Oculus announced last month that Quest will soon be able to play Oculus games on PC via a new feature called Oculus Link. Though Oculus Link will immediately add big boost in value to existing Quest headsets, perhaps even more interesting is what this announcement tells us about next-gen Oculus headsets.

Oculus Link is set to launch in beta as a free update to Quest headsets in November. It allows users to connect their headset to a VR ready PC via a USB 3 cable and play “most” titles from the Oculus PC library.

Image courtesy Oculus

We were impressed with the experience when we got to demo it last month and Oculus hasn’t been shy about saying that they’d eventually like to make the feature wireless. And while the added benefit of Oculus Link may even call into question the value of Rift S over Quest, the move tells us some very interesting things about the future of Oculus headsets.

Thou Cannot Giveth and Then Taketh Away

First and foremost, Oculus Link gives us good reason to expect that all future Quest headsets will also be compatible with PC content, and may even have some dedicated hardware to make the job easier. Here’s the thing: once Oculus puts this feature out into the wild, it can’t really take it back because it fundamentally alters the headset’s capabilities.

Oculus Link invites Quest users to purchase from Oculus’ PC library. To turn around and remove the feature from future Quest headsets would not only invalidate whatever investment customers had made into the company’s PC library, it would also feel like taking away a major feature; sort of like if the first iPhone had a camera, but they removed the camera on the second iPhone—customers simply wouldn’t stand for it.

In that regard, the release of Oculus Link can be seen as a commitment from Oculus that its future high-end standalone headset will continue to be able to play both mobile and PC titles.

Move Fast and Break Things

The announcement of Oculus Link just a few months after Quest and Rift S hit store shelves also tells us something about Oculus’ approach to product development which seems to be changing as the company has steadily lost its core founders after being acquired by Facebook in 2014.

Now much more deeply under Facebook control, the ‘new Oculus’ isn’t going to hold back features from one headset just to make sure its product portfolio has a clear or comfortable delineation (we saw the first hints of this with their choice to release Rift S instead of a Rift 2). I’m certain that Oculus understood the implications of adding PC tethering to Quest and how it would call into question the value of Rift S (which sells for the same $400 price). Still, Quest owners clearly wanted the ability to play PC content, and Oculus said ‘if we can make this happen, let’s do it’. This is Facebook’s “move fast and break things” mantra at work.

PC Tethering on Quest is a Huge Upgrade, Making Rift S a Tough Sell

What Does a Hybrid Oculus Quest Mean for a Next-gen Rift?

Less certain, but still potentially revelatory, is what Oculus Link could mean for Oculus’ next-gen Rift headset. If we are working under the assumption that Quest and its successors will be compatible with PC content from this point forward, it clearly opens the door for Oculus to make its PC product more clearly positioned for the high-end crowd. While Rift S currently stands as great entry-level value, many of Oculus’ loyal enthusiast customers saw it as a ‘sidegrade’ over the original Rift, and would have been happy to pay more than $400 for a higher-end Oculus headset if only that option was available.

If Quest, as a hybrid headset which can mobile and PC titles, serves as that entry-level option well enough, Oculus will need to either make its PC offering clearly the best way to experience Oculus PC content by pushing its specs and features into the next tier, or by cutting its price. There’s also another option… a wild card: Oculus could simply eliminate it’s PC-only headset and make their next headset serve as both the Quest 2 and the Rift 2. Oculus Qrift?

Wireless is Probably a New Priority for Oculus

Then there’s the question of wireless. With the traction they’re seeing with the tetherless Quest, I think Oculus is going to highly prioritize wireless for future headsets. They’ve already said that they’d like to make Oculus Link wireless eventually, and seem to be actively moving in that direction.

Now here’s the thing… if Quest, or perhaps Quest 2, were to get wireless PC streaming, could Oculus reasonably continue to have a tether on the equivalent Rift headset? My thinking is probably not….

In describing Oculus Link’s technical workings, the company has said it’s effectively a video streaming solution. And while today’s Oculus Link happens to transmit that stream over a tethered connection, the solution could easily work over a reliable wireless link as long as there’s sufficient bandwidth.

Oculus gave an overview of Oculus Link’s architecture at Oculus Connect 6 | Image courtesy Oculus

That means that a future Rift headset, let’s say a Rift 2, could use a ‘thin-client’ approach to be wireless out of the box. While Quest needs a full suite of on-board smartphone hardware to run a complete operating system as well as perform its own rendering and game processing, a ‘thin client’ headset would contain just enough on-board hardware to receive & decode a wireless video stream from a host PC.

Oculus Reveals New VR Headset Prototypes with Major Advances in Optics Form-factor

This could be done with a dedicated chip that could be less expensive and consume less power than what’s needed for a full standalone headset (a smartphone processor and everything that comes with it). While Quest doesn’t have any dedicated chips in it specifically for PC tethering, Oculus said they did debate it, and alluded to a continuing interest in dedicated streaming chips by saying that if they had more control over the underlying hardware they would be able to create alternate streaming architectures which would be even more suitable for their streaming approach, potentially leading to higher visual quality and lower latency.

