In addition to a handful of upcoming performance upgrades, Oculus plans to eventually merge Oculus Link directly into Quest’s interface instead of handing the job off to Oculus Dash (the Oculus PC interface) as it does now. The company has confirmed that SteamVR will continue to be supported even after the interface merger.

Last month we reported on a range of upgrades that are coming to Oculus Link—Quest’s PC-tethering capability—to ready it for Quest 2, including 90Hz refresh rate, higher resolution, and more.

Further in the future, Oculus plans to integrate the Link experience natively into the Quest interface. Rather than seeing Oculus Dash (the Oculus PC interface) when using Quest with a PC, Link will bring the PC library into the Quest interface, similar to how it presents native games. Ultimately this will allow Quest users to use Link in a much more seamless way, enabling them to jump back and forth between native and PC-based applications as if they were one in the same.

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But that raises questions about whether or not Quest and Quest 2 would continue to be compatible with SteamVR via Oculus Link. As it stands today, Quest and Quest 2 users see Oculus Dash when using Oculus Link, and from there they can launch into the SteamVR environment to browse games and content.

Fortunately, Oculus tells Road to VR that the interface changes to Oculus Link won’t impact SteamVR compatibility.

The company didn’t elaborate on exactly how users could continue to use SteamVR via Oculus Link, but one likely outcome is that—in addition to seeing a list of available PC apps in their Quest interface—Oculus Link users would also see an ‘Oculus Dash’ app which would allow them to continue to access Dash if desired. From there they could launch into the SteamVR environment as they do now.

As of now Oculus hasn’t said when the Oculus Link updates will hit, but the native interface integration is likely to come sometime after the performance improvements aimed at Quest 2.

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  • Michael Lupton

    I would be shocked if it didn’t. However with the integration that still may mean a loss of some of the PC functionality I use to stream, like having invisible chat windows off to my side so I can interact with chat.

  • Ad

    I would not be surprised if they try and make you take off the headset and launch SteamVR games with a keyboard, but that would mess us the desktop view so it would be more trouble than it’s worth.

    • jimmy

      valve simp

  • Lucas Cunningham

    I still don’t get why they don’t just let VD’s streaming feature work natively, why do the sink R & D budget into developing a redundant “air link?”

    The only financial incentive for them to make their own rendition would be to increase sales on the Rift store, which could only be guaranteed if air link didn’t work with steamvr. This would make air link an inferior product from the get go and it wouldn’t get used much anyway, so I really don’t see what their play is (unless they get into selling overpriced wifi dongles).

    • kontis

      My hypothesis is that offering air link diminishes the almost exclusivity of frictionless tether-free experience of Oculus Quest and extends it to PCVR (Microsoft Windows + Valve’s Steam), which might be a “meh” business proportion compared to actual XR needs of Facebook (a fully controlled platform with billion+ users, ie. smartglasses).

      They need PC support to lure PC users and geeks.
      But they also want you to eventually ditch the PC completely.

      • Lucas Cunningham

        Yeah, I guess they do quite a bit to improve the platform that they haven’t yet really monetized, like optical hand tracking.

        I want official airlink soon, especially since Q2 has wifi 6, but I really think they should take the cuffs of VD anyway.

      • IcedForce

        Pretty much this plus making the experience worse to lower the numbers until they can say “only a fraction of minority uses this feature, so we decided to remove it as it gives us headaches and not many use it”. Kind of same that they did with Rift, they made the Rift S so, it was better than Quest but not really competing with anything new and kind of stupid buy over Quest and probably in the meeting where they decided to leave the Rift S as the last Rift someone used the argument: “There isn’t enough sales to justify continuing developing the Rift line-up”.

        This is one of the oldest tricks in the book and we will probably soon see if they are using it. To be precise, we will see it once the migration happens and if there is community noise to the direction of “it is hard/tricky/inconvenient to use SteamVR from the new UI” and if Facebook says something to it that will be in something like “it is not us but Steam makes it hard to support SteamVR and we are doing our best”, that’s when we know they are playing the trick of “not enough users to support feature”. Then they just need to keep it under the radar or even get media to report about it “Valve making SteamVR supporting difficult” and have their fanboys commenting on everywhere “it’s not that bad” and when it comes to release Quest 3 or 4 we will hear “We decided to stop supporting SteamVR because our data shows less and less users use that feature”.

    • Thoemse

      The discontinued their last PC bound headset. I doubt they develop many PC based games anymore and don’t plan on any new ones. Standalone is what facebook is heading towards and from their point of view it makes sense.

      Devoloping a wireless PC link only puts “their” money into Valve’s pockets. Where’s their incentive to do so.
      We’re lucky virtual desktop mannaged to pull it off.

      • Cl

        If they don’t do pc link I won’t buy. That’s their incentive. If they want as many people as possible on their system. Their goal is 1 billion people in vr right?

