Like its predecessors, Quest 3 will be able to plug into high-end gaming PCs to play top PC VR titles.

Meta might have largely abandoned PC VR, but it’s not ready to pull the plug completely.

A spokesperson for the company has confirmed with Road to VR that Quest 3 will continue to support Oculus Link (also known as Quest Link) and Air Link.

Oculus Link allows users to plug Quest headsets into their PC via USB-C to interface with the Oculus PC software. From there users can use the headsets, including Quest 3 when it launches, to play Oculus PC games like Lone Echo and SteamVR games like Half-Life: Alyx.

Air Link, which offers the same PC VR capability—except wirelessly over Wi-Fi—is also confirmed for Quest 3.

SEE ALSO
Meta is Working on an Airplane Travel Mode for Quest

As with prior versions of the headset, this could be a lifeline for the PC VR space which would otherwise be shrinking if not for a glut of Quest 2 users using their headset to play PC VR games. Quest 2 became the most popular headset used on SteamVR shortly after it launched, and has remained there ever since, holding a significantly larger share of usage than any other headset on the platform (including Meta’s older dedicated PC VR headsets like Rift and Rift S).

This article may contain affiliate links. If you click an affiliate link and buy a product we may receive a small commission which helps support the publication. See here for more information.


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."
  • Kevin Brook

    Is there any news yet as to whether the XR2 Gen 2 chip will allow for better encoding and lower latency? Also, any news on the mooted integrated Quest app that gets rid of the clunky Rift PCVR app and finally unites standalone and PCVR into a single app?

    • ViRGiN

      How do you expect to connect Quest without PC app? Forcing users to install shitty outdated abandoned SteamVR? Maybe through WMR services?
      There are no Windows standards for VR.
      WMR is dead. And so is PCVR.

      • Dale Kirkley

        Yay, Debbie Downer is here, everyone can relax! If VR as a tech is to succeed it does not people like you, your overall negativity toward the hobby is overwhelming.

        • ViRGiN

          You, and hundreds of other PCVR-shills has failed to hype it. But me, and me alone is able to bring it down?

          • Dale Kirkley

            I said “people”, not “person”.

      • Gonzax

        Are you high, again, Virgin?

      • For Windows 8. lol

        • ViRGiN

          Speaking of Windows 8, and 7, valve just pulled off the biggest scumbag move. In half a year, your perfectly working Windows 7/8 computer running games perfectly that you purchased 10 years ago will stop working.

          This is so extremely anti consumer, and nobody seems to care.
          “I buy all my games on Steam so I don’t loose access to them”. I hope these people have fun spending heavy money on necesarry upgrades and paying for OS that they don’t really need other than Valve not being able to come up with a solution to provide a decent game launcher.

          • CrusaderCaracal

            1. Windows 7/8 is outdated.
            2. Upgrades to windows 10 are free
            3. Windows 10 doesn’t need that much more to run than Windows 7 or 8

          • ViRGiN

            What does gabe boots taste like?

          • CrusaderCaracal

            so when u lose a argument u call people bootlickers?

          • ViRGiN

            when you attempt to paint an operating system outdated, when people just want to play their 10 year old single player games that run perfectly 10 years ago, yeah sure.
            if the system is so outdated, microsoft should remotely disable each and every one. it’s so risky running it after all, don’t you think?

          • CrusaderCaracal

            never said you couldnt enjoy an old operating system but you cant expect a company to focus on every single os when the majority have made the switch and upgraded, especially considering if you really want to play old games you could just run them off a VM

          • ViRGiN

            If you didn’t know, old games are best played on one hardware. Retro consoles line nes, psx, n64 – there is tons and tons of players preferring to play using the real hardware instead of emulation. Vm is a joke for gaming.

            Do you even know why steam is dropping support? Something to do with chromium. That’s right. A game launcher is built on web browser. We are talking about millions of users being cut off from their games – only because steam is incapable of making a real games launcher. They literally won’t allow you to log in, that’s it. The same will happen to windows 11 in 10 years.

            You don’t own anything you buy on steam. You will be cut off from your games. You will own nothing and be happy with it.

