Apple has tested the HTC controllers for their Vision Pro Headset but has stated that they are “not actively planning controllers” for their own device.
It has been almost a month since Apple Vision Pro was officially announced. One major aspect that was leaked before the announcement and caused concerns, is how the company plans to handle the input system. While most current VR/AR devices prioritize hand-held controllers for input, with some also including hand-tracking and occasional eye-tracking, Apple has taken a different approach.
While hand and eye tracking are present in a handful of VR devices today, none of them have fully embraced it as the main input system. Apple, on the other hand, has seized this opportunity and, according to testers, created a natural and highly reliable input system that works quite well.
However, this has led to confusion among VR players. Without motion controllers, the majority of currently available VR games are incompatible with Apple’s Vision Pro headset. This raises numerous questions about whether and when the company will release motion controllers for VR gaming. And now, it appears that we have received confirmation.
According to Mark Gurman, a reliable Apple analyst, the company has made the decision to not develop any first-party game controllers for VR and has no plans to support third-party VR accessories. However, this choice was not made without careful consideration by the company.
As reported, Apple has taken the opportunity to thoroughly examine the industry standards for VR, which for the past 8 years revolved around controllers. The company reportedly ran tests on various third-party VR controllers, including those from HTC. However, after careful consideration, They ultimately made the decision to fully embrace Eye and Hand Tracking as a more elegant and refined solution.
Gurman also mentioned that the company explored alternative ideas for VR input, such as finger-worn devices (Perhaps patented rings) that could function as controllers or enhance hand tracking with haptic feedback. However, these concepts did not make it into the final version of the device, likely due to the inconvenience users would have faced in having to put on rings on their fingers.
While Vision Pro won’t include any motion controllers, this isn’t the end of the world. It appears that certain VR games and experiences will be compatible with VisionOS. Shortly after the headset’s announcement, Rec Room, a popular social VR platform, confirmed that their game will be available on Vision Pro and fully functional with hand tracking alone.
While not every game may be ideally suited for VR with just hand-tracking, it is indeed a possibility. We can expect to witness more creative ideas from VR developers as devkits of the headset are anticipated to be shipped to developers, potentially within this month.