Virtual Desktop, an Oculus Quest app which allows users to control their Windows PCs from inside the headset, now officially offers the ability to stream PC VR games wirelessly to the headset. Facebook had previously not allowed the feature to be included with the app, restricting it to a complicated sideloading process.

Virtual Desktopwhich is also available for PC VR headsetsis a long-running piece of virtual desktop software which allows users to access their Windows PCs from inside their VR headset. The Quest version launched on the headset back in 2019 and was later updated with a new feature which allowed users to stream PC VR content from Oculus PC and SteamVR to Quest—much like a wireless version of Oculus Link.

Image courtesy Virtual Desktop

Shortly thereafter, Oculus forced the developer to remove the feature, saying it didn’t meet its quality guidelines. The developer made it possible to patch the app with the feature, but it required a complicated sideloading process which involved users posing as developers in order to get the necessary files onto their headset.

The controversial move stood for more than a year and a half—until today, when Oculus reversed course and allowed the full-featured version of Virtual Desktop, including PC VR streaming capabilities, onto the Quest store, UploadVR reports.

The move comes shortly after Oculus introduced App Lab, a long-awaited official avenue for developers to distribute apps on Quest while bypassing Oculus’ ‘curation’ process for the main Quest store.

At the time of App Lab’s introduction, it was thought that if Oculus wouldn’t allow the Pc VR streaming feature of Virtual Desktop onto the main Quest store, it should at least allow it an App Lab version since the capability didn’t explicitly violate any of Oculus’ technical guidelines. In a surprise move, Oculus actually wound up allowing the full featured version of Virtual Desktop onto the main Quest store, rather than just App Lab.

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While Quest has been seen as a largely closed platform due to Oculus’ decision to hand-curate its store for quality, between App Lab, Virtual Desktop, and a growing number of non-game applications being allowed onto the store, a marked shift is happening in the company’s content strategy for the headset.

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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."
  • Lhorkan

    Interesting development. I wonder if this means they also won’t block PlutoSphere, the cloud streaming service vowing to “break down the walled garden”.

    • Ad

      They would have zero case if they did, so I think they’ll try to keep them and Shadow in limbo. But you can run virtual desktop off of both services so I’m not sure Facebook thought this through

    • Rupert Jung

      If VD cooperates with them, they could just pass-through their videostream.

      • Ad

        Guy doesn’t seem to like cloud streaming apps too much and maybe now he doesn’t want to risk his relationship with Facebook. I’d love to see him work with Shadow and PS but I would be surprised.

  • Anonymous

    Imho not too surprising tho. The original ban was already stupid in the first place, probably someone at Oculus or FB thought that wireless streaming should be a feature done by themselves in a future firmware and that they lose face when a 3rd party beats them to it.

    But as time goes by FB probably starts realizing that why re-invent the wheel when you already have, albeit 3rd party, a solution for wireless VR (that doesn’t even require a rip-off adapter) that pushes Quest’s charm to an all new level. All that R&D money for wirless VR can, and should, be re-allocated into marketing and logistics for now.

  • Jesusavestill

    I remember once being able to remote start my pc from gearvr. Can this be done from quest ?

    • Geoff

      PC’s have a “Wake on Lan” feature that wakes up a PC by sending a simple instruction over the internet or network to the network card inside the pc, the network card is not fully switched off when a PC has Wake on Lan enabled. Google “Wake on Lan” to look at how to make your PC look for this instruction when it is off.

      Then on a quest (untested) you could wake your pc sending this wake command from a website that wakes up machines, e.g.

  • I have a eerie feeling that it’s because Guy re-wrote the feature to use Oculus’ PC runtime in an emulated format instead of slicing through SteamVR (he said something about it in a recent interview)

    • Ad

      Do you know here he said this?

      • In the UploadVR interview from a few days ago

  • MosBen

    So, does it work well?

    • sfmike

      Works well and worth trying.

      • MosBen

        Nice! Thanks!

  • Andrew Jakobs

    I think Oculus has allowed it now because most of the bugs that were in it when it first was barred from the store, are now fixed and the feature is more mature as back then.

    • Ad

      I don’t think Guy would agree with that conclusion.

  • Ad

    So basically now through Shadow or Plutosphere as the cloudPC you run Virtual Desktop off of, someone starting with nothing (no PC) could get a quest and use it exclusively to play PCVR?

  • What is the latency like? I had a friend tell me he had 15ms.

  • Nicholas

    Almost there. Quality is still not good enough to rival modern screens (in 2d mode)because of compression etc. Next iteration will be great (if you have the hardware for it)

  • Rupert Jung

    Tip for anyone without having a router in the same room: Just get yourself a Wifi repeater with LAN for 50 bucks. Connect it directly to your PC (or at a switch) and enjoy super-fast streaming :)

    • Might you have one that you can recommend, please and thank you?

    • Ama Trykowski

      Better tip, buy a 25€ Intel WiFi6 adapter an run it with higher speed and better latency directly connected to your PC. PCs are capable to create a own hotspot.

      • Hey my PC already has wifi on its motherboard, but I’m not using it. I can make it a WiFi Hotspot?!

        • Holy crap I can!!!!!

        • Ama Trykowski

          Sure, press the WiFi symbol in the bottom right corner and somewhere there you can create your hotspot. Keep in mind, you need to allow internet usage if you like to use internet and disable automatically closing of the WiFi hotspot

          • My god, I had no idea I could do this. Can’t wait to try it with the Quest 2 once it arrives tomorrow! Thank you!

  • Finally a good news!

  • Derek Whitaker

    Awesome! Worked perfectly for me with my Quest 2. Was able to play Alyx and Skyrim with no noticeable degradation in video quality or lag of any kind! No more wires!

  • mike j Larry

    How do you accomplish this, a great article without explanation or link how to achieve, thanks if you could post