Making virtual-reality headsets a real business needs an obvious ingredient: Vision.Apple Vision Pro -- its version of what a virtual reality (VR) headset should feel and be like -- does that by focusing on broadening consumers' perception of entertainment and gaming, but not going too far.
One major key in announcing this new headset comes with its high-profile partnership with Disney+ -- part of Walt Disney, which is a sizable entertainment company with lots of known TV and movie content brands. In particular, big fantasy/action movies from the likes of Marvel, Lucasfilm, or Pixar will do that.
And Vision Pro will also have access to Apple TV+. So that's two significant major streaming platforms -- something that many other virtual-headset products don't have.
In addition, the Apple VR headset will give a broad perspective of what it's like to see a piece of content-- a movie or TV show -- with the user experience of viewing the content equivalent to seeing it on a big movie theatrical screen.
In addition, this VR headset is more like goggles -- where users have the option of seeing “out” to the real world while they can take in, for example, hundreds of Apple apps.
For many, the traditional virtual headset can be a bit too immersive -- some users feel like they are swimming underwater and thus need timely breaks to come up for some real-life air.
The new initial price tag is typical of many Apple products: It doesn't come cheap at $3,499. But many expect -- should the product have staying power -- to see price slowly decline to a $1,500 level and then drop to $1,000 and even the $700 level to attract a greater number of loyal ecosystem Apple device owners.
Marketing itself as more of an entertainment-focused product, the Apple Vision Pro looks to be separate from the existing pack -- headsets from Meta Platforms’ Meta Quest and Microsoft's Oculus.
Another key content element for Apple is gaming. And that's where a deal with software developer Unity Software comes in.
It provides low cost -- and in some cases -- free software for developers to use. Unity makes money after games launch -- revenues share subscriptions it receives from developers.
Analysts feel in the gaming space this deal will accelerate virtual headset gaming content in a big way.
For Apple, its overall vision comes -- as usual for its products -- from its pitch about the ease of operation.
But there is also the hint of more the product can do.
The Apple marketing tease line here: “The era of spatial computing is here. Where digital content blends seamlessly with your physical space.”