Apple Vision Pro's reveal didn't feature a single VR game demo

VR games were noticeably absent from Apple's reveal of the Vision Pro AR headset.


After numerous leaks and reports, Apple finally pulled back the curtain on its augmented reality headset, the Vision Pro, during its WWDC 2023 keynote. During the reveal, Apple boasted the various uses of the Vision Pro, including photos and videos, movies, workspace organization, and more. However, there was no presence of AR or VR games during the extended look at the headset, raising more questions and concerns about Apple’s plans and motives in the space.

See the vision

A person playing NBA 2K23 on a Vision Pro.

Source: Apple

The Vision Pro, which uses augmented reality to project applications, images, and videos into the world around you, showed off a multitude of uses during its WWDC reveal. The entertainment segment primarily focused on film and television, as owners can use services like Apple TV+ and Disney+ to enjoy their favorite programs and immerse themselves in those worlds.

We actually do get a glimpse at a user playing video games on their Vision Pro — using the display to play NBA 2K while controlling the game with a PS5 DualSense controller. This was the full extent of video game-related content shown during the 10-minute reveal trailer for the Vision Pro. While the Vision Pro will let you project a display for your console games, it’s odd that Apple didn’t show off games specifically designed to be played in AR or VR

A VR arms race

Coming off the reveal of the Meta Quest 3 last week — another mixed reality headset — this would have been the perfect opportunity for Apple to show what was up its own sleeve in regard to gaming on its new HMD. Even if there aren’t any major titles ready to show off, having a VR mainstay like Beat Saber would have at least signaled to audiences that they can expect to have access to some popular VR/AR experiences on the devices.

It left us with even more questions about Apple’s commitment to gaming. If you’re a gamer looking to dip your toe into VR/AR, the Vision Pro didn’t do anything to move the needle. In fact, its hefty $3,499 price tag likely dissuaded people from even considering it as an option.

There was also a lot of speculation around the internet about the desire from publishers to want to put games on the Vision Pro. With the product’s expensive price making it a niche piece of technology, is it even worth it to invest resources and time into making games for it? Of course, Apple could flex its status as the world’s largest company and dump money into getting games made for the Vision Pro, but nothing from that reveal indicated that the tech giant will head in that direction.

Niche nonsense

A person sitting on a couch, wearing a Vision Pro.

Source: Apple

It’s possible that Apple simply doesn’t see the Vision Pro as the next competitor in the VR/AR gaming space, though that would feel like a miss given the company’s investment into mobile gaming. If Apple does plan to push gaming on the Vision Pro, not showing a single VR or AR game running on the device during the reveal is a head-scratching mistake. However you slice it, the Vision Pro reveal did not inspire confidence in Apple’s gaming pursuits.

News Editor

Donovan is a young journalist from Maryland, who likes to game. His oldest gaming memory is playing Pajama Sam on his mom's desktop during weekends. Pokémon Emerald, Halo 2, and the original Star Wars Battlefront 2 were some of the most influential titles in awakening his love for video games. After interning for Shacknews throughout college, Donovan graduated from Bowie State University in 2020 with a major in broadcast journalism and joined the team full-time. He is a huge Scream nerd and film fanatic that will talk with you about movies and games all day. You can follow him on twitter @Donimals_

From The Chatty
Hello, Meet Lola