VR Wars: Meta vs Google

Vision Pro surpass expectations, VisionOS 1.1 Release Candidate, Beat Saber founders step down and more

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The question on everyone’s mind right now is, if the Vision Pro is the iPhone of VR, then who is the Android? Is it Meta, or is it Android themselves? (Google and Samsung are currently working together on a Vision Pro competitor.) Or, will Meta and Android join hands to take down Apple together? Last week, we got the answer to that last question.

 Joel Johnson, Founder & Chief Editor

Headlines for people in a hurry:

  • 📈 Apple Vision Pro Sales Surpass Expectations

  • 🙏 Google Tried To Convince Meta To Join Its Android XR Platform

  • 📅 VisionOS 1.1 Release Candidate Ready: Public Release Very Soon

  • 👨‍💼 Beat Saber CEO & Co-Founders Resign From Company

Read time: 3 minutes

TOP STORIES

BY THE NUMBERS

Vision Pro Sales Slowing But Still A Bigger Success Than Expected

Every VR enthusiast, investor, developer, and founder was biting their nails during the Vision Pro launch, eagerly waiting to see the public reaction. If Apple themselves couldn’t convince people to try VR, then it would’ve almost been a death sentence for the mainstream adoption of the technology.

A month has passed since the awaited launch, and some numbers have surfaced. Some good numbers I might add, from trusted Apple supply chain analyst Ming-Chi-Kuo.

Despite a slowdown in sales, the Vision Pro continues to exceed initial expectations, with estimated shipments ranging from 200,000 to 250,000 units. This performance is notable given the Vision Pro's high price point and niche market positioning. Kuo highlights that while U.S. sales have decelerated, the demand remains robust, prompting Apple to increase production targets to 700,000 to 800,000 units to meet the unexpected demand.

If those sales numbers are met, Apple would make at least $2.4 billion in revenue on the low end. That’s really amazing figures for an expensive Gen 1 product.

The Vision Pro's market dynamics are intriguing. Initially, the device sold out due to early adopter enthusiasm, but demand has since moderated. Kuo suggests that unless Apple introduces price cuts or more compelling applications, U.S. market growth may remain limited. However, the global release of Vision Pro, expected before the next Worldwide Developers Conference in June 2024, could open new avenues for sales.

The Vision Pro's return rate is notably low at less than 1%, with a portion of returns attributed to users' unfamiliarity with setting up the device. This insight suggests a high level of satisfaction among those who keep the device, underscoring its appeal to its target market.

META

Meta Says “No Thank You” To Google’s Android XR Invitation.

Imagine that you’ve invited the cool kids to your party, and they refuse your call. But once they heard that the party was epic, they came crawling back, trying to steal your thunder. No, I’m not venting my childhood anger, this is what’s happening to Meta. This is the beginning of the VR wars!

Google has reached out to Meta with a proposition that has since ignited a firestorm of debate. Google proposed that Meta "contribute to" the development of Android XR, Google's ambitious platform aimed at unifying the fragmented XR space. Meta's CTO, Andrew Bosworth, gave a dramatic rebuff in response.

Bosworth, laced with a palpable sense of irony and frustration, highlighted the paradox in Google's approach. "After years of absence in the XR space, Google now wants us to join their platform on their terms," Bosworth remarked, underscoring the audacity of Google's request. He continued, "They accuse us of fragmenting the XR space, yet it's their late entry that's causing the rift."

Just like the smartphone industry has two major players—Apple and Android—industry experts believe that there is only room for two major players in XR. If it keeps fragmenting at this early stage, it’s bad for the growth of the industry as developers will find it difficult to build apps for all 3 platforms. So who will be the Android of XR: Meta or Google? And who will be the Blackberry of XR?

Meta, having invested over seven years in developing its Quest operating system based on the open-source version of Android (AOSP), was not about to cede ground to Google's late-to-the-party initiative. Bosworth's pointed critique went further, inviting Google to bring its apps and the Play Store to the Quest platform instead, lambasting Google's proposed terms as overly restrictive. "These terms limit our ability to innovate and build better experiences for users and developers alike," Bosworth argued, laying bare the tension between the two tech giants.

VISION PRO

Better Personas, Less Bugs! The visionOS 1.1 Update Is Ready

Courtesy: M1 Astra

Say goodbye to creepy avatars as Apple's new update is ready to fix them, well at least to an extent. Apple has launched the release candidate version of the upcoming visionOS 1.1 update to developers, signaling an imminent public release.

No habla developer lingo? A release candidate is a version of a product that is almost ready to be made available to the public unless some significant bugs emerge. The visionOS 1.1 beta was already released for developers a few weeks ago.

Bloomberg’s Mark Gurman says, ”So far, visionOS 1.1 is a dramatic improvement. Personas look far more realistic, bugs feel far less frequent, and Mac external display feels crisper. This is the OS that should have shipped originally.”

