Oculus Quests are some of the best wireless VR headsets you can buy. But they can’t run high-end games like those found in the Steam Store. You can connect to a PC with a cable, but that’s inconvenient. Wirelessly streaming VR games required jumping through hoops with using developer mode and SideQuest. But with the $20 Virtual Desktop app, that’s not the case anymore.
Virtual Desktop always had the capability to wirelessly stream SteamVR games, in truth. You could install the streaming app on your PC and then your Oculus Quest VR headset, and as far as the app was concerned, you would have been good to go. But Oculus prevented the app from streaming VR games and limited it to just controlling your PC in a VR environment. It did so in the name of customer experience.
If you wanted to stream your Steam VR games to your Oculus Quest, you needed to buy the Oculus Store app, unlock your headset with developer mode, then setup SideQuest and use that install a patched version of the app.
That’s a lot of work, especially after spending $20 on an app. You might as well go the free route with ALVR, which needs just as many steps. But recently, Oculus announced it would open up App Lab as an experimental VR and app game store. Games and apps that Oculus wouldn’t allow onto the Oculus Quest store proper could go to App Labs. Think of it as an official version of SideQuest.
Virtual Desktop’s developer submitted the “patched” version that can stream Steam VR games to App Labs. But surprisingly, Oculus did one better and approved the “patched” version for full inclusion in the Oculus Quest store. All you have to do is buy the app. If you already own the app, you’ll need to update it. That’s it: no hoops, no developer mode, no SideQuest.
That’s a win for everyone, as Guy Godin, who develops Virtual Desktop, explained to UploadVR:
The ability to stream PCVR games wirelessly has been a beloved feature of Virtual Desktop since its launch on Quest in 2019. It only makes sense to allow it in the official store when more than 90% of users had to go through complicated steps to unlock the feature. The Quest is marketed as a wireless headset. Users want the wireless freedom whether they play native Quest games or stream their favorite PCVR games.
We agree and look forward to a round of Elite Dangerous on the Oculus Quest.