Of course there would still be bandwidth and wireless reliability issues to contend with. Even with a thin-client approach, which wireless link would be best is still up in the air, especially if Rift 2 were to have higher resolution than Rift S, as we’d expect.

– – — – –

Image courtesy Oculus

One way or another, Oculus is moving into some uncharted territory as it turns Quest into a hybrid headset that can access both its mobile and PC libraries. Oculus is clearly trying to make its content and ecosystem more cohesive, and this will very likely guide decisions being made about Quest 2 and Rift 2.

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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."
  • Excited to see wireless streaming sometime in the future. An ecosystem supporting that, rather than a single company with a license, would be amazing.

  • People could love to go wireless, but most people’s home networks are 2.4Ghz, not 5. That’s not even enough for solid performance at the resolution of the original Rift or VIVE, much less then 2k to 4k everyone seems to be heading towards. Even the 5Ghz seems unlikely to work at the 2k resolutions.

    And how come you don’t hear about more people using the wireless VR adapters available now? I’m certain I’m not alone in pondering the health effects of putting such a potent wireless transmitter right on top of your brain. The cost isn’t a huge barrier to enthusiasts. I think most of us are waiting to see the long term health effects from those who are more daring.

    Mobile VR is good for low-polygon experiences, but it won’t ever meet the needs of high-end games. Every time it’ll get close, the bar will just get raised again by the high-end desktop gaming. It’ll never catch up completely. Also, as Carmack pointed out, we’re reaching the end of what silicon can do. Chips are close to atomic now, soon they won’t be able to be made any smaller or faster. We’re not that far off from seeing a plateau in mobile graphics, after which they will never get any better.

    The future of VR is going to likely involve a wire. The optimal device in a wired future is a headset that can be wired to a mobile device, like a cellphone, as well as the home PC. This is what the Cosmos and Quest were originally heading for. I was really surprised to hear from Carmark that USB-C isn’t the miracle cure, as even it’s huge data bandwidth and large power transfer wasn’t enough for a modern VR headset. For the Quest Link to work, the signal has to be compressed. Press members that have seen it all say it has a slight but noticeable effect on the picture quality . And the Quest isn’t even a 2k headset!

    So how are we going to go wireless when even the wires are strained right now?

    As for the Quest being Oculus’s only headset, that might be a bad idea. I thought this was a great idea too, until I had some time using it. It’s VERY uncomfortable if you look down too long or move your head around too much. It’s just so front heavy. If it’s large battery and processors were moved to the back of the headset, or maybe onto a belt unit like the Magic Leap, it might not be so uncomfortable.

    I’ve heard from several reviewers that the Rift S is very comfortable, and ends up being their go-to headset for most gaming. It’s great that the Quest is getting PC access, but it’s fine that it’s not a “Core Feature”. You would NOT want to use the Quest as your main PC-VR headset. It might actually be more uncomfortable then the original VIVE. The Quest is great for an hour or two, but I’ll happily use my lower-speced original Rift for longer game sessions. Comfort matters *ALOT* when you’re 4 to 6 hours in. The Quest comfort levels aren’t suited for 6+ hours. It’s battery life appropriately mirrors it’s comfort level: 2 hours max.

  • Rogue Transfer

    “Thou Cannot Giveth and then Taketh Away” Oh, really? They already did it for Rift users who had ‘bought’ movies from them: https://www.roadtovr.com/oculus-shut-movie-purchases-rentals-rift-today/

    Thankfully, they were generous and refunded that time. But it wouldn’t be the first time a big company closed a video game store(I’m lookin’ at you Nintendo Wii Shop Channel) and stopped allowing downloading of prior games through it. Once they move on to “breaking platform” future hardware, would be an ideal point to phase out PC support. Just like with a console centric approach.

    Facebook’s Jason Rubin recently talked about breaking platform compatibility at some point with new hardware features in the further off future. Trusting big companies tends to be a bad bet(Sony PS3 Unix support was tooketh away with a single update).

    • benz145

      You’re right — I wasn’t implying that they literally cannot remove the feature, only that it would be difficult for them to do so without upsetting customers who bought in for that feature specifically.

  • Jimmy Ray

    Alot of us asked for this at the beginning and wondered why this was not a all in one device. I wouldn’t have bought a S. They could have said something. Really shitty kitty.

    • Ugur Ister

      it was likely not in the plans at the beginning, else they would have probably included hardware to allow them to more easily (and likely faster and with less compression etc) pass the video instead of having to doodle on this more work involving solution for this iteration now

    • dk

      u can sell the s and buy the quest….if the link is fine for u

      • Jimmy Ray

        A lot of S are on EBay right now. Aaalot

    • Pablo C

      Men, the Quest is heavy as hell. Your S is much more comfortable. I have a CV1 and a Quest. I use the Quest solely for Vader Immortal Dojo, and for traveling.

