A decade ago Zuckerberg made a $2 billion bet. XR was the future of computing, he wagered, and in buying a little known startup called Oculus, Meta would beat Apple to the punch.

An Unexpected Acquisition

Meta CEO Mark Zuckerberg with former Oculus CEO Brendan Iribe | Image courtesy Meta

You can critique Meta CEO Mark Zuckerberg all you want, but you’ve gotta give the guy credit for playing the long game.

Ten years ago, long before Facebook became Meta, Zuckerberg reached the conclusion that XR was the future of computing and it was critically important for his company to beat Apple to the punch.

And he put his money where his mouth was by dropping more than $2 billion in 2014 to buy Oculus, a small startup that precipitated a grassroots resurgence of virtual reality technology.

At the time Meta was still known as Facebook, the social media company. Many heads turned in the tech industry when news of the Oculus acquisition broke. It wasn’t just that it was a pricey purchase, but what on Earth did Facebook want with a VR company?

To get a sense for how uncharacteristic the acquisition appeared for the company, my headline for the story read, “Not an Early April Fools Prank: Facebook Acquires Oculus VR Inc for $2 Billion.”

So what exactly did Zuckerberg see in Oculus? A way to outplay Apple.

A Way to Outplay Apple

Image courtesy Meta

We came to learn that answer from a leaked email sent by Zuckerberg to Meta’s senior executives in 2015. The email laid bare his strategic thinking and how the Oculus acquisition was a long-term bet to outmaneuver Apple and Google, two companies that had a significant strategic advantage over Meta. Their control over iOS and Android—platforms where hundreds of millions of users accessed Facebook each day—gave them outside influence over the company.

Apple and Google held (and continue to hold) the keys to the smartphone castle. Zuckerberg was dead-set on not letting the same thing happen in XR, which he believed would become the next major computing platform.

“The strategic goal is the clearest. We are vulnerable on mobile to Google and Apple because they make major mobile platforms,” Zuckerberg said in the email to his executives. “We would like a stronger strategic position in the next wave of computing. We can achieve this only by building both a major platform as well as key apps.”

“From a timing perspective,” he went on to say, “we are better off the sooner the next platform becomes ubiquitous and the shorter the time we exist in a primarily mobile world dominated by Google and Apple. […] Therefore, our goal is not only to win in VR/AR, but also to accelerate its arrival. This is part of my rationale for acquiring companies and increasing investment in them sooner rather than waiting until later to de-risk them further. By accelerating this space, we are de-risking our vulnerability on mobile.”

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With that, Zuckerberg and a portion of his company have spent the last decade trying to gain a strategic foothold in XR before Apple or Google could take a bite. The mission is so significant that in 2021 the company formerly known as Facebook completely rebranded itself to become Meta, a name reflecting Zuckerberg’s continued belief that XR and the ‘metaverse’ were the future.

Will Meta Succeed?

Quest 3 (left) and Apple Vision Pro (right) | Based on images courtesy Meta, Apple

So here we are, ten years after Zuckerberg placed his $2 billion bet and declared his intention to become the ruler of XR. He’s since invested at least another $43.5 billion dollars building his XR castle.

Now along comes Apple waltzing up to the gates with a Vision Pro battering ram, ready to brawl over this new XR landscape (or perhaps ‘spatial computing’ landscape, if Apple has its way).

Who comes out on top?

It’s tempting to say that Meta has had a ten year head start thanks to Zuckerberg’s foresight. But the reality is that Apple has been actively doing R&D on XR for at least as long. In fact, we saw Apple hiring people with “VR/AR development” expertise in 2014, the same year Zuckerberg bought Oculus.

So what really happened is that Meta has been building its fortress out in the open, while Apple has been building in secret.

Meta’s gambit of building out in the open has allowed it to beat Apple to the punch by becoming the leading XR platform. Today Meta easily exerts control over the space by having the most accessible and affordable headsets combined with the strongest content library.

But beating Apple to the punch does not mean you’ve beaten Apple. To beat Apple you have to make a better product. And that’s hard to do.

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We’re not going to pretend to know how the Meta-Apple brawl for XR territory is going to pan out. But it’s notable that the very thing which Zuckerberg was trying to upheave—Apple’s grip on a significant portion of the smartphone landscape—may be the thing that gives Apple the crucial advantage.

Not just because Vision Pro will run millions of existing iOS apps out of the box, but also because of the company’s ecosystem advantage which promises to make the headset play nicely with millions of Apple devices and existing services like FaceTime, iMessage, Siri, Apple Music, Apple TV, iCloud, and more.

Even without those things, Apple’s emphasis on user experience over raw tech is something that has made it the behemoth that it is today. Especially for a brand new category of product, establishing what a good user experience even looks like is key.

Meanwhile, after a decade of building XR products, underlying user experience issues are a recurring theme even as Meta consistently delivers some of the best and most affordable hardware on the market.

In the end, how will we know for sure if Zuckerberg succeeds in his decade-long quest? Well, the surefire way to know is if Meta never has to launch its own XR apps on Vision Pro. But if that does happen, Zuckerberg will be right back to where he started in the first place—under the thumb of Apple.

Does the Price Gap Matter in the Long Run?

Apple CEO Tim Cook | Image courtesy Apple

While the massive price gap between Vision Pro ($3,500) and Quest 3 ($500) certainly makes Meta’s headsets more accessible today, it’s clear that Apple wants to set a bar for quality first and then find out how to bring down the cost.

As these two titans square up for the battle over XR, I’m reminded of something said by Palmer Luckey, the founder of Oculus.

“[XR] will become something everyone wants before it becomes something everyone can afford.”

Ironically, Luckey was speaking about Oculus’ own products at the time. After being ousted from the company and watching from the outside as Meta tried to drive down the price of its headsets, he argued that even “free isn’t cheap enough” for XR to go mainstream. Price was irrelevant, he said, because Meta hadn’t built something that everyone truly wanted and lowering the cost wouldn’t make it so.

Vision Pro Gets Another Fully Immersive VR Game, With Cross-play to Other Headsets

With Vision Pro launching at $3,500, Luckey’s thesis will finally be put to the test. Even if it costs that much, the question remains: has Apple built something that everyone really wants?

Who comes out on top? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below.

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Ben is the world's most senior professional analyst solely dedicated to the XR industry, having founded Road to VR in 2011—a year before the Oculus Kickstarter sparked a resurgence that led to the modern XR landscape. He has authored more than 3,000 articles chronicling the evolution of the XR industry over more than a decade. With that unique perspective, Ben has been consistently recognized as one of the most influential voices in XR, giving keynotes and joining panel and podcast discussions at key industry events. He is a self-described "journalist and analyst, not evangelist."
  • g-man

    You can critique Meta CEO Mark Zuckerberg all you want

    Thanks! Like many of us in the early days he put on a headset and was gobsmacked, imagining a future where everyone was in headset – playing games, working in 3D work environments, having a 3D call with grandma. But there are two differences between him and us.

    The first is he made billions of dollars violating people’s privacy and peddling ads, so he was able to buy a VR company. And the second, as evidenced by his Ceasar haircut, is that he has a god complex and thought he could make up for everyone hating him by making that future real with him of course at the helm.

