Apple Reportedly Isn’t Making VR Controllers For Vision Pro

Apple is reportedly “not actively planning” tracked controllers for Vision Pro.

Bloomberg’s Mark Gurman reports Apple “explored” the finger worn device spotted in patent filings and “tested” third-party VR controllers from HTC, but ultimately decided to go “all in” on hand and eye tracking instead.

Gurman says some developers have directly asked Apple if it will make its own VR controllers or support others, but Apple “isn’t planning” its own and isn’t “actively planning” support for third party tracked devices.

When describing Vision Pro’s eye tracking during its introduction at Apple’s WWDC conference last month, the company’s AR/VR chief Mike Rockwell Vision Pro’s said “it’s so precise, it completely frees up your hands from needing clumsy hardware controllers”.

Apple’s AR/VR chief on controllers.

Still, if Apple’s hand tracking technology is robust enough to work well even when you’re holding objects, it may be possible to use untracked bluetooth devices as makeshift VR controllers. For example, you may be able to use Nintendo Joy-Cons. This is unlikely to actually be supported by many developers in shipping content, though.

Some developers could also explore using your iPhone as a single tracked controller, but visionOS doesn’t natively support this so each would need to build an iOS companion app. It’s possible Apple might one day add built-in support for this, but there’s no indication of that yet.

The only major VR game currently fully confirmed for Vision Pro is Rec Room, and it plans to add support for controller-free hand tracking to make this possible.

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