SteamVR Streaming Works on Vision Pro, But Adding Controllers Will Be Difficult

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Vision Pro isn’t supposed to be able to play SteamVR games, although an independent software developer has been able to modify a popular Wi-Fi streaming app that could open the door to PC VR games like Half-Life: Alyx (2020) on Vision Pro—if it weren’t for the Apple’s strategic omission of tracked motion controllers.

Vision Pro can do an impressive number of things, including running over a million iOS apps along with a growing number of native visionOS apps. For all its uses as a general computing device, it’s not designed to hook to your computer to play SteamVR games, which is pretty unsurprising considering… it’s Apple.

Zhuowei Zhang, a developer who works on Android, iOS, and Web-based software, however has reportedly been able to install ALVR on Vision Pro, a third-party app for standalone VR headsets which lets you stream VR games from your PC via Wi-Fi—not unlike Steam Link or Meta’s Air Link for Quest.

Zhang didn’t have a Vision Pro headset to test it out, so the programmer enlisted others to try out what was originally only tested in the visionOS simulator provided by Apple to developers. We get a quick glimpse of it in action in SteamVR Home, courtesy programmer ‘shadowfacts‘ via James Abev:

Test of SteamVR running on the Apple vision pro via ALVR

— James Abev (@James_Abev) February 5, 2024

Shadowfacts, who also goes by the handle ‘J. Walter Weatherman’ (a reference to TV show Arrested Development), calls the implementation “very rough right now, but it does function.”

That doesn’t mean you’ll be able to jump into any of the room-scale games you’d come to expect, like The Walking Dead: Saints & Sinners or Half-Life: Alyx, because those require motion controllers. Apple is supposedly not planning on shipping VR controllers either, so it may be up to more clever hackery to solve that problem, something we really can’t wait to see.

Update (9: 45 AM ET): Here’s an additional look at X/Twitter user ‘ShinyQuagsire’ who shows the ALVR hack working to use Vision Pro’s hand-tracking in VRChat. We’ve removed the ‘report’ from the headline to reflect our general confidence level that it’s indeed possible.

YESSSS, I got @zhuowei ‘s ALVR visionOS port to be S M O O T H, I have conquered H264, I am unstoppable

— Shiny Quagsire (@ShinyQuagsire) February 6, 2024

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If you want to try installing ALVR on Vision Pro, follow Zhang’s microblog for detailed instructions and links to download all of the software needed. Installing third-party stuff is risky, so do so at your own discretion.