Apple Vision Pro settles into its entertainment-viewing niche as Marvel and Disney announce an immersive 'What If...?' AR experience

Apple Vision Pro.
(Image credit: Brady Snyder / Future)

The Apple Vision Pro launched to great fanfare back in February of this year and we immediately saw people sharing the cool ways that they were using their new spatial computer to do all kinds of things. They were playing games, getting work done, and generally having a good time. But there was one key aspect of the Apple Vision Pro and visionOS experience that everyone agreed on — it was great for watching movies and TV shows.

Being able to kick back and relax — as much as you can with a headset strapped to your forehead — and watch content on a huge cinema-like virtual display in the comfort of your home is a killer feature. A killer app, if you like. And the fun that someone can have doing such a thing should not be underestimated. Is it enough to drive sales for a device that costs $3,499 on the low end? Probably not, but as I've said before, this headset isn't the end game, it's just the beginning.

One thing that has become increasingly clear as the shine starts to dull on Apple Vision Pros across the United States, however, is that content consumption is the one thing that keeps people coming back. Headsets have found their way into desk drawers everywhere, and the days of people walking around their homes marveling at the pass-through experience are long gone. 

But those times when the dust is blown off and the headset strapped on? It's when people watch movies. And that's perhaps at the heart of a new Disney Plus announcement that brings the popular 'What If...?' Marvel show to the Apple Vision Pro in a whole new "immersive story" kinda way.

AR content for all

Disney announced the news via a press release which went big on immersion. 

"Fans will be invited to step inside the Multiverse like never before and have the chance to dive into an immersive, narrative-driven and innovative story in mixed reality," it explained, adding that "now, fans have been chosen to step into the leading role of an all-new immersive story that transforms the space around them as they traverse across realities." 

The press rleease goes on to say that "throughout their journey, [viewers] will come face-to-face with Multiversal variants of their favorite characters, learn the mystic arts, and be tasked with harnessing the power of the Infinity Stones."

Disney What If on Apple Vision Pro

(Image credit: Disney)

Immersion is very much the order of the day here, and it's no surprise that Disney is the company that's going all-in on Apple Vision Pro. Netflix might have chosen to give the headset a wide berth, but Disney is very much of a different opinion, as the press release is keen to stress.

"Utilizing the revolutionary spatial computing capabilities of Apple Vision Pro, What If…? – An Immersive Story will deliver a technologically advanced and engaging experience to fans," Disney says. 

"They will cross between augmented and virtual reality as they live out their narrative adventure, interacting with the world around them by using their eyes and hands."

There's no denying that this all sounds pretty cool. Fans will be able to "step into breathtaking environments that place them in new and iconic MCU locations, and feel completely immersed with stunning visuals and spatial audio." It all sounds like exceptional fun. And that's exactly what it should be.

Cast your mind back to the iPad's launch and it was sold by Steve Jobs as a content consumption device first and foremost. Apple has been fighting to backtrack on that ever since. With the Apple Vision Pro, Apple has gone the opposite route and tried to sell its headset as a so-called spatial computer instead. When, in reality, it seems to be the iPad of 2024 — perfectly suited to enjoying a blockbuster movie or, in this case, bespoke content the likes of which you can't get anywhere else. And that's fine.

What's less fine is the fact only those in the U.S. of A. can enjoy it. That'll change soon enough. Let's hope that the asking price changes sooner rather than later, too.

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Oliver Haslam

Oliver Haslam has written about Apple and the wider technology business for more than a decade with bylines on How-To Geek, PC Mag, iDownloadBlog, and many more. He has also been published in print for Macworld, including cover stories. At iMore, Oliver is involved in daily news coverage and, not being short of opinions, has been known to 'explain' those thoughts in more detail, too. Having grown up using PCs and spending far too much money on graphics card and flashy RAM, Oliver switched to the Mac with a G5 iMac and hasn't looked back. Since then he's seen the growth of the smartphone world, backed by iPhone, and new product categories come and go. Current expertise includes iOS, macOS, streaming services, and pretty much anything that has a battery or plugs into a wall. Oliver also covers mobile gaming for iMore, with Apple Arcade a particular focus. He's been gaming since the Atari 2600 days and still struggles to comprehend the fact he can play console quality titles on his pocket computer.