      • Jimmy Ray

        I would like to just see the vision of the true makers before they left FB. That what I want.

        • Pablo C

          That vision is on the Index

      • Jonathan Winters III

        You should add a counterweight – solves the problem.

      • bmichaelb

        The Quest is 20.1oz, or 569.8g. The Rift-S is 500g, or 17.6oz, but that doesn’t include the weight the cable adds hanging down. The Quest is front heavy, but many of us have modified with the Vive Deluxe Audio Strap, which helps take the weight off the face. Then if you mount an Anker PowerCore 10000 PD battery pack to the rear of the DAS strap, then it completely balances it out, and gives ~10 more hours of battery life. Add the 20mm VRCover replacement foam for the headstrap, and it literally hugs your head. Add the VRCover facial insert and padding as well, and it’s the most comfortable thing I’ve ever put on my head.

        • Pablo C

          If I´d have to invest that amount of money, I´d buy a Cosmos.

          • bmichaelb

            Do what you gotta do dude. I’d rather have the portability. Besides…the Index is overblown. Small sweet spot, lots of godrays, and controller issues. Not to mention they won’t sell to anyone outside the continental USA and Europe. I’m in Canada…a 3 hour drive to Valve headquarters, and they won’t even ship to us.

          • Pablo C

            I see. Where I live everything that is “niche” cost twice, so I wont be getting an index. But I´m happier with my CV1 than with my Quest. I still use the Quest for exercising and it is great for a few games, but the immersion that the graphics of a PC gives on the CV1 is far from the Quest. For now I see them as two separate devices for totally different gaming activities. We´ll see how the Link works, but I doubt it´ll work perfectly and it probably won´t work with Steam VR.

          • bmichaelb

            I haven’t even touched my CV1 since getting my Quest. Have you tried streaming from pc to the Quest using Virtual Desktop of ALVR? It’s using the GPU’s graphics, not the Quest’s. Playing Space Pirate Trainer from pc to the Quest looks absolutely amazing, even better than the CV1, as there’s less godrays, far less screen door effect, and a bigger resolution. Rift CV1: 2160×1200. Quest: 2880×1600. The Link cable will be even better than wireless.

          • Pablo C

            For Space Pirate Trainer I just play the Quest version, which is great, but that is a game that doesn´t need good graphics. I mostly play games like Skyrim and No man Sky. ALVR doesn´t cut it. And I think none of those games will work on the Oculus Link, since it´ll need a propietary sofware to pass the data through USB.

          • bmichaelb

            If you’ve seen the Rift PCVR version of Space Pirate Trainer, then you’d know all the extra graphical details in the pc version compared to the Quest version. It’s literally night and day. Personally, I’ve never been able to get ALVR running properly, so I use Virtual Desktop. VD’s limted to only 100 megabits per second though, while the Link cable will be 150 megabits per second. The Quest is slightly smaller than 3K, at 2880×1600 @72fps, while 3K is 2880×1620. The Link cable reduces the resolution to that of the Rift-S’s 2560×1440. A 4K video, 3840×2160 @ 60fps, streaming from Netflix, is only 128 megabits per second. 150 megabits per second for 3K @ 72fps is more than enough. And as for proprietary software through the USB…what the hell does that have to do with it? It’s in the drivers…you need the ‘propritary software’ to play Rift PCVR games, as well as SteamVR games. It literally makes no difference.

          • Pablo C

            I have SPT for Steam VR as well. Good graphics, but unimportant IMO.
            About the USB. You might know more about it, but I understand USB3 will need to get the video data from the GPU, which outputs HDMI, convert it and pass it through?

          • bmichaelb

            I was merely pointing out the difference in graphics while tethered to pc…you said the pc graphics were far better, now you say it doesn’t matter(??). As for the GPU doing the rendering…not positive if it’s GPU or CPU doing the rendering, as it’s being compressed, and processing 1/3 of a frame at a time, instead of a whole frame by frame. It results in lower latency overall. Go to Oculus’ channel on Youtube, and look for ‘Oculus Link for Quest’…16:49 long. It explains how it’s all done. As for a lot of data to do the tracking…no more data than what’s being done in the Quest while being wireless. The signal being sent to the Quest is 150 megabits per second. USB 3.0 can handle more than 100 megabytes per second, travelling both directions. There’s absolutely no issues.

          • Pablo C

            At least for me, graphics matter when I want to be immerse in the world of the game, which is the case for Skyrim and NMS. I don´t care to be immerse in the world of SPT. I care to shoot the robots. That´s my opinion anyways.
            We´ll see how the Link works. Of course I hope it´ll work as good as you say.

          • bmichaelb

            I only mentioned Space Pirate Trainer as it’s one of the few games that will run through Virtual Desktop that I actually own. I was merely pointing out that it can push out a much better quality image than what the Quest can handle on it’s own. In the pcvr version, you have a hell of a lot more going on visually…like the ships having flames on them when they’re first hit, to the overall textures. It’s not an argument…it’s fact. And as I said…they showcased the Link using Asgard’s Wrath…that’s far more intensive than space Pirate Trainer.

            edit: And Skyrim barely plays on pcvr at perfect quality, as it’s a port, not completely optimized at that.

