Apple's upcoming AR headset may limit users to short bursts

Tim Cook
(Image credit: Apple)

Apple has been openly working on what will likely be an incredibly interesting and expensive VR headset for a while now. It’s said to be standalone, perhaps a bit like the very popular Oculus Quest 2, and we found out back in March 2021 that it was going to be incredibly light.

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(Image credit: Steelseries)

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A lightweight headset is a key part of making VR viable in its current form. If you can’t wear the thing for long enough to play a game, there’s not really much point. So this new tech got us pretty excited for long gaming sessions backed by something like Apple’s powerful M1 chip. It also definitely felt like an attempt to step into Augmented Reality, rather than or perhaps as well as virtual, and at least we weren’t wrong on that front.

According to WCCFTech, despite the lightweight design, Apple is actually not trying to make headsets for long-term use. Dreams of escaping to a meta-world in a headset under 150 grams be dashed, because Apple is actually aiming for basically the opposite. 

Apple is creating devices it hopes users will use in small, purposeful bursts, rather than constant mindless drifting. Apple CEO Tim Cook had previously told WCCFTech that he had concerns over how the company’s creations were being used for endless scrolling, as opposed to creativity and other endeavours. He’s probably not wrong on that front, but we all need a little doom scrolling in 2022. 

The implication is that there may be restrictions in place for using Apple AR or VR headsets for long periods of time, or that they’re just plain not designed to do it. Given what we know about these headsets, reports suggest they’re going to cost anywhere from $1,000 to $3,000 USD. At that price, I’m not exactly sure I want a headset that won’t let me get through a full game, even if it is at the expense of my creativity. 

But Apple do have a way of making weird decisions like this work out sometimes. Hopefully we'll get to learn more about the upcoming Apple headsets soon. 

Hope Corrigan
Hardware Writer

Hope’s been writing about games for about a decade, starting out way back when on the Australian Nintendo fan site Since then, she’s talked far too much about games and tech for publications such as Techlife, Byteside, IGN, and GameSpot. Of course there’s also here at PC Gamer, where she gets to indulge her inner hardware nerd with news and reviews. You can usually find Hope fawning over some art, tech, or likely a wonderful combination of them both and where relevant she’ll share them with you here. When she’s not writing about the amazing creations of others, she’s working on what she hopes will one day be her own. You can find her fictional chill out ambient far future sci-fi radio show/album/listening experience podcast right here.

No, she’s not kidding.