    But he couldn’t because, first of all, people aren’t forgetting how terribly he and his companies have treated the world, and second, he doesn’t have vision. He thinks he’s Jobs but he’s not. He can’t actually envision the future that’s coming so like most companies that aren’t Apple he just throws money at engineers, builds “something” and stumbles along with only minor contributions to the future.

    Kudos to those engineers – Quests are good devices and have elevated VR but in the 8 years since the Rift all they’ve built is a better headset. Soon we will see what actual vision looks like. No pun intended.

    • Stealth Ico

      steve jobs was egotistical too, I would argue even much more than zuckerberg

      also a lot of apple’s growth has been through tim cook, not steve jobs

      • ViRGiN

        Yeah, under Tim Cook, Apple Watch became the most popular watch ever (any watch, not just smartwatch)

  • another juan

    still far from the start of the race: apple is just soft-launching a SDK, and google is still nowhere to be seen. try again this article in 5 years.
    if i had to bet, i’d say meta will lose the race: apple+google will leverage their app stores to extend their duopoly to the new market, and users will be worst because of it. no doubt some emotional facebook haters will celebrate it, too

    • ViRGiN

      Google might succeed in virtual tablet department due to Play Store, but Meta Quest is where the gaming already exists and is thriving.
      Google never really achieved anything in VR domain.

      • Michael Speth

        How is losing millions each quarter “thriving”???

        • ViRGiN

          How is investing a net loss?

  • ViRGiN

    He already succeeded. Literally the most successfull VR/XR/AR company in the history. Not only they survived and continue to thrive throughout the years, they created products people actually want to buy, and while engagment is still an issue, they are on track for their goals.

    Apple makes a high-tech device, but has not shown any real ‘game changing’ use case. And as someone who is not into Apple ecosystem, there is nothing substantial to AVP. Just a virtual tablet that can be paired with a Mac.

    • Michael Speth

      Huh? Meta has literally lost billions on VR and continues to lost millions each quarter. People obviously don’t want meta products at the break even price let alone a profitable price.

      Meta cannot continue losing money on VR especially when they are losing in other aspects of their business. Eventually, meta will have to end their VR division.

      • ViRGiN

        > People obviously don’t want meta products at the break even price let alone a profitable price.
        You are obiovusly a gayben. Touch some fucking grass.

      • XRC

        2023 was actually a great year for Meta as a company. From their last financial statement of 2023:

        “Revenue – Revenue was $34.15 billion, an increase of 23% year-over-year, and an increase of 21% year-over-year on a constant currency basis.

        Costs and expenses – Total costs and expenses were $20.40 billion, a decrease of 7% year-over-year.”

      • eadVrim

        Meta will never end their VR/XR/AR because the Quest for it is like Playstation for Sony, Meta should have a hardware device, an apps market, and consumers eco system. And it can’t be always reliable to other platforms windows, google store …

        • Michael Speth

          The Dreamcast was Sega’s last console because Sega was not making money failure after failure. Quest 1, failure, Quest 2 Failure, Quest 2 Pro failure, Quest 3 failure. How many failures can Meta sustaine? Sega had 4 failures before they quit.

          Sony on the other hand has had continual success. Meta is comparable to Sega not Sony.

          • eadVrim

            Meta has sold 20 million Quest 2.
            How do you judge Quest 3 is a failure?

          • ViRGiN

            tell me you own valve index without saying you own valve index

    • Nevets

      You’re correct that Meta has gained a distinct and credible foothold and user base. But for the reasons outlines in the article, claiming that they’ve succeeded is premature, to say the least. This is an emerging market and the tech is in its infancy. Facebrick HMDs are somewhat analogous to the mobile phone bricks people carried in the early years, with thick protruding aerials and tiny screens. There are, of course, multiple other reasons why they are not ready for true mass market adoption.

      • ViRGiN

        They have succeeded. Noone claims they have won the XR wars or whatever you want to name it.
        Everyone else seems to be folding down already. Nobody buys anything outside of Meta headsets.

        • Nevets

          What I intended to mean is that they have won the current battle but there’s no reason yet to believe they’ll win the war. They are well placed, but Apple is a formidable contender.

  • Dragon Marble

    You make XR what people want by building a compelling content library. You build the content by attracting developers. You attract developers by making the platform profitable for them. You make the platform profitable for developers by selling hardware cheap.

    So affordability is not just the end goal, it’s an essential part of the strategy from the beginning. And, no, I don’t think bringing the existing flat content to “spatial” will do it.

    • g-man

      Developers have been able to build what they want since at least 2016 yet XR is still in its infancy. There are already cheap headsets yet most devs are not making a lot of money.

      It’s time to admit games will not be what takes XR mainstream. Bringing 2D apps into spatial isn’t the end, it’s the beginning.

      • Dragon Marble

        I agree it doesn’t have to be games, but it has to be something you can’t do on your phone. It takes a lot for people to put a brick on their face. If being in a video game isn’t enough to keep people engaged, the novelty of seeing flat screens floating around is going to wear off even faster.

        I am not even complaining that the AVP doesn’t have any games. Just having a lot of 3D movies would be enough to win me over. But even that is not clear. Speaking of launching a headset without content support.

        • Nevets

          It hasn’t been launched in that sense. It is aimed well off the general public and even tech enthusiasts, because of its cost. It’s the start of the dev process, so Apple won’t be worried about the lack of content. Content libraries have to be built and that process has to start somewhere. That time just happens to be now. A lack of content support isn’t a present concern. Apple has only manufactured 70k HMDs, remember. This device isn’t built to generate iPhone-grade revenues.

      • david vincent

        VR/XR will probably never become mainstream. Because of unavoidable friction.

  • Eren

    If that were true, wouldn’t Android have an advantage over iPhone? Just because Android devices are cheaper and more accessible than iOS doesn’t mean that developers are making more money on the platform. The opposite seems to be true for many (most?) devs.

    • Dragon Marble

      Phones are affordable and have reached mass adoption already. Of course, there are other variables that can affect profitability to a certain range. But we are talking about building a new platform, where the install base is the main factor. It’s hard to see how the math would work if there are only tens of thousands of units out there. And let’s not forget that the fundamental reason for low retention in XR is the form factor, which remains an unsolved problem.

      • ViRGiN

        > the fundamental reason for low retention in XR is the form factor
        Even if Quest 3 was in bigscreen form factor, it still doesn’t solve the issue of wide library of quality software.
        Quest 2 sold 20+ million units.
        Maybe form factor is preventing your mom and dad from getting a headset, but for everyone else, it’s the lack of software. 98% of existing gaming PC owners on Steam are not interested in getting a headset.

        • Dragon Marble

          But the lack of software itself is because even 20+ million units is not enough for large studios. The two sides reinforce each other, and mass adoption cannot be achieve in one cycle. Like a swing, you need to keep pushing it higher and higher. Now imagine the swing is rusted, and has friction (literally). It makes the process so much harder. That’s why the key factor remains the form factor.

          • ViRGiN

            Large studios understand that the future of VR is in platform holders hands, so there is no reason to step out of the line and doing something because you like it, or believe in it. Wait for the money bags to start appearing at your front door.
            Boz from Meta promised there is a whole lot more going on behind the scenes, and things just take time. 2024 might be the test to that statement. We will see what kind of software Meta will rollout in 2024. It’s literally the only VR/XR option to date, while both PCVR and PSVR2 are dead.

