Oculus founder Palmer Luckey says he saw an "earlier version" of the unannounced Apple headset.
"The Apple headset is very, very good," Luckey said. "I have not seen the final headset, but I have seen an earlier version of the headset and it is excellent. It is gonna be a huge deal."
The comments come from a May 4 Twitter Spaces interview, highlighted by Reddit user u/rogeressig, between Luckey and Peter Diamandis, Executive Chairman of non-profit organization XPRIZE. Luckey was fired from Facebook back in 2017 and went on to found defense company Anduril. At around the 1-hour mark in the talk, Diamandis asked Luckey how happy he is with the state of VR and what his expectations were for the upcoming Apple headset. Luckey went on to say that the headset will be expensive, which aligns with other reports indicating it could retail for up to $3000.
The latest reports suggest Apple could unveil the headset at its WWDC event next month. Reports suggest the headset is likely called the Apple Reality Pro, potentially featuring dual 4K OLED microdisplays, high resolution passthrough, eye and hand tracking, all powered by the M2 processor used in the latest Mac computers.
Luckey also indicated that Apple's strategy for marketing the headset will be to "make VR into something everybody wants before it's something that everybody can afford."
More than a week after his interview with Diamandis, Luckey tweeted: "The Apple headset is so good." Based on the tweet, UploadVR contacted Luckey to ask whether he was trolling or he'd actually tried the headset. He replied, without elaboration, with a gif based on the "why not both" meme. Luckey later linked the Reddit thread above to UploadVR, highlighting the earlier conversation which seemingly went unnoticed in media reports based solely on his tweet. We subsequently asked Luckey how long ago he tried the headset, and will update this piece if we get more details.
In the same May 4 interview with Diamandis, Luckey also talked about Meta's next headset and how it's likely much more compact, far more powerful, but also "much more affordable" compared with Apple's first headset.
You can listen to the full interview with Diamandis here or read a full transcript of Luckey's comments on the Apple headset, Quest 3 and the state of the VR below:
Diamandis: You know, Palmer, one of the questions I can’t help but ask you is: How happy are you with the state of VR? What’s your expectations on the upcoming Apple headset? Are we gonna get to what your vision was?
Luckey: The Apple headset is very, very good.
I have not seen the final headset, but I have seen an earlier version of the headset and it is excellent. It is gonna be a huge deal. It is gonna be expensive, but I think that they’re following a pretty smart strategy, which is to make VR into something everybody wants before it’s something that everybody can afford, which was kind of our position in the early days when we started Oculus.
The Oculus Rift was kind of a flagship headset. It was kinda setting the bar for what VR could be. In many ways, nobody’s even beaten the first Oculus Rift CV1 today in terms of ergonomic, lightweightness, a lot of the adjustability. I think that Apple’s gonna do a great job of that.
Meta is also coming out with a new headset this year. The Oculus Quest 3 is probably what they’re gonna call it, but it is a lot more compact. It’s a lot more powerful. It’s gonna be a really great headset as well, but it’s gonna be a much more affordable headset. It’s not gonna be on the extreme end of kind of showing what can be done in theory, but it’s gonna be a really good product.
As far as if I’m happy – look, yeah. I think that if I were still running things, things would be going faster and they’d be doing better. But everyone thinks that. Everyone thinks that if they were in charge, then, you know, whether it’s politics or agriculture or, tech, everyone imagines that they’d be the number one boss.
But I’m not. Mark Zuckerberg is. So given all of the challenges, he’s still investing heavily. He’s putting a lot of money into this. Apple’s putting a lot of money into this. I’m still confident that VR is kind of inevitably the final computing platform, barring some kind of telepathic Borg hive mine.