Developers creating VR apps for Oculus Quest will probably have a harder time getting through the review process than they did previously with Rift or Go. Small consolation for devs who don’t make the all important Oculus Store cut: end users will still be able to sideload unsupported apps from outside of the Oculus Store.

Oculus CTO John Carmack hasn’t spoke at length on the subject yet, although he did confirm via Twitter that sideloading on Quest would be the “same process as Go.”

Sideloading on Go is far from a streamlined process. You need to follow a few key steps that aren’t exactly a simple menu toggle away such as create a developer account, install ADB drivers, allow unknown sources, and a few other things too. Oh, and you’ll also need a computer for all of this too.

We suggest you to check out the handy video guide below created by YouTuber ‘Virtual Reality Oasis’ to get an idea of what to expect on Quest:

Once you’ve completed the initial setup process though, you’ll be able to easily install unsupported APK files featuring everything from standard Android media and game apps to unsupported VR content too—however inadvisable that may be from a safety standpoint.

Oculus Quest is slated to release in Spring 2019 starting at $400. We expect to hear more about Quest either at GDC 2019 later this month. or possibly at F8 2019 at the end of April.

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Well before the first modern XR products hit the market, Scott recognized the potential of the technology and set out to understand and document its growth. He has been professionally reporting on the space for nearly a decade as Editor at Road to VR, authoring more than 3,500 articles on the topic. Scott brings that seasoned insight to his reporting from major industry events across the globe.
  • Tommy

    Now we will be able to sideload Netflix and Amazon Prime with full function and downloading. Also, Plex for my personal library!

    • MosBen

      Isn’t Plex available through the Oculus store?

      • Tommy

        Yeah, just saw it under Go experiences. I would imagine the Quest will have it’s own version too. Even better :)

        • MosBen

          I love 3D movies, and have been pretty bummed that I don’t really have a way to watch them at home. I finally found a good program to use on the Rift, but it was the first time when the screens really seemed too low resolution to make it worth it, and really, being tethered to my PC isn’t idea. Hopefully the Quest’s higher resolution screens make 3D movies at home something worth doing, especially if you can watch them with multiplayer!

          • Proof XR Lab

            It should be what you for are looking for. After using Vive a few months I remember getting a Google Pixel XL phone and a Daydream View headset and marvelling at the resolution bump and lower SDE when watching media, especially the tight integration with Youtube VR and my fast router meant I could stream at highest resolution the phone would display.

            Going back to using a Vive and Rift almost seemed primitive after that? I’ve used GO for media consumption since then, and that also impressed with its great lens /optics

          • MosBen

            I’ve been really tempted by the Go, but I don’t like the idea of buying a VR device just for media consumption, which is a big reason why I’m excited by the Quest. At $400 it’s cheap enough that with a bit of saving I may end up buying two of them so that my wife and I can do things in VR together. I’m betting that Star Trek Bridge Crew gets a release for it, and we’ve really been wanting to play that together. Being able to watch some 3D movies will just be a nice bonus.

          • Proof XR Lab

            Really looking forward to Quest, it already has a groundswell of support that Daydream could only dream of. GO was neat as an interim solution before Quest.

          • MosBen

            Yep, agreed. The Go made sense at the time that it was released, and it’s a nicely made piece of hardware, it’s just limited by it’s lack of 6DOF tracking, which seems to me to be one of the primary essential aspects of engaging VR. I have a suspicion that the Quest will stick around for at least a couple of years without a refresh in order to allow it to get cheaper and cheaper until it holds that product position that the Go has now: something that people might pick up on a bit of a whim to see what VR is all about without the cost or hassle of having a gaming PC. I get why more hardcore people aren’t thrilled with the idea of the Quest and the Rift S being “underpowered” compared to cutting edge gaming PCs, but it’s pretty exciting to imagine a world where we’re not talking about a few million “real” VR units in the wild, but tens or hundreds of millions.

          • Proof XR Lab

            When i got my Daydream i was convinced it was going to be total balls after months of using Vive. Wow i was wrong, found some of the experiences very immersive, compelling and engaging. Virtual Virtual Reality, Dreadhalls, Bladerunner Revelations and Eclipse:Edge of Light were epic VR experiences. A number of others were brilliant and memorable.

