A new report on the alleged Apple VR headset predicts it will cost over $2,000 (£1,655 / AU$2,875) – roughly five times the cost of Meta’s Oculus Quest 2.
While Apple has yet to officially speak out about its alleged Apple VR headset, several leaks and rumors have given us a pretty clear idea of what the device will be capable of. This standalone headset – meaning it wouldn’t work on a PC or PS5 like the Valve Index and PlayStation VR 2 – could be one of the best VR headsets ever made with power comparable to an M1-powered Mac computer.
However, it is also likely to cost as much as a MacBook, with a new report from analyst Ming-Chi Kuo (opens in new tab) saying that Apple plans to ship the headset at a price between $2,000 and $2,500 – significantly more than any previous consumer-focused VR device.
Kuo adds that, given its price, Apple expects to sell less than 1.5 million of the headset in 2023. For context, that’s roughly a tenth of the total number of Oculus Quest 2 headsets that Meta has sold since its launch. release in October 2020.
As with all rumors, we have to remember to take this one with a pinch of salt, but Kuo’s track record in predicting details about Apple’s technology means it’s worth paying attention. However, on this occasion, we hope he is wrong.
Who wants to buy a $2,000 VR headset?
That kind of pricing isn’t out of the question when it comes to Apple gadgets — with their more premium products often carrying a hefty cost to potential customers. A high cost seems especially likely for its VR headset, as it has spent several years stalled in development, meaning Apple may be interested in recouping its sunk costs.
However, while Apple managed to make a device affordable in terms of features and form factor – with Kuo’s report once again suggesting it will be an ultra-thin wearable – it ignored the biggest factor that helped the Quest 2 succeed: an affordable price. .
Until a recent price increase, Meta’s Oculus Quest 2 was just $299 / £299 / AU$479. This headset also doesn’t need a high-end PC or console to help run it, and it was of by far the cheapest conventional headset on the market. Considering that VR is still a novelty compared to even more established similar industries like computing and gaming, the Quest 2’s price was a decent entry fee.
Need more evidence that a low price is important to success? The Quest 2 actually had some downgrades compared to its predecessors – even the original Oculus Quest – to help bring its price down to an all-time low. However, despite problems in its first six months on sale, the Quest 2 has sold more units than all other Oculus VR headsets combined in five years.
But it’s not just the price of Apple’s headset that’s a concern, the VR experiences it offers might not do its sell well.
Sony’s Meta and VR platforms are home to some of the best VR games ever made, and collaborations with renowned developers mean iconic franchises like Assassin’s Creed and Grand Theft Auto are set to receive VR entries in the near future. If Apple expects users to pay an arm and a leg for its VR headset, then it will have to convince us that its headset can give us something just as good. Apple’s track record in the gaming space up to this point doesn’t fill us with confidence that its hardware can deliver.
We’ll have to wait and see what Apple announces, but if the headset is as expensive as they say and doesn’t give us something surprising in return, we can’t see ourselves leaving Meta’s cheaper hardware behind anytime soon.
(through MacRumors (opens in new tab))