Apple is reportedly working with gaming developer VALVE to launch a gaming headset.
According to a report from DigiTimes, Apple has partnered with the US gaming giant on a new augmented reality headset that is expected to launch in the second quarter of 2020.
Apple’s new head-mounted display devices, which could come as soon as summer 2020, will be a collaboration between Apple and TV, with companies ODMs Quanta Computer and Pegatron working on assembly.
Demos have already been signed off, according to insiders.
VALVE is behind the immensely popular gaming platform Steam, which is a gaming storefront and delivery platform that has revolutionized the gaming industry.
The company launched its own gaming consoles several years ago and, earlier this year, its own virtual reality headset called the VALVE Index.
Apple will reportedly work with VALVE on augmented reality headsets rather than virtual reality headsets, with Tim Cook previously suggesting that Apple was against VR.
The company’s stance is that augmented reality allows developers to create content that sits inside of the real world, rather than virtual reality which takes users into another universe.
To compensate for the new project, Apple has been hiring augmented reality experts such as software developers and engineers for graphic design and user experience segments.
Earlier in the year, a report suggested that Apple had canceled its plans to launch an AR/VR headset, but other rumors indicated that this was to allow Apple to shift from in-house development to collaborative development with the team at VALVE.
Reliable Apple analyst Ming-Chi Kuo added that Apple would launch its first augmented reality product next year, and Xcode 11 and iOS 13 have revealed that Apple is working on its own augmented reality headset with icons showing a Google Cardboard-esque product.
Apple will send its headset into mass production before the end of the year to launch early next year, according to Kuo, though DigiTimes disputes this timeline and suggests a summer release is more likely – or perhaps even a release alongside the new iPhones in 2020.
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