            Even had those rare feelings of presence which was a pleasant surprise and not something i thought possible on 3DOF with simple remote hand controller. But there you go. The image shows a “controller tracking test” on Daydream, it shows how accurate that little controller actually was, Google magic no doubt :)

          • The Mogget

            The hardcore people don’t understand that even though they are willing to spend top dollar, their total dollars as a group are a drop in the bucket. Once Quest-like devices go mainstream, that is where all the money, developers, peripherals and so forth will be. The future of VR will be decided by the masses, not the enthusiasts.

            I agree that Quest will soon fulfill the role of the Go. It (or future models) will get both better and cheaper over time, such that there would be less value in a go. Why buy a phone, even a cheaper one, that can’t text? Why buy a VR tv-watching headset that can’t do Beatsaber?

            I also suggest that in the longer run the Quest will also eat the Rift… or the Rift will become so like the Quest that a Rift S and the Quest S will be the same thing. People won’t put up with cords and sensors. It is all going to be wireless and inside-out. Once good wireless tether is a standard OEM feature, there will be no reason not to just put it into the Quest. So then you will have a wireless dockable Quest that is standalone unless you want to dock it for higher resolutions.

            In the really long run, mobile processing will be sufficient enough that no one but enthusiasts will bother with docking just to get a few more frames per second and few more polygons.

          • MosBen

            I mostly agree, but while you’re right that the enthusiast market isn’t anything compared to the mass market, it is a pretty sizable chunk of change, and large enough that I think that someone will always serve that market, whether that means big players like Valve/Oculus or more boutique companies like Pimax. The cutting edge of consumer computing hardware will always outpace what mobile computing can do, and a virtual space powered by computing hardware will always give a benefit to people with more hardware muscle behind them.

          • The Mogget

            Yes, the niche market will always exist. Yes, the niche market will always have goodies that the mass-market units won’t have. That is not what anyone means by ‘the future of VR’. Hypercars and limited editions will always exist, but no is talking about hypercars when they say ‘the future of transportation.’

          • The Mogget

            I am worried about this. I have 4 in my family. Once I have one, we will be fighting over it, and then we will want multiplayer, and then I will be buying 4 of them. Better start saving my pennies now….

          • MosBen

            Maybe not right away, but after the Quest sees a price drop it’d be kind of interesting to see if they did a package SKU that had two headsets in it to allow for people to play multiplayer right out of the box. Include some kind of Wii Sports-eque game as a pack in. If the Quest starts at $400 and drops to $300, a $600 bundle for two headsets doesn’t sound totally crazy.

      • alan

        It’s so stupid that you have to sideload Netflix on a device that has Netflix just so you can download shows to watch on the airplane. What better promotion for Go than to see fellow passengers watching videos on movie screen size displays when you are watching on a cell phone.

    • Matt

      I use an app called “Pigasus” to view my Plex movies.

    • Smokey_the_Bear

      “Nice” would be what I’d say if they made it easy for everyone, and not have to jump through hoops.

    • Andrew Jakobs

      Netflix won’t run full function (as in resolution) on unsupported devices, otherwise you would be able to run netflix at 4K with any cheap androidbox.

      • Jistuce

        It is crippled on “unsupported” devices because Netflix(or rather, their content suppliers) is deathly afraid of piracy, so they won’t allow full functionality on anything they haven’t personally vetted the security of(or at least, the portions of the security they care about).

        Far cry from the days where the PC industry told the movie industry to sit down and shut up and here was how the movie disk we now know as DVD was going to work.

  • Nick Kraakman

    In case you think the method described in the Youtube video above is a bit complex, try this free drag & drop sideloading tool instead:

    • Edith

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  • oompah

    400$ is too much
    standalone VR headset is definitely the future becuz of ease of use but it will also be great for business becuz a family will buy 3-4 headsets instead of simply one gaming console.
    Therefore considering higher volumes, target price should be around 200$ or less

    • dk

      400 is way too cheap :P if it was 550 it could have had sd855 eye tracking and more memory
      …this is just the start ….it’s more or less as cheap as it could be at this point …with an oled screen

      • jj

        i want what you described.

        • Xron

          Wait few years and you will get it.

          • jj

            yupp its on its way, and cloud computing will start to merge us into new areas we cant even consider yet.