          • Dragon Marble

            Given today’s standards, building AAA games requires time and money that rivals building the headset itself. The idea that platform owners can save the day by rolling out a large number first party softwares is a fairy tale. That part of the equation has to rely on the masses. That’s why things like consoles and headsets are not something the rich can enjoy by themselves.

          • ViRGiN

            Platform holders might gain masses when they sponsor the entire development costs. RE4 on Quest was the fastest selling game according to many news from the past, and I believe also official Meta blog.
            Today it’s sitting at #40 of Quest top sellers, with #1 Beat Saber, #2 Job Simulator and #3 Among Us.
            The future of VR are todays kids, who will be young adults 10 years from now.

            Regardless, Meta is literally the only company in the world doing anything relevant at any scale. Nobody has options here at all. Valve is busy making underpriced handheld PCs, Sony doesn’t invest nor promote PSVR2, Pico is out of the game, Google has no skills, Apple steers in completly different direction, not overlapping with anything so far.
            We just gotta wait and enjoy what we have.

          • Ben Lang

            20 million monthly active users would be a healthy marketplace for large studios. The problem is there’s never been anywhere near 20 million monthly active users.

          • Dragon Marble

            Hopefully the recent bump in the library quality has brought some of those headsets out of the closet. On the other hand, Ques 3 is a much more comfortable headset (not just for your face, but for your eyes), which should improve retention. Brink Traveler saw “a sustained ~4x increase in daily new users overnight” since Quest 3 launch (see Akin Bilgic’s tweet).

          • Christian Schildwaechter

            From past years we know that there has been a surge in user activity after Christmas, followed by a drop of almost the same height at around March/April. So it takes about 3-4 months for the initial excitement for a new device to fade away and people to start abandoning it.

            For the Quest 3 numbers should be better, as many of the buyers will have been upgrading from Quest 2 for improved graphics, and those buying their second/third … HMD are obviously long term VR users. Photorealistic apps like Brink Traveler showing breathtaking landscapes benefit most from esp. the new lenses, explaining the huge jump, but whether the increased daily usage will indeed stay sustained beyond the usual 3-4 months honeymoon phase remains to be seen.

    • XRC

      Yes it’s well known that iOS smartphone users typically spend more money than Android users.

    • Butler Reynolds

      1) iPhone was first. It’s not only a brand, but also the word many normies use to refer to all smart phones.
      2) Most people are not savvy shoppers for phones. They walk into the store, see the pretty iPhone, and make their purchases based on monthly payments.

  • ApocalypseShadow

    The article says that Zuckerberg “invested.” But the reality is that he’s lost almost 50 billion trying to build what Apple and Google already have. Each have their own base of users and they have their millions of apps to draw from. Facebook has no cellular hardware. They don’t have a long list of apps. They decided to throw away their OS plans and went with Microsoft.

    They may have a jump on availability and affordability from their predatory pricing to control the stand alone market. But, they just haven’t made any software to compete with Google or Apple. There’s no number killer mixed reality app that the public cares for. The masses, the casuals only care about what’s on their phones and Facebook doesn’t have a phone product to draw from.

    The media will easily talk and push about Apple and for Apple when it releases. The price is high. But Apple has been able to sell $,1,000+ plus phones where Facebook hasn’t been able to do the same with Quest Pro. Apple phones and products have status symbol respect. Facebook hasn’t earned that yet. They only bought into it what someone else built.

    They do get credit for pushing stand alone. But they are still way behind what’s coming. And businesses are more than willing to use an Android or iOS product before ever using Facebook’s for productivity. You can’t earn that status overnight. And that’s what Zuckerberg was scared of in the email and that’s why he has pivoted to be a low cost Apple product. That’s why he had the conference right when whole 5 was going to announce Vision Pro. It’s why Samsung and Google are pairing and why Google dropped their AR teams as Samsung will lead in that area for them. Google will just provide the OS and apps needed to compete with Apple.

    I knew this war was coming. Raven Sony knew it was coming which is why the parent company built a stand alone headset as well as Sony specializes in cameras, sensors and tech. They want in too but they know even they can beat Apple or Google. But they can get creators to use their product for making things. Facebooks time is running out as others are jumping into the fray. Better hurry up. Lol

    • Stealth Ico

      I would argue meta has nothing to worry about gaming wise considering they have an established content library while everyone else is starting fresh

      Apple’s success is contingent on their software being good for anything that is not gaming and convincing people that it’s worth putting something on their face for hours and making that better than just starting at a laptop screen or tv

      • Michael Speth

        The player retention problem indicates that Quests games are bad. When the Quest library consists of potato level graphics, it really doesn’t matter how many games are in that library. VR needs state of the art graphics. Without that, players simply do not stick around. Hence why meta loses millions each quarter. VR on potato level graphics is not sustainable.

        • ViRGiN

          #1 PCVR game is Gorilla Tag. Touch some grass bro?

          • dextrovix

            It’s not #1, you’re the one that’s been toking. Or sucking on something else you enjoy…

          • ViRGiN

            what is #1? i bet it must be half life alyx or vertigo 2 in your mind.
            gorilla tag on pcvr peaked at 1,760 concurrent players in the past 24 hours.
            name anything bigger?

          • Stealth Ico

            #1 pcvr game is probably vrchat, but we can’t tell for sure since it’s not vr only and the steam charts number is both screen and vr

          • ViRGiN

            looking at vrchat metrics, there are 25k steam users right now, and 45k from meta+viveport.
            i cant find the stats how many are actually connected with a headset.

            VRLFG reports almost 12k concurrent users right acros all “vr games”, at about peak hours. and gorilla tag is still #1.
            half life alyx launched with 43k concurrent users, the number not seen anywhere near from all vr games combined 4 years later..

        • XRC

          “premature cost reduction is the root of all evil”

          Old engineering joke…

        • Dragon Marble

          That theory is like a zombie that never dies. We’ve tried high-fidelity VR — first on PC, then PSVR 1 and 2. Never worked. Graphics is not it. Just ask the developers which platform is sustainable for them.

          • Michael Speth

            Neither platform is sustainable as standalone titles.

          • Christian Schildwaechter

            Graphics is not it.

            Graphics fidelity is not the only/most important factor, and others like convenience or price can matter more. This led to Quest being the most “sustainable” platform, as Meta pushed a lot of subsidized Quest into the market, doesn’t expect to make any money from it anytime soon, and Quest got a lucky break as a Christmas present during console shortages. The best selling/most successful Quest games actually use stylized graphics, which are a better match for the hardware capabilities.

            But the graphics fidelity is indeed one factor in keeping VR usage below 5% of the gaming market, as most Quest games don’t deliver anything close to what current console gamers expect today. That’s kind of unavoidable with mobile SoC graphics performance trailing desktop with about a 10 year delay, and VR being extra demanding, and not just a disproven zombie theory.

            The most important thing for games will always be game play, and “graphics only matter for the first 10 minutes” is usually true. But graphics are still relevant to get people to even try for those 10 minutes, esp. gamers that aren’t already using VR.

