Back in July, many of VR’s biggest players announced the VirtualLink Consortium, a group unified around creating a connection standard for future VR headsets. HTC was seemingly the odd one out back at the initial announcement, but this week the company joined the group in support of the standard.

Representing most of the VR industry’s core hardware and software makers, NVIDIA, AMD, Valve, Oculus, and Microsoft were the initial members of the VirtualLink Consortium. The companies came together around an “open industry standard” connection for VR headsets which is functions as an alternate mode of the USB Type-C connector, the newest type of USB plug. The purpose of VirtualLink, say the companies, is to not only condense VR headset plugs down to a single, thin cable, but also to meet the needs of next-gen headsets.

GeForce RTX Cards Announced with VirtualLink VR Connector

And while Valve (who was among the founding group) incubated the Vive technology and eventually partnered with HTC to bring it to market, HTC in recent years has taken a much more independent approach with its VR development. HTC wasn’t initially part of the VirtualLink consortium which was the only glaring omission among the group otherwise consisting of the industry’s key hardware and software platform holders.

This week at the XRDC conference in San Francisco, HTC announced that it had opted to join the group in support of the VirtualLink connection standard.

While no major headset maker has yet announced a headset with the VirtualLink port, NVIDIA’s latest generation of RTX GPUs offer support for the standard, and their recently released GeForce RTX ‘Founder’s Edition’ cards all include the VirtualLink port.

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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."
  • Ellon Musk

    now we just need HDMI, VGA, Displayport to do the same. Get rid of all unnecessary ports and have one port. After all, USB-C is scalable

    • Simon Wood and (DisplayPort) _have_ bought into USB-C’s alternate modes, and this is how VirtualLink is delivering video to the headset.
      I believe the difference with VirtualLink is that they are using a small cause in USB spec which allows them to re-assign the USB2.0 pins (on the connector) as their connection scheme is point-to-to and not required to support Hubs/etc. This gives them the higher/USB3.0 bandwidth for the sensors, whilst still pushing video…

    • Andrew Jakobs

      Virtuallink IS everything.. And I agree, next thing is to dump all other connectors.. and only have a few of these on your PC..

  • MosBen

    So the RTX cards support ray tracing that isn’t supported in games yet and a VR connection standard that no headsets use. Don’t get me wrong, I think that VirtualLink is a great idea. I just think that the RTX cards are not a great value at the moment.