Apple's movie store now lists 3D support on some titles.
When introducing Vision Pro at the WWDC event in June, Apple confirmed that its visionOS will support playing 3D versions of movies on a giant virtual screen. You can choose between your real room (optionally darkened) or a virtual environment.
Avatar: The Way of Water was the only supported 3D title confirmed by Apple at WWDC, but FlatpanelsHD spotted that as of this week 19 movies in the Apple TV app list "3D" support with an Apple Vision Pro logo.
Those currently titles apparently are:
- 47 Ronin
- Cirque Du Soleil: Worlds Away
- Hansel and Gretel Witch Hunters
- Jurassic World Dominion
- Kung Fu Panda 3
- Mortal Engines
- Pacific Rim Uprising
- Tad the Lost Explorer and the Secret of King Midas
- The Boss Baby: Family Business
- The Little Princess
- The Nut Job 2: Nutty by Nature
- The Secret Life of Pets 2
- Trolls World Tour
Avatar: The Way of Water isn't currently listed, suggesting Apple plans to add more titles as the Vision Pro launch approaches.
It's unclear whether 3D support will be included with existing rentals and purchases or require a separate higher priced purchase. We've reached out to Apple to ask about this and will update the article if we get a response.
Meta (then Facebook) used to offer 3D movie rental and purchase for US-based owners of Oculus Rift, Gear VR, and Oculus Go through an app called Oculus Video, but it shut down the service around the launch of Oculus Quest. It then partnered with Fandango to launch a 3D movie service for Quest but that too was shut down, earlier this year.
Currently the only legal way to rent or buy 3D movies on Quest is through the third-party platform Bigscreen. Bigscreen is also available on SteamVR.
Some cinemas still show 3D versions of movies, but TV manufacturers stopped supporting it around 2016. Viewing 3D video content in head-mounted displays is a markedly better experience than using 3D glasses with a TV, though. You get a more pronounced sense of depth, less eyestrain, and higher brightness relative to the background. So could XR headsets eventually revive 3D in the home?
Potentially, but there is a major issue that will need to be overcome first: comfort. Some early testers of Vision Pro have reportedly found it "too heavy" to be comfortable for this kind of extended use - a potential concern we also noted in our brief hands-on impressions.
The front-heavy feeling is also a problem with most other existing headsets, to be clear. Meta and many third parties sell rigid replacement straps for Quest 2 and 3 with a counterweight to better distribute the weight across your head, for example. Apple appears to be trying to support its headset's weight with only a fabric headband, but the company may be considering selling a top strap.
Making the headset lighter and more comfortable is reportedly Apple's top priority for Vision Pro's successor.