developers have chosen not to allow their iPad apps on the device. This decision by companies like Netflix and Spotify might be due to concerns over the quality of the user experience or potential support issues.
Challenges and Future Prospects
The Vision Pro’s success will depend not just on its current offerings but also on how it evolves to accommodate user needs and market trends. The absence of some major apps at launch, while a setback, is not unusual for new technology platforms. The future of the Vision Pro will be shaped by how quickly and effectively Apple can expand its app ecosystem, enhance user experiences, and adjust pricing to appeal to a broader market.
Apple’s Vision Pro is a groundbreaking step into mixed reality, offering a range of entertainment, work, and social experiences. While it faces challenges in app availability and market competition, its success will ultimately hinge on how it adapts to user needs and market dynamics. For more information on the Vision Pro, visit the official Apple Store.
- Price: $3,500
- Release Date: Available at U.S. Apple Store locations and online from Feb. 2
- Notable Absences: Netflix, YouTube, Spotify
- Key Features: Immersive Video, Spatial Audio, Compatibility with Xbox and PlayStation controllers
- Target Audience: High-end consumers and tech enthusiasts
- Competitors: Meta Quest 3 and other VR/AR products