          • Pablo C

            I disagree, I have enjoyed Skyrim visuals every day for a year, I play it with high SS and it looks beautiful. And latelly, same for No man sky. Yeah, Space pirate trainer on PC has fog and flames, as I said, not a big deal for me. What I was pointing out is that the Quest is (so far) for those kind of games, but not for the kind of games with more gaming complexity. We´ll see what the Link brings.

            But I dare to ask: do you have 2 or 3 sensors for your CV1? I understand the big change the Quest might bring respect to 2 sensors, as I was surprise when I got my 3rd sensor. Roomscaling out of the box is one of the great things of this generation.

          • bmichaelb

            You obviously haven’t seen Red Matter then…it looks absolutely amazing. The devs now have Vulcan support, and will soon have Unity. That’s going to make a world of difference. But…you’re talking what the Quest itself does, not what it’ll do while tethered to the pc, with the pc’s GPU doing all the work.

            As for my CV1…I have the full 4-sensor setup. 3 sensors resulted in a blind spot in the corner without the sensor. 4 sensors is just about perfect. The only time I’d lose tracking…is if the controller’s close to my stomach, and I’m bent over. Other than that…I don’t have a single issue with 4 sensors. As for the Quest though…Nate Mitchell said in a Tested interview that they could actually use the external sensors with the Rift-S, so they could also do it with the Quest while tethered. He said they’d listen to what the community wanted. Unfortunately though, Jason Rubin said in another Tested interview, that they don’t want to go that direction. It’s definitely possible though, as it’s still the same Constellation tracking system tracking the controllers, and it’s the same team working on the coding. Hopefully, Rubin changes his thinking, and gives the people what they want.

          • Pablo C

            Look, I understand the technicalities, but at the end of the day what it matters is the experience.
            I´m on VR because of the immersion. SPT is fun, not immersive for me. I don´t care for its graphics. That´s why I always play the Dojo in Vader Immortal on the Quest: I care for the freedom of the lightsaver, not the graphics. But the story, I play it on the Rift.
            Of course I really hope the Quest can surpasses the Rift once thethered, but I have my doubts.
            So far, as I said and you too, I find the Quest a very different device than the Rift. Is for the fun, not for the immersion. Is like the difference between playing in consoles vs PC. In consoles is fun, fast, confortable. In PC is immersive, since the graphs, the mouse and distance from the monitor makes it more immersive (of course I´m talkin in general, I know you can plug a monitor to a PS4pro).

          • bmichaelb

            “I disagree about your idea of SS, since most games that were made for VR also look much better with it. IMO, Skyrim and Fallout ar not perfect ports, but given its quality as actual games, they are still the best VR games out there.”

            You seem to still be missing the point…if the game was made for VR from the ground up, they take their time to make sure every scene runs smoothly, without artifacts. VR uses 2 screens, for a resolution much higher than a single panel pancake game. Skyrim and Fallout 4 were not optimized for VR like other VR games are when they’re created. Skyrim and Fallout 4 suggest either a 1070 or 1080, while all the other games, as graphically detailed as both of those games, only require a 1060. Yes…supersampling makes those games look even better…but they shouldn’t be needed just to look decent. If they made Skyrim for VR out of the box…it would have looked far better, running way more smoothly, without the need to fix the broken with all that supersampling. This is fact…not an argument.

            You’re just going to believe whatever the hell you want to believe anyway…have fun. Cheers.

          • Pablo C

            You are missing the most important point: the experience.
            Cheers. I´m having fun.

          • bmichaelb

            lol…tell yourself whatever you need to just to justify your argument buddy. We were talking about the capabilities of the Quest. If you want to ignore that your favourite VR game wasn’t ported very well, then you’re a fool.

          • Pablo C

            No, we were talking about the difference in the experience of playing on a Rift vs playing on a Quest.
            And another thing: Low IQ people, usually think others are the fools. This is well described in the scientific literature.

          • bmichaelb

            No, we were talking about Oculus Link, and the ability to play Rift games on the Quest. Wake the hell up.

      • Sebastian Kurz

        You can try VR Cover front and back solution, comfort is no issue afterwards – but true the weight remains;-)

    • Andrew Jakobs

      Just wait for actual reviews with more demanding VR games/experiences before complaining.. To me the biggest problem with these headsets is the inside-out tracking in regard to controllers, with shooters I do tend to shoot behind me (where the controller is not in view of the camera’s).. Also maybe even more camera’s can help with that (or just put some camera’s in the controllers)..

  • F facebook

    • brubble

      Still beating that dead horse hey?

