With the Quest 3 set to arrive in Fall 2023, Meta has confirmed that they will carry on the tradition of supporting PC VR through Quest Link and Air Link, demonstrating Meta’s ongoing commitment to support the PC VR sector.
This valuable piece of information was communicated by a Meta spokesperson, who confirmed the continuity of Quest Link and Air Link support with the imminent launch of Quest 3. This paves the way for continued interaction between high-end gaming PCs and Oculus’ upcoming standalone headset.
Oculus Link acts as a bridge connecting Quest headsets to PCs using a USB-C cable, permitting access to the Oculus PC software suite. This seamless connectivity allows users to delve into immersive experiences offered by top-tier Oculus PC games and prominent SteamVR titles like Half-Life: Alyx.
Air Link, the wireless counterpart of Oculus Link, grants similar PC VR capabilities but without the tether, transmitting data over Wi-Fi. The Quest 3 launch will include support for this wireless feature, giving players the freedom of using a wireless headset to play powerful PCVR titles.
The ongoing support for PC VR is very much welcomed for the PC VR landscape, which has shown relatively modest growth in the face of standalone VR headset popularity. The Quest 2, for example, swiftly became the most utilized headset on SteamVR post-launch, maintaining a leading usage share over other headsets on the platform, including Meta’s previous dedicated PC VR devices such as the Rift and Rift S.
It remains to be seen how the Quest 3 will impact the balance between standalone and PC-tethered VR usage. However, the confirmed Quest Link and Air Link support suggest that Meta is still catering to PC VR gamers, providing them the option to leverage the power of their PCs for a more graphically rich and intensive VR experience. This move potentially widens the Quest 3’s appeal, accommodating both casual and hardcore VR gaming enthusiasts.
An Easy Win For Meta
Personally, Quest 2 is the headset that I have used more than any other over the last two years, and a large part of the appeal has been the ability to play PC VR titles with a wireless headset. The versatility of being able to play all of the standalone Quest 2 content, as well as a wide range of PC VR content is just so appealing for a lot of people.
Even with the Quest 2 having inferior hardware to many high-end PC VR headsets, I still prefer it most of the time due to the lack of a physical cable tethering me to my computer and negatively impacting the immersion that I feel when in VR.
With the launch of Quest 3, almost every aspect of the hardware will be improved, providing an even more compelling reason to continue using a Meta headset. I have had no confirmation that Virtual Desktop, the popular PC VR streaming application will be available for Quest 3, but I would be shocked if it was not available.
More Information About Quest Link
Quest Link is a feature that allows users to connect their Meta Quest 2 or Quest Pro VR headsets to a compatible PC to access a wider library of VR games and experiences. Link works by streaming the PC’s display to the headset over a USB-C cable. This allows users to play high-end PC VR games with the same level of immersion and graphical fidelity as they would on a tethered headset like the Valve Index or HTC Vive.
Quest Link was first released in November 2019 as an experimental feature for the Oculus Rift S. It was officially released for the Quest 2 in October 2020. Link requires a compatible PC with a USB-C port, a high-speed internet connection, and the latest version of the Oculus software.
Air Link is a wireless alternative to Quest Link. It works by streaming the PC’s display to the headset over a Wi-Fi network. Air Link is similar to other wireless VR streaming solutions like Virtual Desktop, but it is officially supported by Oculus and does not require any additional software.
Air Link was first announced in April 2021 and released in August 2021. Air Link requires a compatible PC with a high-speed Wi-Fi network, the latest version of the Oculus software, and a Quest 2 headset.
Comparison Of Quest Link And Air Link
Oculus Link and Air Link are both great ways to play PC VR games on the Quest 2 or Quest Pro. However, there are some key differences between the two technologies.
- Performance: Quest Link generally provides better performance than Air Link. This is because Link uses a dedicated USB-C cable to transmit data, which provides a more reliable and consistent connection. Air Link, on the other hand, relies on Wi-Fi, which can be more susceptible to interference and latency.
- Compatibility: Quest Link is compatible with a wider range of PCs than Air Link. This is because Air Link requires a high-speed Wi-Fi network, which not all PCs have. Quest Link, on the other hand, only requires a USB-C port and a high-speed internet connection.
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