          • CrusaderCaracal

            I own my games lol, i’m financially able to afford upgrading my system. Also, i probably won’t even be gaming as often in 10 years

          • Nothing to see here

            You should return to your Windows 7/8 computer and play retro games, grandpa.

          • Nothing to see here

            Windows 7/8 computer? *Snicker*

      • CrusaderCaracal

        dude you whine in every single vr comment section.
        heres a sick idea, if you dont like where vr is going or dont support vr manufacturers or pcvr, then dont read about it lol simple as that

        • ViRGiN

          If you easily get trigerred by comments that don’t share your sentiment, don’t read them

          • CrusaderCaracal

            LOL! Thats what you do.

      • Nothing to see here

        It’s far from perfect but Windows gaming VR is enough reason to purchase a Quest 2 or 3 even if you never buy a native Quest game. I bring my Quest 2 on trips, connect it to my 4090 laptop and explore planets in No Man’s Sky. It’s vastly better than the current PSVR2 version and lightyears beyond anything that runs natively on the Quest 2. Getting everything connected and working smoothly the first time is a bit frustrating but once it does, it’s smooth sailing. Pro tip: Increase the shader cache in the NVIDIA control panel.

    • Andrew Jakobs

      As far as I know, there is already a big improvement using Virtual desktop over the Quest ‘native’ implementation. Why Meta just doesn’t license its implementation from the VD creator, or just buy it, is beyond me. Luckily for pico owners VD isn’t bought by Meta.

      • Felipe

        is it better than using the cable?

        • Andrew Jakobs

          I don’t know, but cable with Q2 is also just USB, not DP like the Pico 3 neo has, pico 4 sadly doesn’t have it. But Virtual Desktop with a decent PC is better as the Meta wireless streaming as I hear from many.

    • TH_VR_RD

      Cooling in the Q3 has also been improved allowing for higher average clock speeds on the XR2, I’m hoping this improves encoding/PCVR performance as well.

  • XRC

    Going back to the original partnership between Oculus and Valve; Oculus to sell hardware, with Valve providing digital storefront.

    After the Facebook acquisition, the partnership fractured, with the two former partners going their own way.

    Of course Facebook realized the value was gained from selling software, with hardware difficult to make profit from.

    So we ended up with Oculus digital storefront, Oculus hardware, and Valve doing the same.

    Now? Valve Index is 4 year old hardware, Valve MIA from VR space (ignoring maintenance updates and code leaks which just mean R+D) and Oculus/Meta pushing hard to build out the consumer market, but with considerable annual losses. That hardware game is tricky!

    2023; majority of steamVR users are accessing through Oculus/Meta hardware, and buying software through Valve.

    Funny how things go full circle. As they say in the song, “Why can’t we all just get along…”

    Happy XR to you!

    • ViRGiN

      What Oculus-Valve partnership?
      Valve was never interested in anything commercial until Palmer Luckey sold his company.

      • XRC

        Valve freely shared their low persistence 1080p VR technology with Oculus and even built a copy of the Steam 1080p room at Oculus HQ.

        Zuckerberg was so impressed with the technology that it cemented his decision to purchase Oculus, the rest is history…

        • ViRGiN

          They gave away what they weren’t using and had no plans for. When valve has ever said they will provide the storefront for Oculus, and they focus on hardware? Making money off software is known strategy for decades – it never made any sense to “partner” with steam.

          • XRC

            Google search, there is a lot of information out there, from people involved at the time, as well as media:

            “Inside The Growing Rift Between Valve And Oculus, Ian Hamilton” uploadvr 2016.

            Contains a great image: “A photo of Mark Zuckerberg trying the “Valve prototype” in January 2014 at Oculus headquarters, from a presentation given by Brendan Iribe at an investor’s conference in Orange County.”

          • ViRGiN

            No, you Google.

            Again, valve had no interest in pursuing vr themselves. They weren’t planning on launching their own headset. They didn’t plan to add vr to steam. They gave away all the research they have done, because they liked Palmer enough, and they themselves were busy with running the steam. Then Palmer luckey sold to Facebook for 2 billion dollars and Gabe newell went “holdup, vr is actually worth something and won’t flop like before? Scott, drop everything you’re doing and immediately start searching for company who can manufacture hardware quickly!”