        • kakek

          VR on cumbersome 3K computers is even less.
          Don’t get me wrong, I enjoy it much more. But there’s no doubt that from a commercial standpoint, it failed much harder than mobile VR.

          • Michael Speth

            Both failed so it doesn’t matter the difference.

        • Stealth Ico

          calling the quest 2/quest 3 as potato graphics is grossly inaccurate

          if you haven’t tried standalone VR since the oculus go/quest 1 days, go try it again, you’d be surprised. I recommend walkabout minigolf or red matter 2.

      • Christian Schildwaechter

        Apple generates the third highest revenue from games after Tencent and Sony, and more profit from games than any other company, with mobile being the most profitable and fastest growing gaming segment by far.

        Sure, Meta has the largest VR content library and is pretty much the only platform providing sustainable income for at least for some VR game developers, but that’s bought at a high price in Meta subsidies for hardware, development and paying some studios to port advanced titles.

        If Apple manages to make XR HMDs something regular iPhone users want to use, and future AVP prices get closer to high end iPhones, they’ll have the existing catalogue of iPhone games and a gigantic number of iOS developers able to integrate extra XR features into their games. And many Quest games that can work with hand tracking will probably see ports long before the AVP market provides the user numbers that could justify the financial effort.

        Meta has nothing to worry about if they only have to compete with others trying to start from fresh. But that’s not what is going to happen. They’ll have to compete with others already very profitable in other areas expanding into XR without having to give up their established audience.

      • ApocalypseShadow

        And I agree there. Facebook can make a successful VR headset that happens to do mixed reality. They are probably right now, begging developers to make productivity software that can compete with Apple and Google. All the other two have to do is translate that content to spacial computing and come out with lighter headsets. Facebook has to build the content they already have. Microsoft apps are a start. But it’s not enough unless Microsoft strong arms businesses with Windows to stop Apple and Google.

        But the reality is that VR gaming isn’t the thing to pull in the masses. It’s why Apple is gunning for AR more than VR. Apple has already seen the numbers for VR. It’s not all that great. Even 20 million VR headsets haven’t translated into mass market use. Because there nothing on it that’s beyond the cellphone. Cellphones replaced a lot of hardware. To coexist with cellphones or surpass them, you have to have cellular function built in to make calls and do all the other things cellphones already do as well. It’s just like gaming is a part of mobile. But there’s more things people do with phones other than gaming. It’s why Zuckerberg has to pivot or get run over. He knows this.

        The one truth above all else is what the masses are willing to use. And we know Apple products are one. And Google products are the other. So that puts Facebook at a disadvantage. How do you get the masses to accept Facebook hardware over Apple and Google products and services? That’s what’s on Zuckerberg’s mind. Even Sony is like we’ll make a product for content creation. We’ll allow them to use our sensors and micro LEDs lenses. But they know they can’t beat them either. They are too big.

        Nothing is set. So there’s still a chance of anyone winning. But that $3500 price is nothing. Apple is already that one to beat and Google with Samsung is the one to beat. All the rest are just looking for a piece of the pie. Because that’s all they’re going to get.

  • ViRGiN

    Oh, and Palmer Luckey, you are most likely reading this.
    I’m still waiting for my Ready Rift One Audio Fix promised to me several years ago.
    You sold me your headset, and you promised to fix audio. You took my personal data, and never spoke about it.
    For that, and that alone, go ef yourself.

    • MackRogers
      • So fucking retarded, you fucking idiot …. lol

        • MackRogers

          Just out of curiosity, and I am going to bounce this to the mods @ben_lang.

          Is it basically anything says goes here? Toxic stuff like this dropping hard “R’s” ? …fine here?

          Just wondering if you tangentially approve the use of such language and your non-censor is in essence to be taken as a seal of approval, nay, your wholehearted agreement with the use of expression.

          • Christian Schildwaechter

            I have no idea what “R’s” are, as I’ve blocked whoever you responded to, as well as several others, usually due to their tendency to insult others and/or consistently claim things long proven to be false, based on very obvious and irrational bias.

            Nonetheless I wouldn’t support banning them, as the value of people being able to express their “opinion”, even if rubbish, offensive and utterly braindead, as a principle is something that shouldn’t be just easily swept away. It’s like democracy having to be stable enough to endure some level of brainwashed, anti-democratic propaganda, even if the world would be better without it.

            The best way to deal with trolls is still by nobody giving them the attention they seek. Again not knowing what specific “R’s” you are referring to (and I don’t want to know), this may or may not apply here too.

  • xyzs

    Here we are 10 years later, with LCD screens……….

    • xyzs

      …and still only ~100 degrees FOV
      …barely 2k screens
      …still over a pound in weight

      • ViRGiN

        Is that Meta fault or what?
        Plenty of headset manufacturers out there.
        Competition is great huh?

        • xyzs

          Yes, it is totally their fault:
          They spent 10 years barely making any progress because they cancelled their plans for high-end products to focus solely on cheap hardware with no retention, with no margins and no interest for VR fans.

          – They failed with their hardware promises and didn’t deliver a 10th of what they said, even with a 5 years delay. Where are the varifocal, the 4k screens, the 140 FOV, the small form factor, etc ?

          – They spent billions in platforms such as horizon, nobody give a damn about, ending with a final result that brought discredit on the company.

          – They rebranded Oculus into Meta with their testicle icon, and still today, it’s a mess between what is called what. Oculus was (just like Twitter) a powerful brand used a foundational name, that uneducated people were using to describe VR itself, and they wasted that just because Zuck has too much ego. Meta was a fine name for the parent company, not for the the Oculus division.

          To me, they are currently leading only because they started the race first, but they don’t have the legs.

          And now Apple is here with the real deal, not them…

          • ViRGiN

            They did more than Valve ever could. So what are you going to switch to?

  • Isaac

    Well, the surefire way to know is if Meta never has to launch its own XR apps on Vision Pro. But if that does happen, Zuckerberg will be right back to where he started in the first place—under the thumb of Apple.

    This is the exact opposite of what Zuckerberg wants. In the leaked email he mentions that making the key apps/services is more important in terms of value than owning the platform or hardware except to de-risk their vulnerability.

    Social networks and platforms loosely follow Metcalfe’s law. The entire reason Facebook, Insta, Whatsapp are so successful is because they are available on every platform. 2 apps make the same order of magnitude of revenue as owning the platform, hardware and 30% revenue from hundreds of millions of apps.

    • Ben Lang

      Zuckerberg said the goal was to own the key apps AND the platform.

      I will discuss the main elements of the platform and key apps further below, but for now keep in mind that we need to succeed in building both a major platform and key apps to improve our strategic position on the next platform. If we only build key apps but not the platform, we will remain in our current position [of being beholden to platform holders]. If we only build the platform but not the key apps, we may be in a worse position. We need to build both.

      Meta would much rather have such a grip on the market that Apple would need to put some apps on Meta’s XR platform, rather than the other way around.

      I’d say that Meta has done reasonably well at building the major platform, but really doesn’t have a single key app to speak of. Per Zuckerberg’s own belief, that puts them at risk.

