Apple rumored to announce VR headset this spring

The company's new mixed reality headset is set to be announced later this spring at or ahead of Apple's annual Worldwide Developers Conference.


As reported by outlets like Bloomberg and CNBC, Apple plans to unveil its new virtual reality headset sometime later this spring either at or ahead of its Worldwide Developers Conference (WWDC23) in June. The headset, which focuses on providing more of a mixed reality experience as opposed to cut-and-dry VR, has been in development at Apple over the last seven years.

Plans to roll out the device first cropped up in 2020 before being pushed back to 2021, then into 2022. Most recently, Apple had allegedly intended to show off the headset in January of 2023 but as previously noted by the likes of Bloomberg and CNBC, this has since been pushed back to an unspecified date later this spring.

Photo of Apple's Tim Cook from WWDC22 with Cook on stage holding a microphone with a blurred crowd in the foreground
© Apple, WWDC22

While consumers will finally be able to get a closer look at Apple’s VR headset at or around the time of WWDC23, the company has already given a number of high-profile software developers a look at the device both for testing purposes and to help them “get started on third-party apps” as reported by Bloomberg. Additionally, Bloomberg mentions that the operating system for Apple’s VR headset will be publicly named xrOS, though it’s referred to as “Borealis” within the company.

A name for the device itself has yet to be shared though Bloomberg notes it’ll likely fall under the title Reality Pro. Given the amount of developmental effort Apple has been placing into its mixed reality headset, the company is also said to only have minor updates to announce for its other products this year including MacBooks, Apple Watch, Apple TV, and iPad.

While we wait to hear more about Apple’s headset, reportedly dubbed Reality Pro, we’ve got a wealth of other Apple-related coverage for you to read up on including how Apple Computer Inc.'s first trade sign is up for auction, and Apple announcing new user data protection features for iCloud and iMessage back in December.

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Morgan is a writer from the frozen wastelands of Maine who enjoys metal music, kpop, horror, and indie games. They're also a Tetris fanatic who's fiercely competitive in games like Tetris 99... and all games in general. But mostly Tetris. You can follow Morgan on Twitter @Author_MShaver.

From The Chatty
  • reply
    January 9, 2023 10:25 AM

    Morgan Shaver posted a new article, Apple rumored to announce VR headset this spring

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      January 9, 2023 10:42 AM

      Golden opportunity for them to lean in and own the "reality distortion field" joke we make about them

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      January 9, 2023 11:11 AM

      Maybe they’ll have better ideas for VR than a hyper-monetized version of VRChat

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        January 9, 2023 11:21 AM

        Apple would never allow anything like VRChat, free UGC is anathema to them. I wouldn't be surprised if they create some sort of hyper-monetized Apple AR version, though.

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          January 9, 2023 12:15 PM

          using memoji of course

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          January 9, 2023 12:28 PM

          If they open it up to developers like all the other platforms there will be VRChat right there. Roblox is one of the top grossing games on the app store.

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            January 9, 2023 1:06 PM

            From some conversations I've had with the devs, I can't see them putting it on an Apple headset simply because of the fees Apple will charge. Not only will they be losing 30% of any VRC+ subscriptions right off the top, but Apple's monetization policies would take money from Individual creators as well and undermine the entire UGC marketplace they're trying to set up.

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              January 9, 2023 2:59 PM

              Meta also charges a similar cut and they're on there, no? Time will tell, but if the market is large enough the devs will come.

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      January 9, 2023 11:12 AM


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      January 9, 2023 11:24 AM

      I can't wait for millions of idiots to start yammering on about how Apple invented AR and VR. I am intrigued to see the tech, though, particularly since it sounds like their main focus is on the AR content. I'd love to see them get the ball rolling in innovation in that area.

      I personally hope they mostly stay out of VR, though. Their hatred of open standards would set VR back for years, kill innovation, and lead to a worse environment for consumers if they became a dominant player in the market.

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      January 9, 2023 12:11 PM

      If Apple can innovate the medium, I'll take what I can get. Seems like VR has really stagnated over the past couple years. HL:Alyx came out nearly three years ago and that still seems like the big "you gotta play this" game everybody talks about in regards to VR.

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        January 9, 2023 1:13 PM

        HL: Alyx is definitely the best single-player narrative shooter available in VR, hands-down, but there is still a ton of great content coming out for the platform.

