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  • Apple AR headset could cost consumers over $2,000

    At that price point, it better be mining BitCoins when I’m not wearing it.
    It has the processing power.
    If it was really this spec, it would be able to replace a laptop entirely for some but it sounds like a lot of guesswork. If Apple had the ability to fit an M1 Pro into a compact headset, they could have made the MBPs thinner and lighter too. The 14" M1 Pro components on the right, including battery would all have to get inside the headset:

    It also wouldn't have as much space as in the mockup as there has to be space for the nose at the bottom:

    The Oculus Quest 2 on-board chip is around 1TFLOPs:

    The test there puts it at around 1/6th of an Nvidia 1060. This is around Nintendo Switch level on-board. The Switch aims for 30FPS but VR is ideally 90FPS.

    Oculus Quest 2 has a link system (both wired and wireless) to display from a console or PC. That is much more usable for VR performance-wise.

    The fanless M1 or A15 makes way more sense in a headset. Strapping an iPhone to a head is much easier than a Macbook Pro and would keep it's price below $1k. It can also have a link system to allow more powerful Macs to stream content but iPhone hardware would be enough to handle video streaming, mobile games and social media.

    These wildly varying reports suggest that leakers have pretty much zero credible information on this product and are playing guessing games like everybody else.

    I think internally, it will have similar hardware to an iPhone. Here is an example phone AR system that teaches the piano in a way similar to games like Guitar Hero:

    Phone hardware is easily capable of rendering this and also physically based materials for realistic 3D objects. For anything heavier they can have a wireless connection to a Mac or a special adaptor that plugs into any video output for streaming using direct wifi.
  • Apple AR/VR headset hitting some snags & may not make 2022 release

    So what does this thing do that XBox doesn't already do for gaming?

    There, you are already interacting virtually with both allies and enemies.
    Facebook is already letting you interact virtually with other fans at NBA games (using their headset but it seems that could be done (more comfortably) with a TV as well).

    So, what does it do that isn't already being done?
    (Serious question, not trying to trash this thing.   But I admit my skepticism because it would have to offer an enormous amount for me to wear such a headset)
    There currently isn't a general purpose AR wearable that can be used with a computer and VR products all have clunky controllers.

    Some rumors suggest Apple will make both a bulky VR headset and lightweight AR glasses as separate products. When the iPhone launched, it was jokingly introduced as 3 products - it's an iPod, a phone and an internet communicator.

    I don't believe Apple will introduce two distinct products into the same category. I believe they are working on a single wearable product that will work for both use cases and will be lightweight for AR as its primary use case. They may not be as small as regular glasses but even larger glasses look fine for everyday use:

    There would be very little compelling about an expensive VR headset over an Oculus Quest 2. It would likely be better designed but all the software worth using with a VR product is on consoles and PC because it's very costly to make. Sony has 17 internal game studios and they can get any of them to make exclusive VR content:

    Microsoft isn't very interested in VR:

    It's a very small portion of the gaming market just now. PSVR is at 6 million units after 6 years on the market. This is out of at least 100 million players on that platform. PC similarly has over 100 million players. There was a report that said the most popular VR headset on PC, Oculus Quest 2, sold 10 million units, this would put total VR units around 25 million units. That seems off because the Steam hardware survey says less than 2% of Steam user have a VR headset:

    It might be that people are gifting VR headsets and they aren't being used or are being used a few times then put in a drawer. IDC's numbers aren't far from this shipped volume:

    That would be a tough market for Apple. An AR wearable on the other hand has an instant use-case. How many people want a 100-200" OLED TV? An AR wearable can work as a 200" TV on your face. It can be used to replace any display on any computer. That's the biggest use case for a wearable device and it would be possible to use it for VR.
  • Max out Mac Pro trash can or jump to a newer iMac or Mac Mini?

    But is this a waste of time? Is there an advantage to abandoning the Pro (selling it) and putting it towards newer hardware?
    Apple usually obsoletes hardware 7 years after they stop being sold, it varies a bit. The 2012 Mac Pro is on the vintage list:

    This follows with dropping software support, Monterey isn't supported on 2012 Mac Pros:

    Once the OS stops being supported, new app versions stop working eventually, usually Apple ones first and 3rd party ones 1-2 years later. The 2013 Mac Pro could have OS support dropped with this year's Mac release. That would give it around 1-2 years before software compatibility issues start showing up.

    For using with pro apps, it's best to have more than 16GB memory to avoid swapping memory. 16GB is shared with the GPU so you only get about 12-14GB for system memory. A single pro app like After Effects or Photoshop can use 12GB RAM easily.

    GPU performance of Dual D500 is around the M1 Pro.

    The 14" MBP with M1 Pro, 32GB RAM, 1TB for $2599 would do the job (or the equivalent 16" for $3099). Not everything will be much faster with this, some things will run about the same. The following tests M1 against the 8-core D700 Mac Pro, M1 Pro is around 2x the speed of M1 for everything:

    However, Apple hasn't updated the 27" iMac or Mac Pro to Apple Silicon yet. I doubt they will wait until the end of the year to update these because they will launch M2 products in late 2022. I could see them launching updated iMac and Mac Pro products in March before NAB 2022 in April. Apple's biggest pro users are for software development and video. Final Cut Pro has over 2.5 million users.

    Apple could launch a 27" XDR iMac Pro with M1 Pro starting around $2k (32GB/1TB would be around $2599, same as the 14" MBP). They may also launch a smaller Mac Pro but that's probably going to start at a higher price point.