    • Christian Schildwaechter

      Facebook and Instagram revenue comes mostly from ads. The 30% Google/Apple take from software sales/services is only part of what got Zuckerberg to make a USD 100bn bet to escape. Way costlier than that fee was e.g. Apple’s data privacy policy, impacting Meta’s ad revenue. Once Facebook was forced to first asked users to permit extensive tracking, ad revenue tanked, which drove down the stock value more than all their XR ventures ever could.

      As long as Meta has to abide to the rules of platform owners, they will be limited in how they can monetize services. Meta’d love to keep apps exclusively on their own platforms like RE4 Quest or AC Nexus, but that would be insane for the ad driven Facebook and Instagram apps, which have to stay on iOS and Android, as all the users are there.

      Establishing Meta XR this way may be impossible, as the “metaverse” could end up being more connected networks like the web than a hardware/OS platform like iOS or Android. Which is why “key apps/services” nobody can work around is emphasized over platform ownership, e.g. user authentication and digital ownership handling, allowing users to move their avatar between metaverse content providers like Disney or Microsoft with tons of gaming franchises. But always tied to a Meta account, with a small transaction fee for everything bought in Disney’s or Microsoft’s virtual worlds.

  • It’s a long battle… Apple is good at generating hype, but this product is just an appetizer. I guess we’ll start seeing how the battle will turn out to be in the next 2 years probably

    • Nevets


    • Arno van Wingerde

      2 years? In 2 years Apple will not be able to beat Meta: I guess a halfway serious consumer version will appear in 2025 or 2026. Better at 2 D apps but also more expensive. I presume Meta will come out with 4 k OLED device as well Quest Pro3? Quest4? The use for 2D screens might take off, giving Apple an advantage but I think not. Monitors are way easier for the coming years. For use in a plane? Doubt it.
      Also, an increased Meta-MS cooperation bringing the monitor option to more affordable sets as well. I think we will see a battle commence in 2025, but the outcome is more likely to be after 2030.

      • Christian Schildwaechter

        Two years will not show who has won, but which approach is is winning.

        Apple launches AVP with very little XR content, mostly extending their existing ecosystem. And even limited AVP sales will show if users accept the “do the same things better with an XR headset”. If they do, Apple has a good chance of transitioning some of the 200mn yearly iPhone/iPad buyers and expand to XR/AR only later.

        Meta instead built a platform decoupled from existing apps to rid themselves of Google and Apple. They are trying to create a consumer market from scratch, at first carried by enthusiasts fine with unfamiliar interface and usage. They convinced mostly gamers, less than 5% of which now use VR. Meta tries to win over a mass audience beyond gaming, and might succeed in the long run, but not within two years.

        AVP might show that smaller steps, starting with familiar apps and media usage controlled with eye/hand tracking, and only then moving towards newer XR content, will appeal more to users. Then companies like Samsung would follow and offer Android XR HMDs also slowly transitioning people from phones, cementing the Google/Apple duopoly.

        A few years will show whether “slowly extending current use towards XR” or “starting with XR and slowly integrating current use” works better.

      • mike

        Apple is good at one thing – generating profit – so whatever they do, if they decide to do it, it brings them enough money to do it. Meta is loosing money all the time. So let’s see :)

  • VR5

    It’s important to note that Meta sees BOTH Apple and Google as rivals. Apple is not #1. Android is much more prevalent than iOS and even if we’re only looking at hardware, Samsung is competitive with Apple and has outsold them again and again.

    But even with Android leading over iOS, it clearly is based on iOS so Apple at least can claim to have invented the modern smartphone. This isn’t true with XR. Meta is #1 in the XR space and while they didn’t always do something first, they did it well before Apple.

    And price absolutely is a decisive factor in this competition. Android leads also because it serves the low end price range as well as the high end, in which Samsung goes head to head with Apple.

    The way it is looking now, Meta will be in the XR space what Google is in the smart device space. With the added perk of being the pioneer. The major unknown is, will XR actually be as relevant as smart phones (or even PCs) any time soon.

    • Michael Speth

      What does it say about XR when the #1 company meta has lost billions on VR and continues to lose Millions each quarter?

      • ViRGiN

        Why are you such a gayben?

        • Thud

          Ironic, the author posted his thanks to all the commenters who contribute insightful and well reasoned comments to add to this and other discussions here and you, as you always do, post this stupid garbage. Typical.

          • ViRGiN

            Stupid is what the guy posted. You can easily imagine what sort of echochambers he exclusively stays within.

        • dextrovix

          Very witty, you should use that one more often.

          • ViRGiN

            In a human centipede with you in the middle, it’s Gayben at the front, Gayben at the back, but still makes you the shit-eater.

      • VR5

        That’s R&D. Meta can afford to use profits they make with their traditional business to fund the leadership of the future. The only problem really is shareholders, need to keep them happy.

    • Nevets

      “It’s important to note that Meta sees BOTH Apple and Google as rivals.”

      There’s no need to note this. It’s one of the explicit and underlying premises of the article.

      • VR5

        It is mentioned shortly but the headline only mentions Apple and the article only talks about Apple, as if Apple was the leader in the market it actually already is successful. Obviously Google didn’t get any notable foothold in XR, but Meta did. If Apple repeats its success, they’ll be #2 again. A very strong #2, especially in the US, but it is puzzling that Apple is seen as the leader here when they really aren’t.

  • Nevets

    Good piece, Ben. And to give my take on the conclusory question: I doubt Apple has either built, or believes it has built, a device everyone would covet. Reports of comfort are critical, and inevitably so because it’s still a facebrick. People don’t want to wear facebricks, don’t want to mess up their hair, and in many cases, can’t get a comfortable fit. The feeling of taking a Quest off the head is one of physical relief. I expect AVP is similar, and regardless, the public won’t like the look or thought of wearing today’s HMDs. Remember, I’m talking about non-enthusiasts. Apple wanted to build a proof of concept anchored on visual fidelity and UX, and have probably achieved what they wanted to for this release. The immediate innovations in this space, especially by Meta, need be around comfort, and there are plenty of new approaches to try, but they show no sign of recognising how important this is. UX is equally important (and neglected) for mainstream adoption, but a comfortable and appealing form factor comes first.

    In short, I don’t think this space will go mainstream until HMDs approach sunglasses form factor. The Xreal spec would be a sensible intermediate step for Apple.

  • Corey Reynolds

    I don’t have a single Microsoft computer in my house (everything is Apple and Mac), but I have 4 Xbox’s (I have a lot of kids). I imagine that I will eventually have an Apple Vision that I use for work and entertainment, but it’s also likely that at that time I will still have a few Quests for gaming. I think of my Quest 3 as a gaming console, and to that end, Zuck has made a fine product. I’m VERY happy with it.

    If they keep iterating on that angle, they’ll definitely carve out that space for themselves, because Apple just tolerates gaming – it doesn’t love it. Sure, eventually a lot of developers will try making Vision games, but if Meta is still cranking out hits like Asgard’s Wrath 2, the difference will most likely remain stark – the same way it currently is between ‘casual’ games on iPhones, Macs, and AppleTVs, and ‘hardcore’ games on Xbox’s and PlayStations.

  • XRC

    Meta Quest runs on Android (after abandoning XROS) leaving them somewhat vulnerable to Google’s predatory control of Android through means both fair and foul (open handset alliance anyone?)