          • ViRGiN

            > Newell thought it was an exciting technology demonstration but was concerned that the cool tech wouldn’t be enough to interest developers. “You need to figure out why people should make a VR game,” he explained. “You need to figure out what kind of games work best in this. You’re not gonna be able to just sell this if it’s a bunch of tech demos; you’re going to need to be able to figure out how people can make actual games. Not just this one demo that I just saw. It needs to be real stuff.”

            > With the Kickstarter going live in only four days, this didn’t leave much time. But, at least, there was still a fragment of hope. The same, however, could not be said for the secondary objective of their visit: to see if Valve would consider adding a “VR section” to Steam, so that developers could distribute content for the Rift.
            No. Nope. Not gonna happen. “Steam,” Newell explicitly explained, “isn’t a repository for half-baked tech demos.”

            > So where did Valve stand? Did they actively want to push forward a VR revolution? To find out once and for all, Abrash and Binstock spent the first week of March meeting with Gabe Newell and Valve’s board of directors.
            The following week, in a surprise to most, Atman Binstock decided to leave Valve and accept Iribe’s offer to join Oculus. When asked by a colleague what had led to this decision, Binstock explained with a sigh that, ultimately, “Valve is like this jolly fat man who just keeps getting more money and jollier but isn’t willing to take any risks. They aren’t pushing for VR to happen; in fact, I’m not even sure if they care at all whether VR succeeds or fails. Whereas Oculus is different. Oculus is this rocket that is either going to deliver VR or explode spectacularly. And I want to do everything in my power to help ensure the former.”

            Don’t tell me to Google ever again.

          • Christian Schildwaechter

            A lot of information being out there only helps if a person is actually interested in facts. If they want to believe the world is flat, the world will remain flat, and neither all the science in the world nor flying around that world to meet with other non-shills will change that.

            I actually followed the “Don’t tell me to Google ever again” advice a long time ago and removed the option for me to ever tell him anything again, with the nice side effect that I also never have to read anything from him again other than when I’m not logged into disqus. Whenever this happens, I realize this move has saved me a lot of time I might have wasted on even considering to give a reasonable reply that would be ignored anyway. Something about (not) distributing fishes to figures from Nordic folklore.

          • ViRGiN

            Google search enough until you find what I said is 100% true. LMAO.

            “google search”. If you google hard enough, you will find articles about PCVR causing cancer. That’s your source. Google it.

    • Only trolls hide comments

      What are you talking about? Oculus had already been acquired by Meta when the CV1 was released.

      • ViRGiN

        don’t expect common sense from people who got sold on the idea that steam is the future, and everyone and everything should be running on steam

        • Only trolls hide comments

          I like Steam. They consistently have the best deals. I also like Meta. They make the best XR hardware. I think PCVR wirelessly on Meta hardware offers the best VR experience.

          I think loyalty to a corporate entity is ridiculous and find fanboyism of any sort childish and boorish in the extreme.

          I have no interest in participating in a silly back and forth between two camps defined by their consumerism. I’m a platform agnostic XR enthusiast.

  • impurekind

    It really needed a proper connection that doesn’t compress the visuals at all imo. But this is better than nothing.

    • Daniel Dobson

      I don’t think the connection is what is compressing the visuals, I think the compression your seeing is related to what is happening at the encoding stage. I’m suggesting that USB 3.0 supports between 5 and 20 Gbps.

      • Chris

        Most people get barely 3Gbps via link usb. Even ‘official’ and expensive Meta branded cable supply less than 2Gbps.

        • Daniel Dobson

          Ah I think there is some confusion here. When I say connection I mean what USB 3.0 can do.

          But when you say connection your describing what the Quest 2 (software / platform is currently encoding from the PC and decoding on the device. There appears to be a BIG disparity… But that isn’t due to capabilities of the USB standard if that makes sense?

          Imagine a big pipe, with low water pressure.

