Sunday, July 14, 2024
VR&AR

The rivalry between Apple’s Vision Pro and Meta’s Quest 3 is heating up


Key Takeaways

  • Meta and Apple have sparked a VR war.
  • Consumers might benefit from this competition.
  • The price difference gives Meta an edge over Apple, but Apple has faced that disadvantage before.


With Xbox and PlayStation both offering what used to be exclusive titles on other platforms (even on competing consoles), it feels like the “console wars” are officially over. Or, at least they have turned into more of a cold war than a battle where one company is actively taking shots.

For those who thought that, if nothing else, the console wars offered a reason for both companies to put out the absolute best products possible, there may be some good news. A new version of the console wars might be starting up between Meta and Apple. Only instead of this battle being fought between video game consoles, the war is located in the world of virtual reality.

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Consumers could be the ultimate victors

Apple Vision Pro Eras Tour-2-1


For now, it’s fair to say that the “war” between Apple’s Vision Pro and Meta’s Quest 3 has also been cold. In fact, before this month, there wasn’t any kind of real conflict at all. The two headsets offered such different software and features outside of AR/VR that the two devices co-existed quite well.

And then, in a twist of events, the landscape changed. The first public shot in this ‘war’ was fired by Meta when Logitech unveiled the MX Ink. This virtual reality stylus, showcased in all its glory, hints at the Quest 3’s potential to transcend its role as a mere entertainment device. It could revolutionize the way designers and artists work. This move by Meta was unexpected, as there was no prior indication of their interest in the Quest 3’s potential beyond gaming, workouts, or movie-watching.

This move by Meta was unexpected, as there was no prior indication of their interest in the Quest 3’s potential beyond gaming, workouts, or movie-watching.


The fact that the MX Ink costs just $10 more than the Apple Pencil Pro is almost certainly a coincidence, but it also feels like a shot across the bow. It’s an affordable tool that does nearly everything the Apple Pencil Pro is capable of, but on Meta’s VR platform.

Apple Vision Pro

Apple Vision Pro

Brand
Apple

Resolution (per eye)
3660 x 3200 per eye

Apple doesn’t appear ready to announce a similar partnership, despite the fact that the Vision Pro has been billed as a “professional” VR headset that can also play games and allow users to watch movies. And yet, Apple is caught flat-footed in this area. It feels like if something similar was coming for the Vision Pro, it would have been announced at WWDC in early June.

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The Vision Pro is preparing its answer

Price disparity has offered Meta edge

meta quest 3 with purple highlights


Recent reports indicate that Apple’s Vision Pro 2 will be significantly cheaper than the original’s $3,500 price tag. While the Cupertino company hasn’t confirmed this, several reports state that the tech giant’s next VR headset could cost about $1,600).

Those reports were obviously not a direct response to Meta Quest 3’s foray into a more professional-focused approach to VR, but it still looks like a sign that a real fight is brewing between the two companies.

It still looks like a sign that a real fight is brewing between the two companies.

After all, even if Apple cuts the price of the Vision 2 down to about the same as a MacBook or iPad, it would still cost roughly $1,000 more than the Meta Quest 3. Of course, most iPhones are more expensive than their Android counterparts and yet, Google and Apple are definitely considered by most to be still locked in a bitter smartphone rivalry.


Meta Quest 3

Meta Quest 3

Meta Quest 3 has improved visuals and comfort as well as the promise of colour passthrough and mixed reality experiences too. 

Brand
Meta

Resolution (per eye)
2,064 by 2,208 pixels per eye

If a real VR war is breaking out between the two companies, the winner will likely be the consumer. Further, as both headsets offer more features and become cheaper, adoption rates are almost certainly going to increase. That in turn could lead to even more innovation and better products in the space. In other words, just like the console wars, neither company needs to be the winner in order for us to savor victory.

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