While there are quite a lot of new game releases coming for the final months of 2019, there are also now some new exciting updates that are headed to the Oculus Quest, the best VR headset in terms of bang-for-buck. In addition to hand and finger tracking set to arrive next year by way of a firmware update, in the more immediate future, you will soon be able to plug the Quest into a PC and play titles developed for the higher-end Rift headset.
Qualcomm had been exploring ways for standalone VR headsets to double as wireless PC-connected devices, but Oculus’ solution will arrive first, and not require new hardware. It sounds like the Oculus Quest will end up being an all-in-one device with this update, but we still don’t know more details about how well it works, at least as of yet.
The Quest launched back in May as a proper cordless VR headset, meaning it contains the lenses, sensors, processor, battery, and other components necessary for playing VR games and experiences without requiring any external hardware whatsoever. Zuckerberg says Oculus is selling Quest “as fast as we can make them,” and he also mentioned that Quest accounts for 20 percent of the $100 million in lifetime VR software sales the Oculus platform has generated since its original 2016 launch.
But one big limitation of the Quest is that its lower-end processor and battery-dependent power source limit the types of VR experiences it can run. That should change with Oculus Link. Zuckerberg says the feature will support most USB-C cables, so you can use the cable that comes bundled with the Quest to charge it for instance. So long as you have a gaming PC with the minimum spec requirements, outlined here on Oculus’ website, you’ll then be able to access the most graphics-intensive VR titles.
The magic will happen through Oculus Link, special software to enable playing Rift games on the Quest. Once it rolls out, Quest owners will be able to plug the headset into a gaming PC via USB-C and play Rift games—this essentially transforms the Quest into a PC VR headset.
“For developers, this means it’s now possible to build high-end PC games and experiences while taking advantage of the biggest possible market and connecting with new audiences as the Quest community grows. Oculus Link is truly the best of both worlds: the high-end gaming of Rift when connected to a PC, with the ease and portability of Quest on-the-go,” Oculus says.
Facebook-owned Oculus VR is launching an update in November for its standalone Quest headset that will allow it to be plugged into any virtual reality-ready gaming PC to access the entire Rift library. The feature is called Oculus Link.
During the huge announcement, Mark Zuckerberg outlined a number of new features, such as the previously discussed feature that will work with most USB-C cables (and it’ll be available this November), but it also makes the Quest an even better gateway into VR. For a price of $400 (USD), you get a headset that can be used anywhere for simpler experiences, but can also run more complex PC virtual reality when you need it. With flexibility like this, Facebook essentially made the disappointing Rift S headset even more irrelevant than previously thought.