  • I think for them to do wireless they need to take the approach of releasing their own WiFi of 5G beacon that connects to the PC and then sits in a position where it’s unobstructed between the headset and the beacon. Essentially a modem but directly connected to the PC. Like a higher spec / more efficient version of the Vive Wireless Solution. That’s the only way they will get the bandwidth and be able to sell a product that’s consistent for all customers.

    • Darshan

      Yes Quest 2 may be having inbuilt 5G receiver on HMD and 5G transmitter in form of Router like base station which connects to PC via DP /HDMI.

    • Mei Ling

      “Could an adapter like this allow for Quest v1 to work this way? Possibly.”

      Yes this is very possible. A refresh of the Quest to allow this to happen will have to be done because the underlying technology hasn’t been integrated into Quest V1 hardware.

    • kontis

      Quest cannot operate with a more raw video / raw frames like Vive Wireless Solution as the USB port in the Quest cannot accept this kind amount of data, but a better wireless connection with huge bandwidth can always be useful to improve quality and reliability for the solution that Oculus already has in the Link.

      The Link actually doesn’t need this kind of bandwidth. A cheaper wifi like solution might be enough and the 60 Ghz probably wouldn’t be utilized enough to make it worth the cost.

  • Sven Viking

    If they got wireless streaming working well enough on a standalone (maybe requiring their own transmitter to avoid problems with unpredictable WiFi hardware), I’m not so certain there would be a Rift 2.

    • Mei Ling

      Indeed. It’s uncertain whether or not Facebook intend to merge the Quest and Rift product lines into a singular unit or SKU.

      Previously I’ve made a prediction that this would happen eventually although Ben does give a valid argument in terms of the “thin-client’ approach.

      In theory a PC dedicated device with some sort of integrated wireless receiver could be made significantly lighter therefore this calls into question the ergonomics and user experience in comparison to a heavier device that houses an SoC. This would give a valid reason to continue to branch out into two distinct product lines; a versatile mobile standalone platform, and a home-use dedicated platform.

      • Sven Viking

        The SoC weight isn’t that significant compared to the battery, though, and for wireless you need the battery plus some sort of dedicated chip for wireless signal processing and video decoding either way.

  • The Bard

    5G chip will work perfectly. 2 GB/s speed and 1 ms. What’s the problem to design the sender (PC side) and receiver on Quest 2 side? If smartphone can send GB/s at low ms, what’s the problem to do the same for 20 meters range on a dedicated VR headset?

    • Andrew Jakobs

      Health issues? it’s already said by some 5G creators that the chips are getting really REALLY hot when used with the highspeeds, like microwave levels…
      As long as there still haven’t been good long term research into 5G and related technologies, I’m not really wanting to have such a chip so close to my brain for a couple of hours.. Also 5G chips tend to need 3 times the power the 4G chips need at the moment..
      I get it we all want wireless highresolution headsets, but not at the cost of your health..

      • bmichaelb

        5G (6Ghz) is less harmful than 5GHz, as it has less penetration power. Hell..it can’t even pass through walls. The faster the wave, the less penetrating power.

        • Andrew Jakobs

          Well, if I see a tree next to a 5G transmitter being dead/leafless only on the side next to the transmitter, I’ll rethink what people say about the signal being harmless… Still no long term research available on the real effects, let’s not forget, they used to say/think that living under powercables was perfectly harmless, now we know better..

          • bmichaelb

            Leaves in a tree are not a great comparison to the thickness of a person’s skull. Do you have a smartphone? Did it give you any health issues? If not, then 5G is going to be fine.

          • Andrew Jakobs

            actually I don’t regular use a smartphone to call. funny, an article also not based on factual long term science.. Let’s not forget, if it came out that wireless transmissions are a threath to your health, the world would now have a big problem as it relies way too much on wireless communication, so it’s better to just deal with the illnesses that stem from them than to rather admit it’s a real health hazourd on long term. If a tree is already having problems with 5G (but not with 4G) than that really is a problem, let’s not forget, for 5G we need way WAAAAAY more transmitters than with 4G and every single transmitter also needs 3 times the power 4G needs. And again, still no good long term studies on the actual problems that 5G might have on human health.. Yes the human skull might be pretty thick to maybe withstand most of the radiation of 5G, but animals have much thinner skulls.. again, if a simple tree already has problem from standing 3 meters from a 5G transmitter, than it certainly is a problem which seriously needs to be investigated.
            But heee, go ahead and believe everything is perfectly safe without actual facts….

          • bmichaelb

            lol…you obviously failed science. Go back to school.

          • Andrew Jakobs

            Yeah sure I obviously failed at science… It’s already proven that low radiation can alter the brain, and we actaully see it in the sleep behaviour of people who sleep with phones/routers next to their heads…. but OK, you go ahead and put your head into a f-ing microwave, because you think it can’t hurt….