  • Xongas

    why do you people keep responding to this lunatic as if it was a functioning human being?

    • disqus_o4N8KCTF90

      Yup. My advice is to click the 3 dots next to his name and select ‘block user’. I did it a while back and this place is far more pleasant to visit now.

      • jerronimo3000

        I have also blocked him. He’s perfectly entitled to share his opinions, but I just got tired of seeing the same arrogant dismissal of something I enjoy.

        • disqus_o4N8KCTF90

          I wouldn’t mind if it was opinion but it seems to be childish ranting most of the time. Particularly attacking pcvr or whichever headset he doesn’t own.

          • VR-Gal-2299

            I have lurked here for longer than a year and consistently “ViRGiN” has been extraordinarily acidic to every discussion I have seen. It’s astounding how I have seen this go on article after article. Its not just once, its a lot. Even if a person can indeed block a user, that will only come after seeing a long pattern of abusive behavior that irks them enough to do so. Is this the kind of discussion that RoadToVR wants to encourage? Every new customer is seeing this in plain sight. I expect at least some level of moderation from a professional company. This reflects poorly on this website. I am sorry, but it does.

          • disqus_o4N8KCTF90

            Agreed

          • ViRGiN

            Ah, so you just want a PCVR-safe space here. Got it.
            It reflects poorly on people like you wanting to enforce censorship because someone is saying something you personally don’t like.

            But I love all the attention you all give me. If you all could just not get triggered for a day or two and enjoy the things you actively shill for, the world would be a much better place.

          • David

            You are mentally ill, seek help before you hurt someone.

            Also, username checks out

          • jerronimo3000

            Yeah it’s tough. I greatly dislike suppressing opinions, even if I disagree with them. But I suppose there could at least be a standard for presenting those opinions respectfully. Our favorite blocked user is typically quite antagonistic.

          • Max-Dmg

            It’s only until he gets laid and then he will be nice to people.

          • Chris

            I have blocked him as well, it’s so much better now without his delusional, narcissistic ranting and raving. Roadtovr really needs a moderator.

          • Guest

            I’m thankful RoadToVR does not moderate. There is all sorts of information that can be derived from every troll, that is, if you can read between the lines. That is why I think this is the best VR news website.

          • CrusaderCaracal

            exactly he needs to pick up a new hobby like knitting or hiking instead of whining about valve or meta on a vr forum

          • JakeDunnegan

            I don’t understand why this site doesn’t ban him.

            One wonders how many users have checked out the comments, seen his commentary and said, “Hard pass” and moved on.

      • Eldon Harris

        So happy he is blocked now.

      • TH_VR_RD

        I followed your advice – major improvement. Thanks for posting

    • Paul Jerome

      Apparently people have boiled down his actual identity as a guy that goes by “fastlawyer” (where he spouts the same mentally ill stuff in Steam forums). That, or he’s actually a David Heaney trolling alt (the guy who carries the most water for Facebook, but not generally known to be this incendiary). I don’t think it’s the latter, because the same user was one of the primary reasons UploadVR had to change their forum format (and Heaney works for them, so why would he purposely toxify his own environment).

      • MarcDwonn

        UploadVR changed their format? How?

        I’ve not been there for months now, after the ergonomics got worse and worse.

      • MattyMoo

        Fastlawyer does steam vr game reviews on YouTube and is overall very positive towards them. I would be surprised if they were the same person. There’s certainly a lot of toxic people in steam forums; perhaps you’ve mistaken the username?

  • disqus_o4N8KCTF90

    REGARDING THE USER ‘VIRGIN’ CLICK THE 3 DOTS TO THE RIGHT OF HIS NAME AND SELECT BLOCK USER.

    We can then have a sensible discussion without the childish outbursts.

    I blocked him ages ago. It’s highly recommended.

    • bluetoothbday

      he’s very dumb but it’s funny to see someone as anti-valve as the general reddit/online vr community is anti-Facebook.

      • Only trolls hide comments

        It’s all such stupid, tribalistic, kid shit. I just want to tell those people to get a real personality and quit defining yourself by which corporations’ products you buy or don’t buy.

