Report: Apple's VR headset will be standalone device, but not focused on gaming

Apple Vr
Apple Vr (Image credit: The Information)

What you need to know

  • A new report reiterates that Apple VR is a standalone device.
  • The Information states it will have 14 cameras for tracking users' faces.
  • It will also not be a gaming-focused product.

A new report claims that Apple's VR headset is indeed a standalone device but isn't focused on gaming.

From The Information (opens in new tab):

Apple's executives had a critical design decision to make about the company's riskiest product in years. It was 2019, and a growing team of Apple engineers had been working for more than three years on a headset that combined augmented and virtual reality capabilities. Now they had to figure out whether the mixed-reality headset would be a stand-alone device or would require a powerful base station to produce the dazzling digital imagery Apple envisioned for it.

The report says the standalone device had much lower-quality visual performance, but that the executive team sided with Jony Ive, who favored a standalone Apple VR headset over one that required a base station.

Wayne Ma says that Jony Ive continues to consult with Apple on its headset and that he continues to work on aspects including where the battery is placed.

Ma's report reiterates previous information stating the headset will have 14 cameras to track users' facial expressions to help create accurate digital avatars to represent them. According to the report, the headset has been criticized internally for "its lack of focus on gaming", and that Apple isn't developing game controllers for the device.

Apple VR is expected next year but could be announced before 2022 is over. The first half of Ma' report from earlier this week revealed Apple VR was supposed to come out in 2019 and that the very earliest prototypes ran Windows.

Stephen Warwick
News Editor

Stephen Warwick has written about Apple for five years at iMore and previously elsewhere. He covers all of iMore's latest breaking news regarding all of Apple's products and services, both hardware and software. Stephen has interviewed industry experts in a range of fields including finance, litigation, security, and more. He also specializes in curating and reviewing audio hardware and has experience beyond journalism in sound engineering, production, and design.

Before becoming a writer Stephen studied Ancient History at University and also worked at Apple for more than two years. Stephen is also a host on the iMore show, a weekly podcast recorded live that discusses the latest in breaking Apple news, as well as featuring fun trivia about all things Apple. Follow him on Twitter @stephenwarwick9