          • bmichaelb

            Are you insane? Show me an actual peer reviewed report proving this. That is complete bs. You’re confusing reports of plants near routers and antennas, and as I said before…a thin leaf is not the same as your grey matter, insulated by a layer of skin, then encased in a hard skull. Do these signals affect the skin on the outside of the skull, or cause unusual balding in areas where you hold the phone to your ear? No, they do not. At the same time, these waves are all around you…holding a phone to your ear isn’t going to make the signals concentrate anymore than they already are, and at most, your router’s only producing ~100mW of energy in those signals. It’s not the same as a cellphone tower. I also said your body naturally produces ~100W of heat all by itself. ~100mW extra isn’t going to make a difference to the brain…under a thick layer of skin, and encased in a skull. A leaf that’s only a few mm thick…yeah, ok…but not the brain. Good grief.

          • Rean

            It’s about try the concentration of wattage of the MWs not the frequency. 2.4 or 5 GHz doesn’t matter AT ALL. 5G isn’t wifi in any case its next gen mw tech. The issue with non ionising radiation presents itself with high concentrations. Which is why radio tower techs have time limits on repairs and installations, buy someone down the street doesnt.

            The point Andrew may be trying to make is strapping a low powered me radio tower to your scull would have a definite impact on the health of your water based gray matter, which is why it’s worth thinking about. But hey, if you can find a peer reviewed paper on a HMD based mw transmitter receiver using 5G level wattage transmission for extended use and it’s says it’s all good then I’ll listen… Not gonna let that thing come close to me until then though. It’s their onus to prove its safe, not mine to disprove it. They’re the company I’m the consumer. The FDA won’t let them get through without it so why fight so hard to support it with our limited current info you very well confirmed already. Give it time before you stake your life on it, no one is paying you to defend a hypothetical product lol.

          • Caven

            Research has already shown that non-ionizing radiation doesn’t cause single strand DNA breaks. Beyond that, the frequencies involved can’t reach the brain in the first place, since skin and the skull can completely block the signal. And because it’s limited to line-of-sight, there’s no point in high-powered data transmission, because it won’t buy any useful increase in range. The signal only needs to be strong enough to be detectable at ranges of several meters at most–basically within a single room.

            But ignoring that, there’s no point in wearing a 5G transmitter on the head in the first place. The headset only needs to send basic data back to the computer. Existing wireless technology is already more than adequate to transmit button inputs and positioning data. The high-bandwidth transmitters are needed for sending image data, which means the 5G transmitter needs to be connected to the device sending the image data–the computer, not the headset. Why would anyone put a 5G transmitter where the receiver needs to be? Even if there were a need for a 5G transmitter on a headset, any energy absorbed by the skull is wasted energy, so a simple shield that acts as a reflector would not only protect the head from whatever danger there allegedly is, but would also help improve performance by ensuring more of the energy is available for the receiver to detect.

            But really, anyone worried about wireless radios should give up on VR. All the popular headsets already have 2.4GHz transmitters right in front of the user’s eyes, and the relatively low frequencies involved absolutely can penetrate all the way through the user’s eyes, skull, and brain. If 5G signals that can’t reach the brain are somehow a brain cancer risk, why take a chance on the 2.4GHz signals that can reach the brain?

          • bmichaelb

            The frequency means the amount of energy in the signal, and Andrew was talking about 5GHz, not wifi in general. And when the signal’s ONLY 100mW, or 1/10th of a Watt, then the concentration’s pretty damn low. 5mW is less than 100mW. That’s concentration. As for radio towers…that’s in the hundreds to thousands of Watts, not MilliWatts. As for 5G not being wifi…better get up to speed buddy, it’s been in use since 2018 in South Korea, UAE and Puerto Rico in 2019, and scheduled for the US, Canada, India and Brazil by next year. 5G is 6GHz and above. You can have 5G in the 24GHz band. Seriously dude…you have no idea what you are talking about.

          • Jonathan Winters III


        • Jonathan Winters III

          But parked on your head, it will have no problem frying your brain, albeit slowly.

          • bmichaelb

            Does the Sun fry your brain? It sends out far more radiation, at much higher frequencies. It can burn your skin, but it doesn’t do jack to the brain, encased in a skull. You people talk of frying your brain, but fail to realize it doesn’t do jack to the skin cells on the outside of your skull. How do you expect it to fry your grey matter? Go back to school.

          • Lulu Vi Britannia

            First of all, I do agree with you. Most of the time, people who fear OEMs are people who don’t know shit about OEMs. As a great philosopher said once: “It is the unknown we fear when we look upon death and darkness, nothing more.”
            5G is something new, so people are afraid of it.

            That said, your argument about the Sun does not stand. Stay outside for hours, without anything to cover your head, your brain will quickly hurt. You can even faint from staying outside too long. It’s called a heatstroke, you know… The Sun waves are DEFINITELY dangerous.

            BUT, that’s because it’s the Sun. It’s powerful. Infinitely more than any OEM we can produce.
            I definitely agree with you about the fact that waves used for networks aren’t dangerous. At least it’s never been proven dangerous and the general situation actually shows otherwise, as we’ve literally lived inside WiFi waves now.

