Two high-profile Vision Pro rivals could launch this year from Sony and Samsung

Apple Vision Pro on table
(Image credit: Future)

Apple Vision Pro may still be getting all the attention (for good and bad reasons) at the moment, but it looks like we’re not done with high-profile XR releases for 2024.

According to the Korean Economic Daily, Samsung’s XR headset is set to launch “within the year,” and it won’t be the only one. The piece adds that Sony’s XR headset, made with Siemens, is due “in the second half of the year.”

Neither Samsung nor Sony are complete strangers to the world of virtual reality. Sony has two generations of PSVR under its belt, and between 2015 and 2017, Samsung experimented with Gear VR — a headset mount that allowed certain Galaxy S models to display virtual reality content.

Both of these were undoubtedly more focused on immersive experiences and gaming rather than the mixed reality productivity functionality that Apple has made the selling point of the Vision Pro, of course. 

But with both of these two newcomers tagged as XR (extended reality) rather than VR, it seems that we’re looking at genuine competitors to Apple’s vision of spatial computing.

Taking the fight to Apple

The Sony headset was revealed during Sony’s CES 2024 presentation. Looking like a stripped-back PSVR 2, it’s aimed at “spatial content creation” and will come with “4K OLED microdisplays” powered by the Snapdragon XR2+ Gen 2 chipset

From the video below, it seems that Siemens and Sony see it more for commercial use, but we shall have to wait and see.

The Samsung headset, meanwhile, we’ve known about for some time. Possibly to be christened “Samsung Infinite,” it’s a collaboration with Google and Qualcomm, also set to be powered by the Snapdragon XR2+ Gen 2 chipset with support for 4.3K resolution for each eye and output of up to 90 frames per second. 

Samsung will be hoping to target Vision Pro’s weak spots — comfort, battery life and price. For the latter, there’s talk of the company reaching the $1,000 sweet spot, which would put it at the same price point as the quickly discounted Meta Quest Pro, and more competitive with the $499 Quest 3.

That comparatively low price may yet make Meta the one to beat in the spatial computing race, however. Meta CEO and founder Mark Zuckerberg certainly thinks so: Earlier this week he published a video stating that, when compared to the Vision Pro, Meta Quest 3 is “the better product, period.”

Of course, the Quest does have a nearly five-year headstart on Vision Pro, and Apple is clearly set to refine the headset to smooth out its early teething problems even if insiders fear it may take four generations to find its “ideal form.” 

That being said, the main problem — price — may be tackled as soon as next year with a cheaper version.

Alan Martin

Freelance contributor Alan has been writing about tech for over a decade, covering phones, drones and everything in between. Previously Deputy Editor of tech site Alphr, his words are found all over the web and in the occasional magazine too. When not weighing up the pros and cons of the latest smartwatch, you'll probably find him tackling his ever-growing games backlog. Or, more likely, playing Spelunky for the millionth time.