    The MBP has just been updated so it's the best time to buy that model but if a 27" iMac would be a suitable alternative, wait for an update on that. By March, it will have been 19 months since the last 27" iMac update and 27 months for the Mac Pro. They waited 23 months to update the 16" MBPs.

    Some software still has to be improved to run on M1 too, some software you rely on might be unstable. There would be no harm in waiting another year before upgrading.
  • Take-Two Interactive announces $12.7B deal to acquire Zynga

    emig647 said:
    I really don’t understand this, especially when Bethesda was $7.5B. 

    Revenue from mobile gaming is now larger than revenue from PC gaming and console gaming combined. This is a point that I always make when people say Apple can't be taken seriously for gaming unless they do PC/console style AAA games.
    Zynga's revenue growth over recent years has been pretty high too at 50-60% per year. Here is Zynga's latest annual report:

    Latest 2021 quarterly is here:

    Their top games are Empires and Puzzles, Merge Dragons and Zynga Poker. These 3 games made over $800m in 2020. Total revenue in 2020 was $1.97b and $2.1b in 9 months in 2021. They made over $400m loss in 2020 but they managed to cut costs a lot in 2021. One of their significant costs is ads to attract new players, they spent $583m in 2020 on Facebook and Google ads. They also made $300m on ads in their games, mainly Words with Friends.

    Microsoft bought Zenimax for $7.5b, which includes Arkane (Dishonored, Wolfenstein, Deathloop), Bethesda (Elder Scrolls, Fallout), id (Doom, Quake). It's quite a few popular franchises but most of them don't sell many copies. Arkane games are around 2 million copies. The Bethesda games are the biggest ones but they sell over a long period of time. Elder Scrolls and Fallout sell tens of millions of copies but even considering the 30 million copies of Elder Scrolls, if every copy was $60, that's still only $1.8b and they don't all sell at $60 and not all in 1 year. Zynga has recurring, growing revenue that exceeds AAA games.

    The problem with mobile is it seems to be mostly driven by addictive games rather than quality. The mobile game charts hardly ever change. AAA is all about quality experiences but they are really expensive to produce and usually have low recurring revenue, this leads to making sequels of their most popular franchises. The Call of Duty games have a good mix of quality single player and recurring online multiplayer.

    Companies like Take Two will have seen how much revenue games like Fortnite, Minecraft, Call of Duty Mobile have been making and the revenue growth. They need to stay competitive with companies like Tencent:

    Companies like Tencent are using their revenues to buy up as much of the gaming industry as they can. Even when mobile gaming isn't directly a threat to non-mobile game companies, having profitable mobile game companies buying up the strongest players in the industry definitely is.
  • The metaverse is 'off limits' on Apple's VR headset, claims report

    blastdoor said:
    starof80 said:
    If the rumors about this is true, Apple would be smart to reconsider about getting in the Metaverse. They will be left behind.
    Considering that "metaverse" is just a nebulous and wobbly term that Epic and Facebook cooked up to dodge criticisms and doesn't mean a single thing right now, it's not much of a concern today.
    I think 'metaverse' means the same thing as 'social network' -- it's a vehicle for selling ads and manipulating people, full stop. 

    Just like Apple doesn't have a 'social network' but does (through Messages and FaceTime) have a network through which people have positive social interactions with friends and family, I suspect Apple will not participate in the 'metaverse' but will have AR/VR devices that provide entertainment and help people to be more productive. 
    WSJ tested the concept of living in an early metaverse here:

    VR is too disorienting to do this all the time.

    The metaverse type experiences that people are immersed in today are like Minecraft, Fortnite, GTA Online, World of Warcraft, Second Life. Someone tested Fortnite in VR, this is probably the most compelling use case for wearing headsets for such a long period of time and kids already spend this much time in them outside of VR:

    There's a video here showing some gaming and social stuff in Meta's experiences, most of this looks pretty horrifying, especially with the kid screaming at 2:15:

    It's clear to see from these videos why it would have to be short experiences at a time using a VR headset, most people can't wear them that long because you're only looking at the display's artificial light source. A mixed reality experience would be much more comfortable for long periods.

    Watching a movie would be an example of a short-term experience too. I could see people buying a product for an enhanced movie experience but not at over $1k.

    This whole product description sounds off with the Airpods Max padding, Watch-style bands (this wouldn't be a fashion wearable), $1k-3k price. It's like one of those car mockups with the iPhone antenna bands, trying to piece together parts of Apple's other products into a new one. Especially when Apple has said a number of times that they don't see much value in VR. If they have front cameras, they can do passthrough so you'd see the real environment like on an iPad AR app and it offers the ability to have the processing on the device but if they were doing this, I'd expect the form factor to be closer to ski goggles than current VR hardware, a bit more compact than the mockup:

    I expect Apple to make an AR wearable that allows VR-like experiences and nothing else and the tech is here to do this in 2022. They've been working on these products for over 6 years already. It says here it took just 2004-2007 to do the iPhone from concept to launch:

    They have thousands of world-class engineers working round the clock. There's no way they are just going to come up with an overpriced derivative nerd helmet. I think the only thing they make will be something Tim Cook would be happy wearing to work all day at a mass market price point. It's something they can sell as an accessory with the iPhone 14 and require an iPhone 12/13/14. That way it's a $20/month premium with a new handset instead of a $499 purchase.