Here’s what to expect:

  • Adds an option to enroll your Persona hands-free

  • Improves hair, makeup appearance, neck, and mouth representation.

  • Improves rendering of the eyes for EyeSight

  • Better connectivity for the Mac

  • Enables account-driven device and user enrollment using Managed Apple IDs.

  • Support for device configuration (Wi-Fi, VPN, email accounts, single sign-on, and more).

  • Support for deploying apps in volume including iPhone and iPad compatible apps, visionOS apps included in a Universal purchase, and proprietary in-house visionOS apps.

NEWS FLASH

HONDA

No More Motion Sickness? Honda Unveils An XR Mobility Device

  • 🚗 Honda's XR Mobility Experience: Honda unveils the Uni-One, a personal mobility device for VR, promising an end to motion sickness with body movement control.

  • 🎵 Beat Saber Co-Founders Depart: The remaining co-founders of Beat Saber, including the CEO and creative director, step down from Beat Games to pursue new projects.

  • 🕶️ Meta's AR Glasses 'Orion': Meta is reportedly set to unveil its prototype AR glasses, Orion, at Connect 2024, marking a significant step in AR development.

  • 🍏 Apple's VisionDevCamp: Apple hosts VisionDevCamp, connecting developers and experts to create content for Vision Pro and visionOS.

  • 🎮 Dungeon Full Dive Goes Free: The VR tabletop RPG toolkit, Dungeon Full Dive, will soon be free for players, with a $50 version for game masters.

  • 🎧 Beat Saber's Daft Punk DLC: Beat Saber announces a Daft Punk music pack, adding iconic tracks to the game on March 7.

  • 👻 Ghosts of Tabor Update: The latest update for Ghosts of Tabor introduces a new map, boss, and weapons, deepening the underground adventure.

  • ⚔️ Asgard's Wrath 2 Cosmic Event: The third Cosmic Event, "Bloodsuckers," brings new challenges and rewards to Asgard's Wrath 2, featuring a vampire horde.

  • 📺 Neuromancer Series on Apple TV: Apple orders a 10-part TV drama based on the cyberpunk novel "Neuromancer," which is based on virtual reality tech.

  • Doublepoint on Pixel Watch 2: Doublepoint's gesture control technology for XR devices is now available on Google Pixel Watch 2, enhancing wearable interactions.

BOOKMARKS

Immersive Articles From The Web

  • California Groom Records Part of His Wedding While Wearing Apple Vision Pro Goggles

  • VR Fitness as a Lifesaver: Heart Patient Owes Recovery to a VR App

  • I Worked Exclusively in Vision Pro for a Week: Here’s How It Went

  • Neuromancer TV Show and Its Potential VR Impact

  • PCVR Game Releases March 2024

  • PSVR 2 Game Releases March 2024

  • Meta Quest Game Releases March 2024

PUBLIC SERVICE ANNOUNCEMENT

⚠️ Meta Will Delete All Oculus Accounts By Mar 29

If you’re still using a legacy Oculus account, you have to migrate to a Meta account by the end of the month.

If you don’t, you'll lose all purchased apps, games, and DLCs as well as friends, achievements, and other account data by March 29.

PS. If your first Quest headset asked you to create an account via Instagram or Facebook, you don’t need to worry about all this. That’s a Meta account.

COOL APPS & PROJECTS

ART

Drawing In VR Made Easy

  • Gesture VR lets you draw in a private studio or beam models into your living room via mixed reality.

  • Try this ultra-realistic forest experience on your Quest

  • Style Studio for Vision Pro lets you design your dream kitchen in virtual reality.

  • Arcade Paradise VR brings 39 fully playable retro arcade machines directly into your living room.

  • New Vision Pro app brings faster typing by using the iPhone in your pocket

  • Avenged Sevenfold VR brings concerts Quest 3 & Vision Pro.

  • Across the Valley lets you raise cute piglets in virtual reality.

UNREAL MONEY

FUNDING REPORT

MOONHUB Raises $1.4 Million

MOONHUB, a leading virtual reality (VR) training platform, has announced a significant investment of $1.4 million, led by Danish VC Unconventional Ventures. This latest funding round elevates the company's total funding to $4.5 million. The investment will fuel MOONHUB's product development and facilitate its expansion into new markets.

Launched in 2016, MOONHUB aims to revolutionize learning and development through immersive VR learning experiences. Its patented “Spot and Jot” technology and CPD-accredited programs span various sectors, including facilities management, security, and social care, offering a hands-on learning environment that is secure, cost-effective, and minimizes reliance on physical resources.

Notable companies such as Just Eat, BNP Paribas, Amazon, Zurich, Warner Brothers, and Anglian Care have partnered with MOONHUB to support their global workforces. MOONHUB’s technology streamlines remote training, offering flexibility and accessibility to employees across diverse locations.

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