Quest 2 users have a few choices when it comes to cutting the cable and playing PC VR games over Wi-Fi. You can opt for something like a dedicated dongle, or simply configure your network for the most optimal Wi-Fi setup, which usually means having your PC connected directly to the 2.4/5Ghz router with an Ethernet cable and maintaining line of sight with the router. If your PC has Intel’s latest Wi-Fi 6e AX1690 card though, that’s about to change.

Intel announced at CES 2023 that they’ve partnered with Meta to make better use of its flagship Wi-Fi card by optimizing it for use with Quest 2, which means reduced latency and no need for Ethernet cables connecting to your PC.

As reported by Wi-Fi Now, Intel says its Killer Wi-Fi 6e AX1690 card is now capable of using its Double Connect Technology (DCT) for VR headsets like Quest 2. Although the product of an Intel/Meta partnership, Intel’s it’s likely other standalone headsets will benefit too, including Pico 4 and the newly unveiled Vive XR Elite too.

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Intel says AX1690, which is compatible with the Intel’s 13th-gen Core HX platform, is capable of reducing overall wireless PC VR gaming latency from 30ms to just 5ms, essentially making it indistinguishable from conventional wired connections, such as Link. We haven’t seen it in action yet, so we’re reserving judgment for now, but it basically seems like having all the functionality of that slick $99 dongle from D-Link, albeit built into your PC gaming rig.

Image courtesy Intel

“I’m a firm believer that pushing the boundaries of wireless in VR and AR will only be possible if the whole industry work together,” said Meta Reality Labs Wireless Technology chief Bruno Cendon Martin. “I’m extremely happy to see the announce today by Intel Corporation Wireless CTO Carlos Cordeiro of the work we’ve been doing together to get Wireless PC VR to the next level with Meta Quest and Intel Killer.”

Intel also released a video to demonstrate the benefits of using two simultaneous Wi-Fi connections which enable VR headsets to wirelessly access data directly from a PC (1-hop) vs. through an access point (2-hops) for reduced latency and better PC VR gaming experiences throughout the home.

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  • Till Eulenspiegel

    Once PSVR2 launched, Meta will have to shift some focus back to PCVR – it will be harder to sell mobile VR games to newcomers after they have seen those cutting edge PSVR2 games.

    • Wes Osborne

      In 6 to 12 months psvr2 should have some awesome games. Launch is some bangers but also a lot of rehashes. Can’t wait till feb

    • XRC

      There is already news that meta’s gaze has turned back to PCVR considering their hardware domination of user base on steamVR

    • Ad

      No. The math makes no sense whatsoever.

  • Sofian

    Sad for people who just bought the dongle…

    • MeowMix

      this Intel tech is mostly for ppl buying new PCs (13th Gen) …., so the AirBridge dongle still serves a purpose.

      Looks like this is releasing first on 13th Gen Intel laptops, but I expect it to also be integrated into some 13th Gen motherboards.

      That said, I am curious if we’ll see ‘Made for Meta‘ branded gaming laptops/PCs that feature this new wifi card.

      • Sofian

        I assumed you only need a Killer AX1690 card.
        I am not sure what they mean for the compatibility with Intel 13th gen.

        • Sven Viking

          In a lot of cases it’ll be integrated into motherboards, and either way not many people have it yet.

  • reducing overall wireless PC VR gaming latency from 30ms to just 5ms

    This is wrong, and even more misleading than Intel’s presentation itself. 30 is a maximum latency, while 5 is an average latency. They are not comparable numbers, it’s a meaningless comparison.

  • wowgivemeabreak

    “Intel says AX1690, which is compatible with the Intel’s 13th-gen Core HX platform, is capable of reducing overall wireless PC VR gaming latency from 30ms to just 5ms, essentially making it indistinguishable from conventional wired connections, such as Link. ”

    A properly set up wireless connection (PC connected via ethernet to a router/access point) right now has network latency under 5ms. I think I understand what you’re getting at here but the way you worded it will give the impression to those without wireless streaming experience that it is simply junk in terms of latency right now when it isn’t.

    And if by some odd chance you are actually thinking there will only be 5ms of overall added latency then that’s a pipe dream because decoding, encoding, and the actual game rendering all add to latency whether wireless or using wired link.

    • Sven Viking

      Intel’s image describes the <5ms figure as “up to 20% lower latency” than the 2-hop solution, i.e. an improvement of up to 1ms, which sounds more likely. Could certainly provide huge improvements over bad network setups or badly congested WiFi networks though.

  • David Wilhelm

    Lots of WiFi hardware supports multiple channels. Maybe this is a pointer on how to extend this functionality to more/generic drivers..

  • Andrew Jakobs

    Is the 12th gen also compatible? I’m have my eyes on a NUC 12 extreme dragon canyon, sadly the 13th gen is more than twice the size which I think is just too large.

  • Gavin

    Very impressive. I wonder if in the long run, having a lighter weight wireless headset with a compute puck on the ground plugged into a wall (with a backpack option), would be a better experience than trying to do all compute and power on your face.

    • ViRGiN

      no it’s not.

  • Not bad for people like me with a not-so-great router

  • Tiger Man

    Is there an equivalent bit of tech that is compatible with AMD chips as this seems to be an upsell for Intel chips?

  • Paolo Leoncini

    I’d grateful to whom would explain what’s the difference between this latest technology from Intel and the Windows hotspot mode activable on whatever Wi-Fi interface, and why performances of the latter is so poor for PC VR streaming to standalone VR headsets.

  • MarcDwonn

    The more pressing question is: Will it reduce the compression overhead and improve the visual quality by having a higher bandwidth for less compressed data stream?

  • Daniel

    Just a PSA. I thought this would work in my B450 board but it won’t. “The Killer AX1690 (i/s), hardware identical to the Intel AX411, requires a motherboard whose M.2 connector supports CNVio2. If you install either of these cards into a motherboard whose M.2 connector does not support CNVio2, then it simply isn’t going to work.” And CNVio2 is intel proprietary. For desktop needs a 10th gen cpu, z470 chipset, and your mobo needs to support the CNVio2 protocol.