        I guess those without a strong sense of self need a predefined persona or cult of personality to latch on to and tell them what to think and how to act.

        • sfmike

          Maybe those of us who blocked him, I did a while ago, just want to save time from having to sort through his BS.

    • TH_VR_RD

      Thanks for the suggestion – is a much more productive space without virgin’s chatter.

    • Devin

      Done!

    • xyzs

      Yes he’s a sad total sociopath.
      The fault is also on the staff of R2VR who never did anything against him. Freedom of speech is great, but daily basis insults is not the same thing.

  • Chris

    I wish Meta included a dedicated pcvr option with the new headset that wasn’t usb or air link. I still get WAY better PCVR performance from my Rift S because of the dedicated hybrid display port/usb cable. The more complex and detailed PCVR games you want to play, the more you find the limitations of usb / air link cause you are always fighting the compression/decompression software. My next headset will not be Quest 3 for that reason…

    • Foreign Devil

      Yep I’m in the boat and on the fence about buying the Quest 3. Would like a cheaper, light weight dedicated PC VR headset with great resolution and pancake optics and inside out tracking.

      • Not happening. In the case of quest/Pico they could subsidise the device, but PCVR will remain 600+ niche with no such things, unless people find a way into PSVR2, that would be ultimate headset.

    • Only trolls hide comments

      I own a Rift S & a Quest 2 and I find the visuals playing PCVR wirelessly on my Quest 2 using Virtual Desktop superior to wired on my Rift S. Is there a comparison video you can point me to showing these compression/decompression problems you are talking about?

      • ViRGiN

        Anyone who complains about wifi-quest quality, is exactly the kind of person who got a wifi router 15 years ago and is limited by his own shortsightness whilke cheering for sadleybradley deckard is coming “leaks”

        • Dale Kirkley

          “Speaking of Windows 8, and 7, valve just pulled off the biggest scumbag move. In half a year, your perfectly working Windows 7/8 computer running games perfectly that you purchased 10 years ago will stop working.

          This is so extremely anti consumer, and nobody seems to care.
          “I buy all my games on Steam so I don’t loose access to them”. I hope these people have fun spending heavy money on necessary upgrades and paying for OS that they don’t really need other than Valve not being able to come up with a solution to provide a decent game launcher.””

          And yet its not okay for Valve to expect people to have upgraded SOFTWARE that is over 10 years old and has reached EOL.

          Double standard much?

        • CrusaderCaracal

          mad over nothing lol

      • Chris

        Notoriously difficult to get a good video inside a fresnel lens without decent camera, which I don’t have.

        Are you aware of the MASSIVE difference in Bandwidth available between a dedicated display port video cable and USB ? You might want to go look it up.

      • Pab

        With all its screendoor effect the Rift S has much lower latency, better tracking, better clarity and better confort for PCVR than the Quest (in my opinion).

    • TH_VR_RD

      Agreed – it’s a small ask but one that would open up a larger market to Meta. There’s no reason the headset market has to be so thoroughly bifurcated.

      • shadow9d9

        A tiny market that sells games in very low numbers and dilutes their product. Horrible idea for them.

    • shadow9d9

      Huge sde and lower res on rift…and stuck in a room with breakable objects.

  • This is good

  • ViRGiN

    also PCVR elitists: oh no! i have hoped they will kill PCVR support, so that developers who don’t make money can start making money now by making crappy software to a $1000 headsets powered by $2000 PCs

    • CrusaderCaracal

      shush

  • RojCowles

    Oculus/Meta will probably support Link/Air Link for a while for their developers, IMHO naturally, since being able to run a Unity/Unreal project directly on the headset from the PC gives a much faster change/build/test loop than having to compile a Quest native APK from the project and deploy to the headset.

  • CrusaderCaracal

    Anyone else come on R2VR to see virgin whine about steam?

  • Christopher Thomas

    The HP Reverb G2 is fairly decent. No screen door, comfortable, good sound and visuals. If you are looking for PC VR mainly, that’s the one.

    • CrusaderCaracal

      Tracking isn’t the greatest though, and it’s WMR