            With all that said, as the matter is about health, the question definitely needs to be asked!

          • bmichaelb

            “That said, your argument about the Sun does not stand. Stay outside for hours, without anything to cover your head, your brain will quickly hurt. You can even faint from staying outside too long. It’s called a heatstroke, you know… The Sun waves are DEFINITELY dangerous.”

            LoL. Have you ever heard of keeping hydrated? That’s what gives you the headaches. Besides…we’re talking about long term damage done by the waves, not a temporary moment in time. The worry about wifi waves is brain cancer, which the Sun does not cause, no matter how bad your heat stroke is. Good grief. o.O

          • Caven

            The brain is incapable of feeling pain. When people think their brain hurts, what they’re really experiencing is pain from other parts of the head, such as the scalp.

            The scalp can be affected by sun in two different ways. One way is exposure to UV light. This is ionizing radiation, and is widely known to cause sunburns and contribute to skin cancer risk. Extended exposure to UV light will cause skin damage, but the UV light simply cannot get to the brain, as it cannot penetrate the skull.

            The other method of causing harm is due to heat absorption. If the body receives more heat energy than it’s comfortable with, the result is a burning sensation. This can be in the form of localized exposure, such as with a typical burn, or full body exposure such as being in an extremely hot environment. Heat stroke is caused by the body receiving more heat energy than the body is capable of dissipating, causing the body to get hot enough to start to fail. Heat stroke has nothing to do with UV light, and in fact can happen in complete darkness. All that’s needed is an excess of heat. A dark room excessively heated by a gas or electric heater for instance is perfectly capable of causing heat stroke. On the other hand, being outside on a very sunny–yet cold–day will not cause heat stroke, because the body will not get hot enough to suffer the symptoms of heat stroke.

    • Buddydudeguy

      gee why didn’t they think of that.

  • StevenP

    alluded, not eluded (you don’t ‘elude to’ something)

    • benz145

      Ah you are right, thank you, will fix!

  • JesuSaveSouls

    With next month bringing the tethering update and stormland its gonna be a big month.

  • Foreign Devil

    Oculus’ own image above looks like somebody being clotheslined by their “tether cord”.

  • Jimmy Ray

    I fly for a living so it would have been nice to know

  • Ryan McClelland

    Great article Ben. Lets take it one step further. Quest 2 support wireless streaming to PC. Then Facebook makes a console called Quest 10X than can connect to the Quest instead of a PC, which reduces the friction significantly. John Carmack said their data shows “stickyness” is all about lack of friction.

  • Makes sense that Oculus go this way. Apple probably is too. Also opens up the path to AR with HMD’s becoming external displays and the content delivered from existing mobiles/tablets, pc’s or mac’s

  • wheeler

    FB also has a patent for a VR headset that wirelessly connects to a dedicated processing box integrated into a case. Patents don’t guarantee a consumer product but it makes sense because I suspect very few people are actually regularly using VR outside of a dedicated space and there are a ton of downsides to having to squeeze all of that processing into a standalone product. It would also be difficult to compete with the PSVR2 if they were limited by standalone/integrated processing (hell, it’ll be very difficult to compete with PSVR2 anyway). Many gamers act like processing only limits graphics, but it also limits scale/scope, physics processing, AI, simulated 3d sound, etc etc all of which are even more important for VR content than flat. PSVR2 has another major advantage: gamers are going to buy a PS5 anyway because for the vast majority of gamers VR is far from being good enough to completely replace flat gaming right now. I also wonder if FB will still stick with ARM to guarantee backwards compatibility with Quest 1 content, even though that would also limit them in processing.

    If Asgard’s Wrath, Lone Echo 2, MOH, and Stormland fail to give them the numbers (again), I’ll be surprised if we see a Rift 2 from FB. Zuck announced they’ve only made like $80m in content sales between PCVR and Go. Let’s just assume all of that went to PCVR. How many Rifts have been sold–like 2 million? That’s as if every Rift user purchased one $40 game. One $40 game over the span of 3+ years. Meaningwhile, Quest made $20 million in content sales within 4 months. Internally FB must be really questioning their PCVR investments.

  • jumane

    i’m not sure why everyone on here is so obsess with wireless. you all act like it’s the break out feature of vr. If y’all been paying attention over and over oculus has said a very large % of people only play seated which means to a large % of wireless means nothing. so I will agree that now that the quest can connect to the pc the cost od the rift s should be lowered.. mainly cause I want to buy one

    • bmichaelb

      A large percentage doesn’t equal a majority of users. You obviously haven’t tried VR yet, and have no idea what room scale games are all about. Try playing Beat Saber while sitting. Then try the upcoming Beat Saber 360 mode while sitting. Some games you literally kneel down, like the shooter games. Other games you have to move side to side…like playing tennis in Sports Scramble, or even dodging bullets in Super Hot. Sitting down is not going to work in the majority of the games out there, and having a cable run down your back, where you constantly have to keep it in the back of your mind, knowing where it is under your feet so you don’t trip over it, really breaks the immersion. Instead of just reacting to the game, you have to worry about if the move you’re about to make isn’t going to tangle you up. It makes a world of difference when you’re not tethered. It’s the main reason I haven’t even touched my Rift CV1 since getting my Quest.

