The Apple Vision Pro is finally getting Quest 3-like controllers for VR gaming

The Surreal Touch controllers floating next to the Apple Vision Pro
(Image credit: Surreal Interactive)

Apple made a lot of bold design choices with the Apple Vision Pro. The default strap lacks an over the head band, the battery exists as its own separate pack connected via a wire, and there are no controllers – instead you exclusively rely on hand and eye-tracking to interact with virtual apps. Surreal Interactive is here to change things, at least on that lack of controllers front. 

The main issue is that while the Vision’s Pro’s gaze and pinch interactions feel decidedly futuristic, they’re not suitable for a lot of classic VR games that are designed for controller-reliant VR headset rivals – or a different kind of hand-tracking.

The Surreal Touch controllers fix that with a design that’s reminiscent of the Meta Quest Touch Pro handsets – which came with the Meta Quest Pro as its default controllers, but can be purchased separately for the Meta Quest 3 and (soon to be sold out everywhere) Meta Quest 2.

The Meta Quest Pro

The Meta Quest Touch Pro controllers (Image credit: Meta)

This means you get the button, grip and trigger layout you’ll be familiar with from practically every VR remote. Plus, because the Vision Pro doesn’t have the tech needed to track controllers, the Surreal Touch comes with in-built tracking cameras and an on board chipset so they can determine their own position to an accuracy of 10mm – though this is less accurate than Meta’s own 1mm target.

You’ll be able to use them with native Vision Pro apps via the company’s own SDK, or for Apple Vision Pro-enabled PCVR via its Surreal Link app – a spin-off of ALVR that lets you stream SteamVR software to your headset.

In demo videos, you can watch Vision Pro users enjoy Beat Saber and Half-Life: Alyx

Surreal Interactive haven’t revealed a price or release date yet but the Surreal Touch controllers go up for preorder in August, and the company has told UploadVR that they should ship “promptly”.

The price will be revealed when the Surreal Touch controllers go on preorder. Based on similarly specced VR controllers we’ve seen like the aforementioned Meta Quest Touch Pro handsets we’d expect a similar price of around $299.99 / £299.99 / AU$479.99, though we’ll have to wait to see the precise price.

We’ll also have to try the Surreal Touch controllers for ourselves to know how well they perform, but considering other Vision Pro-compatible handsets are your classic gamepads you’d use with an Xbox or PS5 the Surreal Touches are at the very least an interesting prospect  – let’s see how well they deliver. 

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Hamish Hector
Senior Staff Writer, News

Hamish is a Senior Staff Writer for TechRadar and you’ll see his name appearing on articles across nearly every topic on the site from smart home deals to speaker reviews to graphics card news and everything in between. He uses his broad range of knowledge to help explain the latest gadgets and if they’re a must-buy or a fad fueled by hype. Though his specialty is writing about everything going on in the world of virtual reality and augmented reality.