Apple Vision Pro: Not a single word about AR and VR games
Apple's VR/AR headset is surprisingly versatile. However, gaming only played a minor role in the presentation.
Apple presented many areas of application for its Vision Pro Mixed Reality headset. However, one thing was almost completely missing: the essential topic of VR and AR games at other companies like Meta.
On its official website, Apple postulates: “Spatial computing enables new types of games with titles that cover a whole spectrum of immersion and can transport gamers to entirely new worlds.” However, nothing of this has been seen in practice. Instead, the company showed only the ability to consume traditional games from its Apple Arcade subscription service on a large virtual screen – including support for game controllers.
Apple headset without VR games
At launch, 100 titles from the Apple Arcade catalog will be available. The trailer showed a player playing NBA 2K23. The high resolution of the Vision Pro should be an advantage over competing VR headsets.
Two micro OLED displays with a resolution of more than 4K per eye bring 23 million pixels into the picture (about 3.3 times as many as the Quest 2) and are said to provide excellent image sharpness in combination with catadioptric special lenses.
Surround mixes of flat games could also be rendered spatially. However, Apple's Senior Engineering Program Manager En Kelly emphasized: “This is just the beginning of how gaming on Vision Pro will evolve.” The new app store for the Mixed Reality headset should also see some VR and AR games experimenting with the device's hand and eye tracking.
“Developers can use familiar tools and frameworks – such as Xcode, SwiftUI, Reality Kit and ARKit – to create new applications for Vision Pro,” said Susan Prescott, vice president of Worldwide Developer Relations. To make it easier to prepare 3D objects for spatial applications, Apple has also developed Reality Composer Pro. The software is designed to make it easy to create complex scenes with realistic objects.
Apple Vision Pro: Too expensive to play
Unlike the Meta Quest 3, the Vision Pro won't be an affordable device for a gaming-savvy audience anyway. The quite groundbreaking technology that is built into it has a hefty price tag: $3,499 is demanded.
Users of Apple's mobile platforms can at least access their existing game libraries. Since the iOS and iPadOS frameworks are also included in the new VisionOS operating system, hundreds of thousands of hand and eye tracking-enabled apps will be available at launch.
Popular games and applications developed using the Unity engine will have full access to VisionOS features such as passthrough, native gesture control, and high-resolution rendering.