      • jumane

        Most vr games can be played seated i should know i only play seated as for beat saber u guys act like everyone who owns vr has BS while we don’t have sale numbers we know it’s not even at 50% of vr owners oculus has said over and over that they been surprised at the level of people who play seated even on the quest.

        • bmichaelb

          By the sounds of it, you don’t even own one, so how is it that it’s all you play? As for Beat Saber…it’s the biggest selling VR game, with the highest user ratings of any game…ever. It’s also the most selling title on the Quest. Get a grip. As for seated games in general…sure, if you like snap turning using your thumbstick, instead of actually turning your body like you would in real life, then that’s you…you obviously like boring games. Either that, or you only play simulators. Not everyone plays car racing games. As for Oculus’ statement about seated games…that was last July, and they said a significant number of people, not a large percentage of people play seated. That could be as much as 25%…not 50% or more. But you are way off to suggest standing games are overrated. You simply have no freaking idea.

          • jumane

            1m isn’t even 50% of vr owners so u Prove my point when i say most of vr gamers don’t own beat saber. Yes i prefer smooth turning over turning my body, i prefer to push a button over manually reloading. Everyone has their way of playing in vr. I have always just said u guys in here act as if how u like to play is how everyone wants to play. In fact that’s not the case. Oculus has said over and over how surprising it was to them on how large of a % of their userbase only play seated I don’t know how big but for the fact that it to their notice it’s has to be over 20% i am willing to bet it’s a lot higher than that. As for me owning a rift this i find is what people say when they cannot refute what i said… here is me playing serious sam vr fusion https://youtu.be/LD8FZ5OAS_g

          • jumane

            O where in my statement btw did u read me say roomscale is overrated i just said u guys on here act as if it’s how everyone wants to play vr when it’s clearing not. I never said most of vr players which is over 50% i said a large amount which can be anywhere from 20% and up. If we take the psvr then most vr games r played seated. Food for thought

          • bmichaelb

            lol…you’re entire first comment was all about everyone being obsessed with wireless, saying it’s not the breakout feature of vr. That pretty much says it all dude. Go away.

          • jumane

            And nothing u said prove other wise. And saying wireless isn’t the breakout feature isn’t the same as room scale is overrated. If wireless was a breakout out feature why would fb make a big deal about connecting a WIRE to there wireless standalone. Clearly enough people don’t mind the wire… there isn’t a ton of demands for those wireless adapters except for in these forums. U have yet to refute anything i have said. All u did was Argue against something I didn’t say. Yes I admit to not liking roomscale but if u see all my posting u will see i always said i see y people like it and i always saw it as a great option for vr even as its not one i enjoy. What gets me is the push to act like those who don’t enjoy moving around to play video games is some how wrong in their mindset and so couldn’t be or shouldn’t be playing.

  • At this point, I believe more in a Quest 2 and no Rift 2.

  • superdonkey

    Oc6 was the quest show. Zucks comments about the hardware getting out of the way shows how much they value the mobile design.

    The future may very well be some streaming but not from your pc. I expect they will want to own the full pipeline including cloud rendering.

  • Lulu Vi Britannia

    Nice analysis!
    Your logic is sound. However, the logic of Oculus… is not xD. Really, I love Oculus VR, but when it comes to marketing, they suck hard.
    The Go shouldn’t have released, it looks more like a prototype for the Quest (and I’m 100% it was really that, but they decided to release it as a “finished product” to earn a few coins), but now that the Quest has been released they still plan to develop the Go (at least that’s what they said last year, maybe they realized it was stupid).

    My point is, everything said here is what they SHOULD do, but maybe (probably?) won’t do.

    That said, I really want a hybrid headset. I love the Quest, but haven’t bought it yet because I don’t intend to give up on the pc ecosystem.
    If the Quest 2 could support PC through hardware, that would be perfect. That way, the game would not be streamed, so latency and visual artifacts would not be an issue.
    They could also release a Rift 2 which would not be hybrid but would support wireless.

    Personaly though, I don’t care about wireless. If anything, I would actually prefer wires for now. With wires, it’s sure to work. Wireless, it’s sure to be dysfunctional (not everyone has a good WiFi).

  • brandon9271

    IF the want higher res, higher FOV, eye tracking, variable focus, etc, they’re going to have to tether to a PC. I just don’t think we have the bandwidth to do everything wirelessly yet. At least not without a ton of latency

  • Herbert

    Quest can never provide the image quality of Rift S. It is a matter of a simple bandwidth limitations:

    DisplayPort: 32 Gbit/s
    USB 3.1 C: 10 Gbit/s

    So, is Rift S obsolete? No, if you care for image being sharp and crispy, untattered by compression artifacts.