Epic Games CEO and perpetual thorn-in-the-side of Apple, Tim Sweeney claims that Apple VR is a major threat to the future of virtual reality and the "metaverse" as touted by companies like Epic and Meta.
In an interview at GDC 2023, Sweeney told GamesIndustry.biz that Apple will "either try to crush the metaverse, or extract all the profit from it. One or the other."
With Apple VR reportedly looming on the horizon and an announcement likely at WWDC 2023, Sweeney slammed the company over its current policies such as prohibiting competing browser engines on iOS 16 and Apple's best iPhones, and said that Apple could do the same thing in the metaverse. "...so [they] can say, 'you must use Apple's limited metaverse engine, you can't build your own, you can't use Unreal.' They could just amend all the platform's rules tomorrow to kill everything everybody is doing, and that's why we need really robust antitrust [laws]. And that's why we're fighting this so hard."
Apple and the metaverse
Apple as a company has already stated it has zero interest in "the metaverse" as a concept, with Apple VP Greg Joswiak stating the term is a word he'll never use. However, Sweeney says it's "happening for real" and is "growing exponentially" such that he believes it will have "several billion by the end of the decade."
On one redeeming note, Sweeney did state that attaching things like NFTs to the metaverse was "baloney."
Apple VR is expected to be a $3,000 headset with a focus on video conferencing, education, and mixed-reality experiences. It will reportedly feature two micro-LED 4K displays, as well as numerous cameras for tracking your eyes and body movements. It's expected to be made from a mixture of glass, aluminum, and other lightweight premium materials and to feature an external battery pack.
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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