Apple details Vision Pro features: are they worth the price tag?

After announcing that its Vision Pro augmented-reality headset will soon be available in the US, Apple has disclosed a number of experiences that every new buyer will get for $3499.

Vision Pro is Apple's most expensive bet since the launch of the iPhone more than a decade ago. The AR headset starts at $3,499, more than thrice as much as the priciest headset in Meta's line of mixed and virtual reality devices.

However, Apple has just detailed the entertainment features that will be available to the buyers of the new device, and it looks like they might be worth the hefty price tag.

At launch on February 2nd, the headset will feature 150 3D movies, immersive films and series, streaming services like Disney+ and Amazon Prime Video, a Travel Mode feature, and more. Obviously, content from Apple TV+ will also be available.

“With more pixels than a 4K TV for each eye, combined with an advanced Spatial Audio system, Vision Pro enables users to watch new shows and films from top streaming services,” says Apple’s press release.

On Vision Pro, users will be able to download and stream content from Disney+, ESPN, MLB, PGA Tour, Max, Discovery+, Amazon Prime Video, Paramount+, Peacock, Pluto TV, Tubi, Fubo, Crunchyroll, Red Bull TV, IMAX, TikTok, and MUBI.

Interestingly, Netflix is omitted from the list. But users will be able to watch online and streaming video using Safari and other browsers, and it’s rumored that the existing Netflix app will work unmodified on Vision Pro.

Users will be able to watch Avatar: The Way of Water, Dune, Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse, The Super Mario Bros., and more in 3D. Users who already own or purchase movies with a 3D edition on other Apple devices will be able to access that version on Vision Pro at no extra cost.

Apple calls the viewing experience on Vision Pro "unique." Courtesy of Apple.

Apple calls the viewing experience on Vision Pro unparalleled: “When a user begins watching a video, the lights around them automatically dim as the content moves closer to them.”

The Apple TV app – needed for using Vision Pro – also features the Cinema Environment, enabling viewers to transform any space into their personal theater. Users can even choose their favorite seat from the floor or balcony, and the front, middle, or back row.

There is also no need for a remote – users simply invoke controls with their eyes, hands, or voice.

The device supports two hours of general use, up to 2.5 hours for video playback, and all-day use when the external battery is connected to power with a USB-C charging cable, Apple said.

Preorders for the $3,500 headset open on January 19th. The new Vision Pro App Store will feature “more than 1 million” compatible iOS and iPadOS apps at launch.

It remains to be seen whether 3D will finally take off outside movie theaters. However, Vision Pro seems a great vehicle for the tech to explode. It won’t happen all at once, though – some analysts say that Apple will only produce 60,000 to 80,000 units of Vision Pro for the February 2nd launch day.

Apple’s new headset is considered to be the tech giant’s riskiest and biggest bet since it first introduced the iPhone more than a decade ago. Critics say it’s too expensive, but others retort that Vision Pro can shoot AR into the mainstream.

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