Carmack: Oculus Debated PC VR Mode For Quest

by Jamie Feltham • October 1st, 2018

Could Oculus Quest, Facebook’s newest standalone VR headset, ever be used to run PC VR experiences? It’s not likely, but the company did discuss it.

Oculus boldly proclaimed that Quest could deliver ‘Rift quality experiences’ at its reveal at Oculus Connect last week. In reality, though, the kit just isn’t as powerful as the PCs that run Rift, which is why games like Dead And Buried are making compromises to fit onto the platform. The idea of plugging a Quest into a PC to serve as a replacement Rift is an attractive one, then, but Oculus CTO John Carmack isn’t making any promises.

“We did not add any dedicated hardware to act as a PC display (it was debated a lot),” Carmack replied when asked about possible PC VR streaming to Quest on Twitter, “but we have a research project going to see what we can do with maxing out WiFi streaming. No promises…”

Wireless streaming to PC VR headsets has become an increasingly promising means of cutting the chord between two devices over the past few years. HTC is even starting to roll out an official wireless adapter for its Vive VR headset this month. That said, additional latency is always a concern for any such solution.

With its improved display resolution and inside-out tracking, PC VR support could make quest an attractive upgrade for existing Rift-owners. Oculus is courting developers to bring some of Rift’s biggest games to the platform, including Moss and Superhot, but wireless streaming could let users experience those games with higher fidelity visuals and perhaps even grant access to games that don’t come to Quest. Sadly, it definitely doesn’t seem like such a feature will be available at launch early next year.

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