Research Summary

The report discusses Apple’s Vision Pro, a new device that aims to revolutionize the AR/VR market, also referred to as “spatial computing”. The device, which is not targeted at the average consumer or gamers, is priced at $3,499 for the base model. The report also explores the potential of the device as a gaming platform, its compatibility with PlayStation and Xbox controllers, and the challenges it faces, including its high price and hardware limitations.

Key Takeaways

Apple’s Vision Pro and Spatial Computing

  • Introduction of Vision Pro: Apple’s Vision Pro is a new device that aims to change the dynamics of the AR/VR market. The device is not marketed to the average consumer or gamers, and is priced at $3,499 for the base model.
  • Device Features: The Vision Pro offers features such as immersive viewing experiences, spatial audio, and resizable windows. It also allows users to slip in and out of total immersion with pass-through video.

Compatibility and Gaming Potential

  • Compatibility with Gaming Consoles: The Vision Pro is compatible with both PlayStation and Xbox game controllers, allowing console gameplay via game streaming. However, the device does not have any controllers of its own, instead using eye tracking and hand gestures as native inputs.
  • Gaming Potential: Despite the lack of notable launch games, Apple has touted 12 “unique spatial games” as part of its launch slate. There are also over 250 playable Apple Arcade titles, though they were not redesigned for spatial gaming.

Challenges and Limitations

  • Hardware Limitations: The device’s hardware limitations, such as short battery life, high price, and the weight of the headset, are expected to limit its adoption. There is also a significant portion of the gaming audience that is either averse to the idea of strapping a computer to their face, or physically unable to use a head-mounted device because it causes headaches or motion sickness.
  • Developer Challenges: The spatial computing environment of Vision Pro requires developers to account for hand gestures and eye-tracking, making cross-platform development more complicated and costly. Apple has also restricted movement-based applications, ruling out certain gaming experiences.

Actionable Insights

  • Monitor the Evolution of Vision Pro: Given Apple’s history of improving its products over time, it would be beneficial to keep an eye on the evolution of Vision Pro, especially in terms of its hardware limitations and app ecosystem.
  • Consider the Potential of Spatial Gaming: Despite the current challenges, there is potential in spatial gaming. Developers and investors should consider the long-term prospects of this technology, especially as hardware manufacturers like Apple and Meta continue to invest in its improvement.
  • Explore Opportunities for Cross-Platform Development: Despite the challenges, the compatibility of Vision Pro with PlayStation and Xbox controllers presents opportunities for cross-platform development. Developers should explore these opportunities, keeping in mind the unique requirements of spatial computing.

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