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ALVR Beta Brings SteamVR Games with Joy-Con Support to the Vision Pro

Ian Hamilton writing for UploadVR about his experience playing Half Life: Alyx with Nintendo Joy-Con and the Apple Vision Pro:

The tracking quality is far from ideal and I couldn’t get the gravity gloves to pull objects. Those limitations make much of Half-Life: Alyx still off-limits at present. The hand tracking is so sluggish, for example, I wouldn’t want to engage in combat like this. Still, I enjoyed exploring a laid back look through the early parts of Half-Life: Alyx on Vision Pro’s untethered system with developer commentary turned on. And that this works at all is a remarkable testament to the ingenuity of open-source developers.

Hamilton, who tested other games like Beat Saber, too, used ALVR, an open-source project that allows SteamVR games to be played on the Vision Pro over Wi-Fi and just released a beta visionOS app.

As with a lot of these cutting-edge experiments, the number of games that are playable using ALVR is limited. However, as a proof of concept, it’s interesting to see Joy-Con, which are supported by visionOS, working in concert with hand tracking. As limited as the experience is now, ALVR points to a potential hybrid solution for gaming on the Vision Pro that combines the natural interactions of hand tracking with the precision of controllers.