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In context: The Apple Vision Pro launches tomorrow, February 2. The company claims the device will have over a million apps at launch. Of course, that's because the Vision Pro is compatible with iOS and iPadOS.
The bad news is that these already available games and utilities can't take real advantage of the Vision Pro's spatial capabilities. The headset will primarily display them on a large virtual screen rather than having unique mixed-reality functionality.
The good news is that Apple revealed it has more than 600 apps designed specifically for the Vision Pro, ready for tomorrow's launch. The programs will "take advantage of the unique and powerful capabilities" of the headset, meaning there should be a variety of unique experiences immediately available.
"Spatial experiences on Vision Pro can transform any room into a personal theater for sports, TV shows, and films; unlock new ways to collaborate, create, and view digital content; and transport users to stunning gameplay environments and exciting new places," Apple said in its press release.
Apple touts the Vision Pro's capabilities as a giant virtual television. Users can watch movies, shows, or sports on the equivalent of a 100-foot 4K display. While YouTube and Netflix have bowed out of the platform, Cupertino still has partnerships to bring TV entertainment to the device.
The no-brainer is Apple TV. However, the PGA and NBA have developed unique apps to entertain users. PGA Tour Vision is a golf app that allows fans to enjoy the Tour with real-time shot tracking. It also uses several overlays to provide course information, schedules, scorecards, and leaderboards.
"With Apple Vision Pro and the power of spatial computing, Apple is teeing us up to deliver an innovative and immersive way of experiencing professional golf," said PGA Tour's senior vice president of Digital Operations Scott Gutterman.
With Vision Pro's NBA app installed, basketball fans can watch up to five games on multiple screens in real-time or on demand. The software also provides similar 3D spatial overlays showing player and team stats.
Several other sports organizations have unique applications designed for Vision Pro, including MLB, MLS, ESPN, NBC Sports, Fox Sports, and the UFC. Add to that apps from cable collaborators like Comcast, Spectrum, Cox, Sling, Disney+, and Verizon Fios, and there will be no lack of television viewing. The hard part for users will be figuring out what content they want to pay for and how much it costs.
As for games, Resolution Games was one of the first developers to say it would have a mixed reality game for the Vision Pro – port of its popular board game Demeo – ready for launch. If that wasn't enough, the studio announced earlier this week that it has another app in production called "Game Room."
Game Room will be an Apple Arcade title, allowing Vision Pro players to play against others who only have an iPad or iPhone. The app bundles several well-known board and card games into one package, including Chess, Solitaire, Hearts, Yacht, and Sea Battle (Battleship knockoff). It plans to use Game Room as a Vision Pro platform for board games, promising to add more titles to the app over time.
Various utilities are also coming – most notably Microsoft 365 apps. There will also be unique software from project management tools like OmniFocus and OmniPlan to file and content management apps like Box and JigSpace. Developers designed these from the ground up to work with the Vision Pro and provide a futuristic virtual environment for collaboration or performing work-related tasks.