        • Graham J ⭐️

          This is why Valve should ban Link.

      • I bought a Quest because of its dual nature. Untethered VR is great but on the long run, I don’t want low-fi mobile games. The streaming technology is mostly there to stream your PC on the Quests over wifi. An headset that won’t support Steam will stay behind.

        • Thoemse

          I agree. I wouldn’t ve bought it if there was no link to Steam. Sadly I did not have the time to install virtual desktop and test wireless streaming yesterday. I’ll try that out tonight.

          • Jonathan Winters III

            Me three.

          • Austin Hull

            !four

      • Andrew Jakobs

        Developing wireless PC link is actually something they really want to do for the next incarnation (with Wifi6 for instance), as it means they can cater for 2 platforms.. Yes, they are going the standalone way, but they dropped a Rift 2 because it just doesn’t make sense to design one if you have a standalone headset which can also cater as a PCVR headset.. Rift S was never an Oculus headset, it was just an outsourced Lenovo headset with Oculus branded on it..

    • Adrian Meredith

      An “Air Link” has significantly more potential to be both easier to use and lower latency as they have direct access to the os an underlying layers (e.g. asw etc). So yes, despite how VD is better than link currently it will be surpassed eventually.

  • Graham J ⭐️

    Valve should ban Link. FB is using Steam to sell headsets. Don’t let them.

    • Dustojnik Hummer

      And tell me a single reason why Valve should do this? Valve wants every 6DoF headset to work with SteamVR

      • Graham J ⭐️

        See reply above

        • Dustojnik Hummer

          You are still wrong, see reply above.

    • Adrian Meredith

      That would lose valve money, why would they do that? Valve has no interest in selling vr headsets really, it wants to sell software. It made the index becuase, like nintendo, they wanted to make a game based around a piece of hardware and design around it.

      • Graham J ⭐️

        Because they care about VR and hate Facebook. Yes they would lose some game sale money in the short term but segregating Quest to on-headset and Oculus Store only would be good for them and the wider VR community longer term.

        • Dustojnik Hummer

          You are so wrong it is not even funny. If Valve cut off Oculus users, those people just find a way around it, just like they did the other way (see Revive). It would also severly cripple the whole PCVR ecosystem. It might kill SteamVR completely. Why? Because HTC Vive Cosmos sucks, nobody buys WMR headsets and Index is a thousand dollars.

        • Andrew Jakobs

          Oh, that’s just bullocks.. Yes they care about VR, but they also care about sales on Steam, and by blocking Steam for Link would hurt their own business.. And because they made Alyx VR only doesn’t show anything about that values are more important to them than money..

          And I think you really are mistaken about PCVR being seen as an upgrade for many, you really need a beefy PC for the PCVR to be seen as an upgrade.. And the advantage of something like the Quest is having options, playing standalone on holiday or through Links with PCVR at home.. Yes, Quest 1 isn’t the best solution, but Quest 2 is already a major improvement. Personally I would ditch my PCVR headset (currently HTC Vive Pro/RTX2060Super) if there is a standalone headset which has something like Link and working almost the same through PCVR as using natively.. And certainly if there is a manufacturer that has DP over USB-C which makes it identical to any new PCVR headsets..
          And as Dustojnik Hummer says, if Valve would cut off Oculus users from using their SteamVR library, I think it would reflect negative on Valve, not Oculus.
          I think your hate for FB is blinding you.

    • Valve wants an open VR market where you’d be free to buy any headset and play any VR game with it.

    • Andrew Jakobs

      Why would Valve ban Link? The more headsets FB sells, the more chances those people will also buy games on Steam if they can use Link.. So I guess Valve would even try to help get Link to work as smoothly as possible, because everything Valve does is for trying to get more sales through Steam, as that’s their goose with golden eggs..

      • Graham J ⭐️

        See reply above.

    • Thoemse

      You got that one wrong. Oculus is loosing money with the Quest 2. It’s so cheap to get people into the facebook/oculus store. Money is made with the software. If people buy the Quest 2 to use it with SteamVR valve couldn’t be happier. They didn’t make the index because they are such a great hardware manufacturer but to push VR and make sure they are “in” that market early enough so they can reap the profits later. This seems to turn out quite well too.

      • Graham J ⭐️

        No, I didn’t. See reply above.

  • Rogue Transfer

    “Oculus tells RoadToVR… The company” – Correction: There is no company Oculus since 2018.

  • Cool, but it was to be expected, or more people would have thought not buying it

  • FrozenMetalHead

    I can’t play any Steam VR games anymore through my Oculus Quest, it’s a hot stuttering mess and I’ve gone crazy recently trying to fix it. Hardware isn’t an issue as it’s way above spec, so I don’t know where to start.