The 3 Best Virtual Reality Stocks to Buy in July 2024

Stocks to buy

The rising virtual reality (VR) market seems to have hit the pause button over the past year, and that’s despite last year’s compelling reveal of Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) Vision Pro, a mixed-reality headset that may be the device that convinces us all to embrace VR, augmented reality (AR) and mixed reality (MR). The Vision Pro reveal may have been hot, but the post-launch demand was rather lukewarm.

It’s tough to tell where the VR market will go, as major tech companies funnel cash from such efforts toward generative artificial intelligence (gen AI). Given where we’re at in the AI revolution, it just makes sense to prioritize the timeliest emerging technology. Though AI continues to be the biggest trend, some may be concerned that the AI-heavy corners of the market may be getting overextended.

Given the pace of AI innovation, it’s hard to tell if the leading AI plays are too cheap or too expensive right here. We’ll just have to wait and see. Regardless, if AI stocks were to pull back sharply, perhaps it would be time to funnel money from AI back toward other tech initiatives, like VR.

Apple (AAPL)

Close-up of Apple (AAPL) retail store Logo in Honolulu at the Ala Moana Center. Advertising the latest generation of the ipad, iphones, and ipods with a Retina display.

Source: Eric Broder Van Dyke / Shutterstock.com

Apple Vision Pro seems like the absolute best MR headset on the market. It’s specced out with an extremely high-resolution display, top-of-the-line Apple Silicon for processing and latency reduction, and unique features such as EyeSight, which helps people in the real world know if they have your attention, that help differentiate the headset from the pack.

There’s only one problem: the device is way too expensive for most at $3,499, even if you’re an Apple employee eligible who’s for a discount!

Indeed, Apple may have the best hardware in its headset, but it’s also one of the priciest ways to plug into the VR ecosystem. Perhaps it’s pricing, not technology, that’s the primary reason why today’s Vision Pro is more of a niche product. As Vision Pro rolls out internationally, we’ll get a more global grasp of where the VR and MR market stands.

In any case, Apple is already shooting to tackle the affordability problem as it looks to create a cheaper version of Vision Pro. Whether it’s called Vision Pro Lite or something else remains to be seen. Either way, AAPL stock is a great way to play high-end VR.

Meta Platforms (META)

The metaverse concept of future meta-technology engineers. 3d rendering illustration design character wireframe for networking, innovation, online communication. metaverse stocks

Source: allme3d / shutterstock.com

Meta Platforms (NASDAQ:META) is more of an AI play than a metaverse play these days. After all, AI seems to be where the money seems to be these days. With an impressive and relatively affordable Meta Quest headset that it can build on, perhaps META stock retains the upper hand in the VR race, at least until Apple Vision Pro Lite launches.

Arguably, the Meta Quest 3 makes all the right hardware compromises to make the device better tailored to your average consumer.

Up ahead, Meta seems poised to make a “lite” version of the Quest 3 headset. Arguably, the Quest 3 is already a cheap headset versus Vision Pro. However, it’s clear the lower end may be where the early opportunity lies as inflation continues to hold consumers back from massive quadruple-digit gadget purchases.

The Meta Quest 3S may make even larger hardware compromises to achieve a lower sticker price. In any case, I’m a big fan of the move, as Meta seeks to offer a whole range of different tiers for any given generation of its Quest device.

Perhaps Meta’s push toward cheaper headsets is the big reason why Apple is concentrating on a cheaper headset rather than a more capable one.

Sony (SONY)

A Sony (SONY Stock) PlayStation 5 sitting in front of a TV.

Source: Roman Kosolapov / Shutterstock.com

The PlayStation VR (PSVR) is just one small piece of the Sony (NYSE:SONY) Entertainment business, but one that may be key to future growth.

Undoubtedly, the Sony PlayStation is an icon in the video gaming scene and a massive shift from TV to VR gaming may still be many years off. Most consumers are fine with playing games on their television, at least given the current, somewhat limited state of VR.

As it becomes more economical to produce VR games and new iterations of PSVR become more impressive, perhaps Sony can be one of the most influential VR enablers. If you believe gaming is the sole reason to buy a headset, I think SONY stock is the VR stock to buy.

According to the rumor mill, the PSVR 3 is likely many years off. Perhaps by then, there will be more than enough triple-A titles to justify paying a higher price.

On the date of publication, Joey Frenette held shares of Apple. The opinions expressed in this article are those of the writer, subject to the InvestorPlace.com Publishing Guidelines.

On the date of publication, the responsible editor did not have (either directly or indirectly) any positions in the securities mentioned in this article. 

Joey Frenette is a seasoned investment writer specializing in technology and consumer stocks. Contributing to the Motley Fool Canada, TipRanks, and Barchart, Joey excels in spotting mispriced stocks with long-term growth potential in a fast-paced market.

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