Apple on Monday unveiled its first-ever virtual reality headset, in the most significant product launch by the iconic iPhone maker since it unveiled the Apple Watch in 2015, AFP reported.

"Blending digital content with the real world can unlock experiences like nothing we've ever seen," said Apple CEO Tim Cook as he unveiled the Vision Pro, a sleek VR device that resembled ski goggles.

The Vision Pro will cost a hefty $3,499 and be available early next year, the company said.

The headgear was introduced at the close of an Apple event in Cupertino, California in which the company announced a long list of product updates.

Disney partnered with Apple for the headset launch, with the company teasing streaming content from Marvel, Star Wars and live sports that would be available on the device.

The Vision Pro would require a lot of computing power and run mainly by being plugged into the wall, with a battery only able to keep the goggles working for two hours.

Apple did not deny the gaming audience and said that over 100 Apple Arcade games would be available from the day of release.

The device would also put a projection of a user's eyes on an external screen in order to ease interactions with others.

The headset has been in development at Apple for years, and will focus on gaming, streaming video and conferencing, as well as health and fitness.

AFP noted that the release puts Apple on a collision course with Facebook-owner Meta, which had taken a head start on doubling down on virtual worlds, sometimes referred to as the metaverse.

Just days before Apple's event, Meta ramped up its line of Quest virtual reality headgear.