Home Top 10 For Vision Pro to succeed ‘Immersive Video’ must be the norm, not a rare teaser

For Vision Pro to succeed ‘Immersive Video’ must be the norm, not a rare teaser

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For Vision Pro to succeed ‘Immersive Video’ must be the norm, not a rare teaser

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OPINION: New Apple Vision Pro Immersive Video content arrives, but it’s well overdue. It’s just a reminder of why you shouldn’t buy one yet.

Apple is finally launching more of the Vision Pro’s signature Immersive Video content, this time focused on the Major League Soccer playoffs, specifically five minutes of highlights from the 2023 MLS Cup.

The 180-degree 8K 3D virtual reality video, complete with spatial audio is one of the most impressive capabilities of the $3,499 headset. However, thus far, there’s very little of it to enjoy. This, for example, is the first sports film to launch – joining a couple of wildlife/adventure shorts – since the launch two months ago.

Unfortunately, this one’s short too. It’s just five minutes long and features footage from last season’s games. While it’s likely to be a technical marvel offering a genuinely wowing experience, it’s really not enough. And, right now, it’s an argument against buying the Vision Pro.

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When I sampled the Vision Pro in-store demo in February, the highlight was the Immersive Video content that was undoubtedly the most realistic VR experience I’d…erm… experienced. But there wasn’t a lot of it. A short, few minutes with clips from MLS games (which I presume will be repeated here), MLB games and some wicked wildlife clips.

For this to be a reason to buy the Vision Pro there needs to a large library of this content. Not just technical demonstrations that have diminishing returns each time you watch.

Apple has to up the ante here. The true value in the Vision Pro experience will be in being able to watch these MLS and MLB games (it has the rights to stream) in the Immersive Video format live. At the very least, they need to be full games, available on demand soon after the game, not a five minute showcase offering choice snippets.

Wearers paying three and a half grand for a Vision Pro should be able to feel like they’re in the stands – they almost need to be able to smell the beer flying in the air when the goals go in, as the spatial audio recordings giving you the impression you’re celebrating goals with tens of thousands of other supporters.

The short snippets of Immersive Video can trick your brain into believing you’re viewing the scene with your own eyes. This was the case during the in-store demo, where some of my experiences included:

  • “The singer was strikingly attractive and it made my heart jump a beat for a second, until my brain clicked that she wasn’t right in front of me, serenading me.
  • “There’s an incredible clip of a goal as viewed if you were sat in a prime spot behind the goal.”
  • “There was a tightrope walker (don’t look down), incredible vistas of landscapes and cityscapes, and finally a bear entering a crystal-clear lake to close the experience. I looked down and expected to see my feet.”

But this demo of Immersive Video lasted just a couple of minutes.

There needs to be more of this. Much more of it. We don’t yet have much of an idea of what goes into shooting and editing this Immersive Video content, but Apple should have been gathering as much of it as humanly possible in the time it has been prepping Vision Pro, and should have creating it non-stop ever sense.

There is a sense that the first consumer version of the Vision Pro is still more of a proof of concept priming the future audince for what to expect, rather than a fleshed out model of what the category will become.

Until this content IS the experience, rather than a teaser of what’s possible then it’s impossible to recommend spending so much money on the Vision Pro.

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