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Apple reportedly set to square off with Meta in VR headset battle: what will take for Apple to succeed?

Apple is reportedly set to reveal its mixed reality headset at its annual WWDC. But Meta is already gearing up for battle, announcing its new Quest 3 VR headset this week. But the question remains: What are consumers supposed to do with these headsets? Yahoo Finance’s Allie Garfinkle tackles the virtual reality craze and the possible need for a “hero” app.

Video transcript

- Well, we've had Betamax versus VHS and PlayStation against Xbox. Now are we about to enter the new tech battle with AR/VR headsets? We are just days away from a rumored release of the Apple's first console with the Meta already leading the charge, unveiling its Quest 3 model this week.

Here with more, we want to bring in Allie Garfinkle. Allie, what do you think, because I'm skeptical about whether either is going to take off?

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ALEXANDER GARFINKLE: Well, to that end, Seana, the reality is this is the moment that could change VR forever. The question, of course, is, will it, by how much? And yes, VR is on a growth trajectory. People are expecting VR as a market to be worth about $52 billion in 2027.

But to me and a lot of experts, I've been talking to there's still this sort of major outstanding question that I think you were referring to, Seana, indirectly perhaps, which is what are we supposed to do with these headsets? Now I'm being a little flip. The answer is gaming. But the reality is there still hasn't been a hero app, an app that absolutely everybody, no matter who you are, you are interested in it.

Now I actually brought you a-- I brought you a prop to demonstrate the power of the hero app. This is my Nintendo Switch. I love my Nintendo Switch. And I actually went out and bought this for one reason and one reason only-- it was to play Mario Kart. Now I recognize that this sounds crazy and is a little it is a little jokey, but actually is true and I think important to the adoption of these things.

So what is to be done about it, right? Meta held its gaming showcase yesterday and announced a bunch of new titles specifically focused on gaming. And a lot of them really had these really high profile names, this great IP behind them. For instance, we saw them announce the possibility of "Stranger Things" VR. We also saw them announce a new Ghostbusters game. And while that stuff is really important and really interesting and fun and exciting, are you running out to buy that? I don't think so.

I know I've talked to a lot of experts who said, you know, Allie, maybe you're being unfair saying this is they're throwing things at the wall to see what sticks. But it certainly is that. They're really throwing out a lot of options for gamers and people who want to use VR set. But none of them have fully hit as a unanimously agreed upon hit.

So what am I really watching for on Monday, Seana? How does Apple want you to use this headset? What does Apple want you to do with it? What does it want you to play with? What are the apps that's featuring? Because to me, that's going to make the really big difference. And it's going to determine if I want to run out and buy it, like I say, did with this Nintendo Switch.

- Allie Garfinkle, I love that you brought the prop today, the Nintendo Switch.

ALEXANDER GARFINKLE: It was in my bag.

- I love it. I love it. I love it. No, that's fun. That's fun. All right, Allie G, thank you so much.