    Google business model of “XR software as service” for Samsung’s new AR headset running on “Android XR” with elements of Project Tango, Daydream and AR Core, could soon leave Meta on a lonely fork with damaging competitive disadvantage.

    • Christian Schildwaechter

      A real danger for Meta is Apple establishing XR HMDs as an upgrade to existing smartphones and apps, improving the experience mostly by removing the restrictions of a tiny screen, with VR/AR apps just goodies on top, but not the core usage, at least for now. If this gets any traction and starts selling XR HMDs to existing smartphone users, existing Android brands will jump on the train and offer simpler, significantly cheaper XR HMDs allowing Android users to do the same. Meta could lose the battle for XR due to their lack of access to popular 2D apps, long before Google and Apple can even play their ARCore/ARKit trump cards of having billions of AR capable devices already out in the wild.

  • While Meta has done a great job with VR/AR thus far, I still feel it should never have ousted Palmer. That guy was one of the key visionaries of VR, and I think he could have been helping Meta achieve great things, maybe even greater things, if he were still there today. I guess we’ll see how it all plays out in the longer run though. . . .

  • Cless

    I’m kind of baffled we get articles like this one… yet nothing about UEVR 2 weeks after it came out…?

  • Ben Lang

    Just want to say that it makes me happy to see the genuine discussion in the comments here. I read them on every article (even if I can’t always reply) and I appreciate many of the recurring names I see putting significant thought into their comments and adding good context and additional perspectives.

    • MackRogers

      Does it “make you happy” that people such as @CaryMGVR are dropping hard “R’s” in your comment section without recourse?

  • Thud

    I cannot understand why given their stated plan, that Facebook completely neglected mobile and the aspect of the equation that mobile phones occupy? Apple completely leapfrogged them in mobile. Makes no sense.

  • lnpilot

    It’s not just the price. The Quest Pro is a better device than the Vision Pro. It’s lighter, it’s more comfortable and it has physical controllers, which is critical for VR. Eye tracking and hand gestures alone are very cumbersome because often you want to change things without having to look at them. For example, when you’re flipping through weapon options in a VR game, you want to be looking at the weapons, not the UI for switching them. But, we don’t know what Apple has planned for the next device.

    • Christian Schildwaechter

      Horses are better than cars, because they don’t need gasoline. Whoever thought that using a wheel to steer is a good idea has probably only ever ridden a large tortoise. And only an idiot would buy a huge car, how the hell would you get one into a small stable?

      • lnpilot

        Oh, but the Vision Pro does need physical controllers. Desperately. Try using a VR headset for an hour with hand gestures only and no tactile feedback. You’ll quickly find out how annoying it is and how tiring it is to hold your hands in the camera’s field of view.
        Humans have evolved over millions of years to physically interact with the world around us, not to just wave our hands in the air. It feels very unnatural and frustrating.

        • Christian Schildwaechter

          How lucky then that the Vision Pro newer was and never will be a VR headset, but instead is positioned as an AR HMD to be used while interacting with objects in the real world, which is difficult to achieve if your hands are permanently occupied with holding two large chunks of plastic.

          Human evolution would have ended pretty quickly if the rocks they used to make fire would have been permanently attached to their hands. And the huge parts of our brains dedicated to just hand-eye coordination could have used for something else, like understanding that things that are shaped pretty much like a gun with a trigger and a few buttons are mostly useless for anything that isn’t simulating a gun, leading to lots of games that require to point and shoot at something. Everything else is limited to the dexterity of toddlers with glued on boxing gloves that couldn’t grab a key and can only do very simple things like hitting boxes with sticks. We are so lucky that those who glued stones to their hands quickly died out.

          • Coolnesscat

            Hey Chris I agree with you. I have seen so many companies make such obviousy mistakes. Is there a way for us to chat by messenger or email? Do you have discord?

  • Jonathan Winters III

    “Now along comes Apple waltzing up to the gates with a Vision Pro battering ram, ready to brawl over this new XR landscape”

    Not quite. It’s a device for the ultra-rich, and will sell in small number accordingly. Apple’s not about to release product that is competitive price-wise either. Ever.

    • Christian Schildwaechter

      Nobody, not even Mark Zuckerberg, can blow USD 50bn (that belong to stockholders) through the roof to finance his pet passion project. Even if he was the biggest VR enthusiast in the world, MRL can only exists because of a promise of making even more money by ridding Meta of limitations and fees enforced by currently dominant platform owners, and becoming the indispensable middle man of a/the main communication platform of the future.

      Presenting it any other way is just romanticizing something that is a very brazen business tactic, consciously pushing technical and financial limits, because they know that sooner or later, competing devices from Apple and Google will become financially accessible to most users.

  • Stephen

    As someone who was there from the very first Oculus Kickstarter campaign, the only thing I think we can say for certain is that VR / XR is the future of technological interfacing. Yes it will continue to get smaller, more powerful, more realistic and cheaper over the coming years, but it was obvious the moment you put on that first Developer kit 1 that it was a game changer.

    Perhaps this is already all just a hologram …

    • Christian Schildwaechter

      Not to be too much of a luddite, but there is nothing obvious about people using a technology. I’ve been around for a couple of technological revolutions, and can tell that despite technologies such as databases, spreadsheets, multimedia and advanced applications like Photoshop being available, the majority of users still rely on paper lists, couldn’t determine their credit card interest in Excel, with their media creation limited to typing words, and photo editing mostly restricted to applying Instagram filters. Just because a technology has a lot of potential and practical uses for people doesn’t mean it is going to be utilized.

      A famous reddit thread once asked what would be the hardest thing to explain to a time traveler transported from the 1950s to today. The most popular answer was “I carry a device in my pocket that allows me to access all the knowledge in the world. I use it to watch cat videos and start fights with strangers.”

      • Dragon Marble

        One thing that is highly predictable and a common theme of all these technology advancements is the fundamental laziness of us humans. We value convenience far more than quality. In that regard VR is a huge step backward. That’s why form factor will be the ultimate determinant of its popularity. Until the day of glass form factor, the only hope is to lean more on the health benefit of playing VR games compared to traditional ones.

  • Chris

    I just want to add that Oculus was in no way a ‘little known startup’ when Zuck purchased it, Oculus was at the very forefront of VR technology and pioneering a viable new age for VR that made big global waves with it’s hardware.

    • Ben Lang

      “Little known” meant in comparison to the scale Facebook and other the other tech giants.

      • Q*Bert

        Let’s not forget that Apple also bought some little known startups also like Metaio, SMI, Vrvana, Fabric Engine and NextVR!

        • ViRGiN

          the Vrvana acquisition was a serious WTF already when that happened. everything around vrvana was so extremely shady and red flags; did they trick Apple or what?

  • Rob

    I own several vr headsets but use them 80% of the time for gaming.The Apple will probably outperform quest 3 in MR. But I dont think the Apple headset are really meant for gaming and surely lack AAA vr games like Asgards Wrath 2. At least for now.
    With over 20 million quests sold and just 100.000 apple vision pro planned at launch it is clear who is in the lead for now. Altough things can change fast in the high tech business.
    But for consumers I think quest 3 is still the headset to buy. For business use things could be different. But more in the longer term.

