The Apple Vision Pro headset will likely serve up live sports out of the gate, given NBA bosses have hinted basketball could be a major part of the proposition.
The $3,499 visionOS headset, due out in early 2024, could feature NBA games in virtual reality (at the very least) right out of the gate. Word comes directly from the NBA commissioner Adam Silver who says the organisation is in talks with Apple over bringing NBA content to the ecosystem.
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“We’re working very closely with Apple,” Silver told the New York Post when asked about potential integration with the forthcoming Apple VR/AR headset. That is the only quote, so not much to go on.
However, the NBA has traditionally been way ahead of the other US sports leagues when it comes to tech advancements. Whether Silver’s proclamation means the NBA would seek to expand its VR offerings for the Apple headset, or whether there’ll be some additional sauce for those willing to splash out remains to be seen.
Currently, live NBA games are available in VR on the Meta’s Quest headsets via the Horizons app. However, the Apple Vision Pro device, on paper, raises the potential of AR experiences where watching an NBA game live could be transformed using the headset – whether watching on TV or in person.
The quote could also be somewhat of a misnomer. During WWDC last month Apple revealed there’ll be an NBA game available on the headset via Apple Arcade.
“In addition to watching movies, you can play your favourite Apple Arcade games like NBA 2k 23 on a screen as large as you want,” En Kelly, an Apple senior engineering program manager, said during the annual showcase. “With incredible audio and game controller support, there will be over 100 arcade titles available for you to play on day one.”
We’ll see what manifests within the next six months, but whatever Apple and the NBA are cooking up could set the tone for the third-party experiences that make Vision Pro unique.