The spatial computing era may be upon us, but when the price of entry is an eye-watering $3,500, I’d rather stay out in the cold.
The Apple Vision Pro looks like an incredible piece of kit, no doubt. Yet when my $550 PSVR2 can barely grab my attention, the mixed reality headset has zero chance of crowbarring open my wallet.
Based on our Apple Vison Pro hands-on time at WWDC 2023, there’s actually a lot that intrigues me about the spatial computing headset. VR dinosaurs! A super intuitive interface! Advanced eye and hand-tracking!
The fact it also blocks out any ambient light around you via a customizable Light Seal to give you the most comfortable and immersive experience possible is another feature I admire. Compare and contrast to the primitive halo ring on PSVR 2 — which feels like strapping your cranium into a vice — and Apple once again shows why it’s the master of elegant hardware design.
Apple’s first-gen product is clearly targeting developers and software designers over your average tech enthusiast, which at least gives clarity to that price tag. And as my colleague Henry Casey writes, if Apple ever decides to allow people to rent the Vision Pro, I’ll be at the front of the queue. Even as someone who’s no stranger to shelling out hideous amounts of cash on tech, though — my 77-inch LG C2 OLED cost me over $4,500 last year — the price of the Vision Pro still turns my stomach.
Considering you could buy six PSVR 2 headsets and still have 20 bucks left over to treat yourself to a couple of beers, the prospect of me buying the Vision Pro is a complete non-starter. This is coming from someone who barely uses the lone PSVR 2 he owns, too.
The fact my PSVR 2 has seen less use than a decade-old Nintendo 3DS I bought off eBay back in January is pretty embarrassing, but it’s not the headset’s fault.
Sony’s VR gizmo fixed every issue I had with the original PSVR. It cut down on cables, it got a big resolution bump and it even supports HDR. It’s lightyears ahead of the cumbersome OG headset Sony launched in 2016.
The only reason I ever want to use a VR headset is to play games. That doesn’t seem to be a priority for Apple with the Vision Pro. Even if it was, it’s unlikely the Pro would give me gaming experiences to match the incredible Gran Turismo 7 in VR. Nor do I expect Apple will ever shiver my spine quite like playing Resident Evil Village on the PSVR 2. Yet despite these memorable trysts with Sony’s headset, it’s still the most underused piece of tech I own.
And I fully blame Bear for that. My 15-month-old husky basically reduces the window I have to play with a VR headset to a couple of hours I get to myself after I put him to bed at 10 p.m. every night. Turns out, excitable pups and vision-blocking headsets aren’t the best bedfellows. Who’d have thunk it?
If I don’t trust my dog not to wreck my apartment and/or $550 PSVR2, there’s no way I’m wearing a $3,500 headset around my pooch.
I may love the idea of the Apple Vision Pro’s twin 4K displays, but my doggo has killed any chance of my eyeballs being aroused by them.
Come to think of it, my tattered bank balance should probably be thanking Bear for obliterating my Vision Pro fantasies before they fully form. Good dog!