  • racun seen

    Apple is 3-5 years behind. Noone will develop apps for 1000 users who bought the premium device for 4000€. Budget version will probably cost 2000€ and will come somewhere in 2027. Zuck, 44 billions well spent.

  • Michael Speth

    I find it interesting the author did not discuss the market failure of META and how it has lost $25 Billion in 1 year VR alone. 2023 was a worse year for Meta with a 40% sales loss

    How many consecutive years can Meta afford to lose on VR? Is there precedence for this in any other market and how long did that company last?

    • Ben Lang

      “So here we are, ten years after Zuckerberg placed his $2 billion bet and declared his intention to become the ruler of XR. He’s since invested at least another $43.5 billion dollars building his XR castle.”

      Text links to: https://www.roadtovr.com/meta-reality-labs-revenue-q3-2023/

      • Michael Speth

        “I find it interesting the author did not discuss the market failure of META”

        Where is the discussion in your article?

        • ViRGiN

          where is your evidence?

        • Ben Lang

          Are we talking about Meta overall or Reality Lab?

        • Arthur

          Calling Meta’s VR losses a “market failure” is just your highly subjective interpretation so why would it be in the article? Much of it was expected far in advance and a significant amount was spending in R&D.

          Quoting from what Ben linked above: “Meta has previously warned investors that these major investment expenses may not pay off until the 2030s” If this was always the plan, how are you seeing that they failed?

    • Dragon Marble

      Meat can easily sustain that level of investment for decades. Zuckerberg has been very transparent and upfront about Meta’s XR strategy. Investors are not worried. Meta stock more than doubled in the last year.

    • ViRGiN

      i find it interesting that you continue to be a gaben.
      “how many consecutive years blablabla”? well, it’s been decade of investments so far.
      now go back to your steamvr and enjoy your high fidelity gorilla tag.

  • Stealth Ico

    its tragic he passed yes, I want to make that clear, nobody deserves to pass before reaching old age and living a fulfilling life

    but if I have my story straight, his cancer diagnosis was found early on and he choose to pursue unproven remedies not supported by science before finally switching over to proper treatments years later but it was too late by then

    that kind of screams egotism to me

    obviously the ideal outcome is that he would still be around today, no doubt about that

    on your other statement, yeah he did put down the groundwork for the company today, someone had to, and tim cook is doing a good job capitalizing on that groundwork

    • more specific treatment facts, “Many journalists mentioned and even focused on Jobs’ initial decision to forego conventional treatments and instead use complementary and alternative medical (CAM) therapies, including acupuncture, botanicals, and dietary changes (Grady, 2011). This was chronicled in his biography and corroborated via interviews with his friends and colleagues (Isaacson, 2011). However, what many journalists failed to note is that the evidence supporting any specific conventional treatment approach (surgery, chemotherapy, radiation therapy) for GEP-NETs comprises a slim literature, and the evidence base for use of CAM therapeutic approaches for GEP-NETs is virtually non-existent. After a delay of nine months after diagnosis, in 2004, Jobs opted for surgery. He died 7 years later.”
      And, “Indeed, Jobs is not alone is his use of CAM therapies after a cancer diagnosis. An estimated 43–67% of US cancer patients use CAM therapies after a cancer diagnosis and the effects of many of these therapies are poorly understood (Mao et al., 2011). Individuals use CAM therapies after a cancer diagnosis for a variety of reasons: to treat cancer without the use of conventional treatments (this is called “alternative medicine”), to treat cancer in concert with conventional treatments (this is called “complementary or integrative medicine”), to prevent or treat side effects of treatment, to prevent and treat other co-morbidities, and to promote and/or maintain general wellness.”

    • Christian Schildwaechter

      To emphasize/add to T.I.’s very accurate response: The survival chances for pancreatic cancer are miserable, and only if the cancer sits at the end of the pancreas, surgery may be successful. Most patients die within a year after diagnosis, even when diagnosed early.

      Jobs’ attempts to go for unproven remedies may seem strange and based on pseudoscience believes, though conventional treatment offered only a very slim chance of working in his case, so he probably didn’t lose much by trying everything. In the end he lived for eight years after the diagnosis, way longer than most others with his conditions, mostly due to not having the most aggressive form of pancreatic cancer.

      Tim Cook offered to donate parts of his liver for a transplantation, as both shared a rare blood type. Jobs refused, but still got a liver transplantation and lived for 2.5 more years after that.

  • gothicvillas

    A true vr renassaince will happen when standalones to house power of a decent gaming laptop. Until then its just dipping toes in the water.

    • Christian Schildwaechter

      That is never going to happen due to physics. Typical AIO HMDs have a power budget of less than 10W, a gaming laptop more than ten and a gaming PC more than fifty times that. Performance doesn’t scale linearly, but there will be no time when a HMD will beat a dedicated laptop or PC, which get faster at nearly the same rate as mobile SoCs.

      At best you could pin it to a specific performance level/time like “when standalones are as fast as a 2018 entry level VR PC”, so they could run most PCVR software (aka Valve Deckard), but never relative to other, also current types of VR devices.

      • XRC

        Recently upgraded to 1000 watt ATX 3.0 PSU to provide sufficient power delivery to my RTX 4080, sideband support (GPU and PSU communicate) allows the GPU to pull up to 600w at peak demand.

        Never have enough compute power for VR, currently using a Pimax Crystal which is a greedy beast (Steam reports 100% resolution as 4312×5104 per eye)

        • Christian Schildwaechter

          For the maximum power feeling you could play a fully modded Skyrim VR on it, with NPC responses generated by ChatGPT. Recently saw a statistic that each Bing query answered by ChatGPT consumes about 100,000x as much energy as a regular search response, allowing you to get to a more balanced local and cloud power use. If only we had global cooling instead of warming, this would actually be a great development.

          • XRC

            Brilliant stuff!

            For extra power consumption I’ve been using the Tobii eye tracking which depletes the onboard battery quicker, giving me about 3 hours runtime instead of 4 hours.

            But I then consider the reduced workload on the GPU from dynamic foveated rendering, overall there should be reduction in power consumption at the PC end. But of course being a typical PCVR enthusiast, DFR lets me turn the settings up higher….

      • gothicvillas

        Perhaps power is “not local”? I dont know but until solved t will never have deep immersive experiences

        • Christian Schildwaechter

          You can have that today, by streaming VR from a powerful VR PC to a Quest. Online services like PlutoSphere already allow you to have VR content rendered in the cloud and streamed to a headset, and once this is more established and Meta allows it in their EULA, someone could release a very light HMD that only needs a rather slow SoC to do room/hand/eye tracking and passthrough, delegating all the heavy rendering parts to a remote machine, leading to much lower “local power” consumption/longer runtime.

          And it’s very likely that Meta is planing for something like that exactly because there is no other way for gaming on Meta mobile HMDs to catch up with PCs. “Local power” is basically needed wherever the graphics are rendered, but that doesn’t have to be the same device as where the graphics are displayed.

  • Butler Reynolds

    Apple products are very nice, but they’ve always left me wondering why someone would spend so much money for them. Personally, I don’t see much value in the additional price over PCs (Windows/Linux) and Android Phones.