        We could definitely use some more AAA titles, though, but I don't think Apple entering into the market will help with that. They've made it very clear that their headset is primarily going to be focused on AR, and unless the entire company culture has entirely changed I just can't see them putting any effort towards supporting anything other than small, mobile-style games.

        And that's even before you consider the fact that Apple well absolutely not go along with the open standards that have been established for the industry, making it even less likely that game developers will move their efforts towards Reality One. No matter how powerful the hardware is, why would you dedicate development resources to a game that can only be played on a $2000~ headset and can't be purchased by anyone currently in the VR ecosystem?

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          January 9, 2023 1:28 PM

          I think a drastic change is needed in VR right now rather than an incremental update. I don't think I'm expecting Apple to replace the current PCVR ecosystem but I'm expecting them to provide a unique experience that others may incrementally update on.

          My favorite VR game is still Stormland though, have there been any VR games to come out in the past few years that have an open world and freedom of traversal like that? Really just looking for a new VR game to play that isn't just a port of a 2D game, lol

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            January 9, 2023 1:44 PM

            I agree with you on pretty much everything you said. I'm not expecting Apple to do much to improve the state of PCVR gaming with their headset specifically, but I fully expect the technology in it to give a swift kick in the ass to HMD makers. There is some really cool stuff coming out of CES this year, but most HMDs still seem iterative other than innovative; Apple could change that.

            And I have been waiting years for Stormland to go on sale because it looks like so much fun, but it never does :(. As far as open worlds and unique traversal, it's still slim pickings in VR at the moment but I'm hoping Behemoth delivers some Innovation on both fronts.

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              January 10, 2023 9:22 AM

              What innovations would move the medium forward? All I can think of is improving all the current things like miniaturization, FOV, full tracking of every single part of your body, etc.

              On the software/game side though, there’s room for massive changes I would think.

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      January 9, 2023 12:12 PM

      I'm curious about what they come up with

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      January 9, 2023 12:17 PM

      Apple's processors inside a VR headset would be fantastic for graphic fidelity and frame rates, given the mobile constraints.

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      January 9, 2023 12:29 PM

      curious to see what controllers they use. rumor is some fingertip thing but thats a bit hmm

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        January 9, 2023 1:14 PM

        Everything I've been reading makes it sound like there aren't going to be controllers since it's not designed for games. I imagine that most applications will either use voice control and hand tracking, which is reportedly best in class, or the expensive ring if they choose to sell that.

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      January 9, 2023 1:14 PM

      Every year.

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        January 9, 2023 8:51 PM

        yeah the apple rumor mill is so tired, I remember Steve cracked TV and we'd see an Apple-branded flat screen set any day

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      January 9, 2023 1:32 PM

      Thought they were gunna do AR. Though I guess if they can pipe in a video feed well enough they could still do it.

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        January 9, 2023 3:01 PM

        Yeah I need my cyberpunk sunglasses to augment my world, not a bulky VR headset.

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        January 9, 2023 3:28 PM

        The headset, which focuses on providing more of a mixed reality experience as opposed to cut-and-dry VR, has been in development at Apple over the last seven years.

        sounds like it still is AR (mostly?)

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          January 9, 2023 3:30 PM

          Full color passthrough mixed reality is what it sounds like.

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            January 9, 2023 7:43 PM

            From what I've read, it sounds like that is gonna be their stopgap approach until smaller form factors for dedicated AR glasses become possible. That's part of why I'm confused by some of the VR enthusiast crowds getting so excited about the headset; the tech will undoubtedly be awesome, but it's not designed for VR gaming and VR is not Apple's focus at all based on their own statements.

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        January 10, 2023 3:19 AM

        They are, but it’s a completely different product and it’s behind their VR headset from a release standpoint

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      January 9, 2023 3:35 PM

      it will be nice to split the player base even more!

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      January 9, 2023 3:45 PM

      finally, a cheap alternative

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      January 9, 2023 8:46 PM

      The problem with VR is it's only popular with the following groups:

      Those willing to move their bodies during their free time.
      Those who have the space to enjoy the experience.
      Those who have rigs powerful enough to run games (unless you are using a wireless headset or PSVR).

      If you are all 3, then VR is perfect for you. Unfortunately, I'm highly skeptical that it's anything but a small portion of the gaming community.

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      January 9, 2023 8:50 PM


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