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.
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.