    In my opinion, the reason they’ve had such a large market share in the US with phones is that people are making monthly payments. People think of it as their phone bill, but in reality, much of it is a monthly payment on a very expensive phone. My friends with iPhones are shocked when I tell them that my phone bill is less than $20/month.

    Until a more streamlined version of the Vision comes around that replaces the phone and becomes the new monthly payment, I have to wonder how many people will want to pay the Apple price tag for a headset.

    • Christian Schildwaechter

      I use Android phones/tablets, iPads, Macbooks as my main machine, a Windows PC mostly for VR, and various Linux servers. I’ve run Windows and Linux as my main desktop OS for years and worked as a sysadmin for both.

      Every time I buy a new Mac, I’m grinding my teeth about the outrageous upgrade prices. Base machines are reasonably priced, but RAM and SSD configurations for serious work cost 4x market price or more. Every time I seriously consider switching back to Linux (I hate Windows way too much), which can do everything I need more flexible and cheaper. Yet in the end I still buy an expensive Mac. The reasoning is always that the extra money per month is worth less than the time I’d typically spend on Windows or Linux just to fix random failures or update issues. I like to tinker, but insist on deciding the when and where myself.

      You can get Linux rock solid by not changing things. MacOS isn’t flexible from the start, but its BSD personality gives me Linux flexibility without something going berserk. Switching to an iPhone for the smooth integration is just a question of time, as syncing an Android phone with a Mac is way too much hassle. If AVP turns out to be usable as a workstation, I’d be willing to spend A LOT MORE, I don’t even care about fancy features as long as “it just works”. In the end my time is worth more.

      • Butler Reynolds

        I guess everybody seems to have a different use case and experience. I’ve used Windows primarily for decades and have found it to “just work” ever since Windows XP. Even though Vista was unpolished and Windows 8 was awkward, they both worked fine for me. I have a Linux machine that I like to play with, but I couldn’t imagine Linux as my primary machine — as it is, I spend too much time on it just getting it to do what Windows does without thought. Now that Windows has Windows Subsystem for Linux, I find myself switching over to my Linux machine a little less. Amazingly, on my Linux machine I’ve been using VS Code, Powershell, and .NET! It’s a good time to be alive.

        I’m sure I’d enjoy a Mac, but I’m just not shelling out that money given that I’m satisfied with what I have. I suspect the same will go for the Vision headsets, though I do plan on experiencing a demo at an Apple store. In any case, I’m glad Apple is jumping in with both feet and hopefully revving up the market.

  • JakeDunnegan

    Devices hit critical mass when a majority of consumers realize that it’s harder to live w/out it. Whether it’s a phone with an app store, downloadable/streaming music, or a DVR.

    Right now, unfortunately, the XR platform isn’t there yet, and I don’t see how Apple’s device helps get us there.

  • sfmike

    The verdict is still out regarding whether the general public will ever embrace an HMD for delivery of digital content until the form factor is sunglasses sized and excepted as “fashionable.” I was trying to give my old Quest 2 away to some of the young guys that work at my health club but none of them were interested in taking it even for free. One guy in his late teens said that his dad had one and he thought it was boomers that were the only ones interested.

    3D was killed at theaters and in the home partly because people didn’t like wearing anything on their heads, it messes with your hair and all and makes you “look goofy”. Until HDMs are considered mandatory to being a cool kid, the smart phone will continue to rule and keep XR a very niche product.

    • ViRGiN

      3D killed by having to wear glasses, in glasses form factor?
      No, it was killed by Nvidia greed (need to buy X GPU with Y monitor and Z glasses), and lack of properly recorded 3D content, rather than converted in post production.

  • ArtB

    Apple won’t even have a virtual keyboard on launch lol what piece of Apple BS marketing vaporware!!

    • Ben Lang

      Says who?

      • ArtB

        Bloomberg leaked it today, and I hear there is even more bad news coming about the battery lol!!!

    • Christian Schildwaechter

      Go to Engadget, they just published a rather lengthy hands on preview by two of their authors that got to see the current version of AVP, with a section on the virtual keyboard, described as both working surprisingly well, yet still one of the more frustrating parts of the demo. Clearly not a replacement for a real keyboard for typing longer text, but adequate for occasional input and most definitely existing on launch.

      Cherlynn Low:

      I was actually surprised that it worked, and fairly well in my experience. […] I could either use my eyes to look at the keys I wanted, then tap my fingers together to push them. Or […] I could lean forward and press the buttons with my hands. It’s not as easy as typing on an actual keyboard would be, but I was quite tickled by the fact that it worked.

      Dana Wollman:

      This was one of the more frustrating aspects of the demo for me. Although there were several typing options – hunting and pecking with your fingers, using eye control to select keys, or just using Siri – none of them felt adequate for anything resembling extended use. […] This was surprising to me, as so many other aspects of the broader Apple experience – the pinch gesture, the original touch keyboard on the original iPhone – that “just work,” […] The floating keyboard here clearly needs improvement.

  • What is WRONG with these Apple people? They don’t even have a headset out, the one they have planned isn’t even remotely in the same market as the Quest, and yet these Apple TOOLS have already declared it a winner??

    What does this EVIL company have to do to you idiots before you will leave the Cult? They over charge you, make you wait for industry standard features every one else has had for years, they were even trying to make it illegal for you to repair your own equipment. Apple pioneered the idea of a “Disposable” $1000+ cellphone. User replaceable batteries and a 10 year operation time used to be standard, now it’s rare. They alone have made E-Waste a thing. People used to SELL their old electronics, not throw them away! This is MENTAL.

    Apple is a trash company for the gullible! And yet these same gullible people also tend to be writers in THE MEDIA, so it’s all we ever hear about. Meanwhile, Apple isn’t a market leader in ANY category it’s in, and never has been. Always late to the party with something painfully under-featured and insanely over-hyped.

    I always wonder what evil powers have allowed them to stay in business, but look at the logo: Apple with a bite missing. Know of any famous APPLES with BITES missing? They might as well just tell everyone they work for the Devil. It explains SO MUCH.

    • Christian Schildwaechter

      I’m actually impressed how you turned that from being just ignorant over twisting reality and trying to reinterpret history to media conspiracy and finally religious damnation, and then declaring that to be an explanation. You’ve apparently managed to create a rather consistent view of the world for yourself, with little need or room for evidence or re-evaluation.

  • ET

    For me it’s not even the hardware or the games so much, it’s the UI. Want to lay down using it, now you can with pass through but every time you want a different app it puts the window back down, heck you can’t even sit back properly. I know it isn’t metas fault but the lack of apps also. If they want people to get into a habit it’s gotta feel good to use when I’m done gaming. Make it link with my phone so my passwords sync, pay whoever whatever so I can just keep using it after I’m sick of gaming. I’m wondering if eye tracking would help my criticism of the UI.

    A new bug is also the inability to transfer large files to the quest. With no video store to speak of and now it’s hard to transfer movies, it makes it something I dip in and out of and just find myself on my phone instead

  • Mike

    Aa a Varjo Aero user (and Mac and iPhone) I only want better, so Vision Pro is natural step for me. I would like to downgrade (in terms of quality) to Quest 3. Media consuption – there is nothing close to Vision Pro and 3.5k is not a lot for Superb VR experience, and just add to it Macbook Pro performance.. Cmon, Meta :) We are waiting.