          • wow

            i’ve been waiting for too long :(

        • dk

          yeah I guess something like that must be on their road map at some point ….starting with as cheap as possible setup is not a particularly bad decision

      • The Mogget

        I bet they could stuff that all into the Quest body. I wouldn’t be surprised if the Rift S rumor turns out to be the Quest S instead.

        • Andrew Jakobs

          Ofcourse they can do that, but not without adding an extra price which would up the headset to a point where it’s beyond a psychological threshold. Making it isn’t really the problem, making it at a consumer pricepoint is…

          • The Mogget

            After the Quest is a huge success, doing deluxe models at deluxe prices will seem less out there.

    • Andrew Jakobs

      oh please, $400 for the quest is pretty cheap. You are really being unrealistic. Even at $200 it would be too expensive to buy 3 to 4 headsets for a family.
      It’s not like technology is free, I’m betting that the Quest isn’t really sold with much profit like Apple product are.

      • The Mogget

        You say that, but a lot of families have 800 dollar phones in everyone’s pockets, and a lot of families have ‘Dad’s gaming PC’ that is 1000 bucks by itself, and also a Wii U, and so forth.

        If you imagine the Quest replacing the Wii U and maybe the gaming PC, buying one each for all 4 members of my family is not as crazy as it sounds. The more likely scenario is that I have 1 or 2 until I can pick up the others used.

        • Andrew Jakobs

          Uhm ‘a lot of families have 800 dollar phones in everyones pockets’? Don’t know many families where everyone has an $800 phone in their pocket, most I know have a $400-$500.
          And if everyone in the familiy has an $800 phone, then $400 for the quest isn’t a problem… But don’t know many families who have a Wii U (or a specific console) for every member, mostly they have one which they share, or 2 but different types.

          • The Mogget

            Two consoles at 400 bucks each, 500 with peripherals is a thousand bucks. 4 headsets at 200 bucks each is only 800.

            Sure, poor people are poor and have less stuff and they buy it used and whatnot, but VR headsets seem more expensive than they are when you assume that they will be in addition to consoles, rather than replacing them. The console-VR model works too – a 400 buck console that can do the heavy lifting for four 100 buck headsets. Assuming the processing is half the cost of the headset, it doesn’t matter if it is in each headset or all in the console.

            My prediction is that the processing will shift to being in the headsets, but people will have family accounts for the games. The benefit of the console model is the shared game setup.

          • Andrew Jakobs

            huh what are you talking about? You are unrealistic that a Quest can be sold for $200 a pop at this time (yeah in a year or two it won’t be a problem, by then the hardware has become much cheaper to produce). And it’s not much of a prediction as it’s already happening..

    • jj

      anyone who uses the word becuz is quickly discredited

    • The Mogget

      Yes and no. $400 is a steal compared to a gaming rig PC. Imagine the cost of 3-4 Rifts complete with PC. Ew. This represents a huge cost drop in gaming VR.

      I also am contemplating how painful it will be for me to buy 4 Quests…. eventually. I am expecting that in a year or so Quests will be about 300 bucks and 200 bucks used and I can complete my set then.

  • Ian

    I hope Quest came with sideloading because I want ALVR or other software to play Steam games or Oculus games in Quest wirelessly. I hope this work because my VR setup is in the office room in our house and sometimes my wife need to use that office. If this works I can play VR anywhere in our house!!!!!

    • Sherill

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    • sebrk

      Your milage may vary. I doubt that will work without losing a lot of quality.

      • Stasia

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    • The Mogget

      I understand your desire to use your existing game library, but if you just bought the Quest games you could play VR anywhere in the world.

      My biggest disappointment about the Quest is Oculus’s move to have their own store. It would be much cooler if my Steam purchases would be honored by the Quest people, so I wouldn’t have to re-buy anything…. but where would be the billions in profits without that?

  • MeowMix

    I feel the omission of (Carmack) from the title is a crime against gaming !

    What’s next? “Valve CEO and Co-founder denies shelving of VR titles”

  • The Mogget

    Does this mean I can sideload custom songs and mods for Beatsaber? If so, there will be no hesitation to buy the Quest. As long as it can be done, some dude on some forum will figure out how to make it easy for me.