Proton Pulse, originally created for the Oculus Rift DK1 development kit in 2013, has been re-released on Apple Vision Pro this week. Practically untouched from its original head-tracked input scheme, the game marks a soft reset in XR game development as developers assess how to approach Vision Pro’s lack of controllers.

Created by developer Justin Moravetz, Proton Pulse was first built for the Rift DK1, the very first headset released by Oculus for developers. The game was also released on Google Cardboard, Google Daydream, Samsung GearVR, Oculus Go, and the Oculus Rift consumer headsets.

And now, more than 10 years after its debut, you can buy Proton Pulse on Vision Pro.

The game was able to seamlessly span a decade of XR headsets because it was designed around gaze-based input. Without the need to rely on controllers, hand-tracking, or eye-tracking, Proton Pulse has remained highly adaptable from one headset to another without any core changes to the gameplay.

And at this very early stage in immersive gaming on Vision Pro, Proton Pulse stands out as one of the best games you can play on the headset at the moment. While many other games on the platform feel closer to board games, Proton Pulse is a fully immersive experience that takes over your whole environment—like most VR games on other headsets.

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The game’s launch on the Vision Pro points to a broader moment in the VR industry: interested developers are experimenting to figure out exactly what works best on the headset. Apple’s decision to exclude controllers from Vision Pro has undercut much of the XR game design knowledge that’s accumulated over the last decade. Working within those limitations is forcing a back-to-basics approach for many.

As for this particular experiment, developer Justin Moravetz tells us that he’s “strongly considering an all-out sequel if this does well.”

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Ben is the world's most senior professional analyst solely dedicated to the XR industry, having founded Road to VR in 2011—a year before the Oculus Kickstarter sparked a resurgence that led to the modern XR landscape. He has authored more than 3,000 articles chronicling the evolution of the XR industry over more than a decade. With that unique perspective, Ben has been consistently recognized as one of the most influential voices in XR, giving keynotes and joining panel and podcast discussions at key industry events. He is a self-described "journalist and analyst, not evangelist."
  • Octogod

    Very cool!

  • Nevets

    Yawn. Lol that is a nice retro game and I remember it, but it is hardly the march forward into the future that we should be enjoying right now. Lets Samsung and LG release hardware similar to Apple’s and with controllers and open access, and then see what amazing games we could get.

    • Andrey

      Lets Samsung and LG release hardware similar to Apple’s and with controllers and open access, and then see what amazing games we could get.

      Not trying to be salty here, but personally I highly doubt that release of two high end headsets will change the whole situation even for a bit. It will be another niche (very expensive just like AVP) in the niche itself (VR), so there won’t be that many users for 99% of developers to care. Like we never saw – at least I can’t remember even one example – any upgrades for existing games or completely new games with support of Quest Pro’s features (especially eye tracking – and I am talking about native Quest games and not PCVR ones that support any kind of eye tracking headset), so why someone should develop a game for another device like this?
      Ironicly, we may have some amazing games if rumored Quest 3 Lite will release soon, it will actually have Snapdragon XR2 Gen. 2 and will cost around 300$ for the most basic version. If it finally will be accompanied with a solid future games lineup/exclusives that will be revealed on MQGS, then we can expect an inflow of a “fresh blood” into our ecosystem that can lead to more investments from Meta and other companies so even more games will be created. Though the most trickiest part is this exact “compelling lineup of games” and usually it’s not Meta’s strong side, so…
      Anyway, we can always just wait for the Quest 4. Maybe then we will get Assassin’s Creed Nexus 2 and Asgard’s Wrath 3 or even damned GTA SA VR?

      • Nevets

        Perhaps. And yes, GTA SA would be nice!!

      • NotMikeD

        I hate to be the bearer of bad news, but Assassin’s Creed Nexus 2 ain’t happening, at least not in the foreseeable future. Ubi’s not happy with Nexus sales and has pulled out of VR for the time being.

        • Andrey

          It’s all depends on the interpretation of their words – they never said that “All VR projects are (or “will be”) cancelled (just like Splinter Cell VR)”, but “There won’t be increase in investments”. So I believe they will create it, though yeah, probably not very soon and it won’t be much different compared to the original. But hey, there are years until Quest 4 release, so who knows?

  • Christian Schildwaechter

    I still have the Cardboard versions of “Proton Pulse” (3D breakout), “Aaaa…. for the Awesome” (Owlchemy’s base jumping game) and “Titans of Space” (stellar systems tour) on my phone, and a small viewer that fold to half the size of the phone for impromptu VR demos on the road. These and other titles that already worked on the 3DoF Rift DK1 won’t impress anyone who has used recent VR headsets, but the vast majority of people still has never seen any VR and can still be blown away by simple, but good VR experiences that embrace the technical limitations.

    There is a vast library of great Gear VR/Oculus Go/Daydream titles shunned by most VR users as being too primitive, just like most PC/console gamers despise all mobile games, even though many acknowledge that 1985s NES Super Mario Bros. is still a great game today. These more casual titles aren’t targeting immersion/adrenalin seeking VR gamers, but were well suited for slower, seated VR requiring minimal input. I’d expect not only some of these titles, but also the whole genre to make a comeback with new HMDs not primarily focused on gaming, instead allowing light gaming as a side activity.

    And it would be a real shame if DrashVR didn’t release an AVP version of “Titans of Space” (already supporting hand tracking on Quest) with planets hurling through your living room, still blowing your mind floating in front of the giant VY Canis Majoris in immersive mode, looking at our tiny sun for size reference.

  • alxslr


    • Corey Reynolds

      My thoughts exactly.

  • eadVrim

    Nice begining

  • JB1968

    Still have it on the og PSVR1. It was not bad game.

  • dextrovix

    I bought this when I had a DK2. I thoroughly enjoyed it at the time, and recently found for some reason I can’t open it anymore from the Oculus Store for a quick replay on my Quest 3, so some incompatibility must be stopping it nowadays.

    It no doubt works very well for Vision Pro because it only requires you head to move the virtual paddle so something that functions out of the box. Like has been said already, for showing someone new to VR it is quite fun and easy to pick up and play, but is by no means a masterpiece compared to what we have today.

  • psuedonymous

    I just want the rest of Vanguard Valkyrie!

  • philingreat

    one of AVP best games? I just tried, it’s the worst game I have tried on the vision pro. It uses gaze, it feels terrible

  • ViRGiN


  • Ender772

    all that tells me is they are desperate for games and dont have much selection