Update 2: Virtual Desktop developer Guy Godin gave UploadVR the following comment in response to Facebook’s statement. “The core functionality of the app, which successfully passed the submission process, continues to maintain the same high performance standard. The added functionality of streaming VR content, which wasn’t advertised anywhere, is still at an early stage of development. It received high praises and is loved by users who discovered it. After being asked to remove the feature because it doesn’t meet the quality bar of the store, I suggested to make it an opt-in feature so that users understand that this is experimental and might not be for everyone. They refused and insisted that the feature be removed.”
Update: A Facebook spokesperson issued us the following statement: “While we don’t comment on the status of specific apps, our Oculus Store application submission system is designed to help ensure that our devices deliver a consistent, comfortable experience to customers. Apps are evaluated on a number of factors including performance, input, and safety with the goal of creating a quality, high-value experience for all VR consumers.”
Original Story: Guy Godin, the developer behind VR productivity app, Virtual Desktop, says Facebook’s Oculus is “forcing” him to remove a key feature from the Quest version.
Virtual Desktop was of one around 50 apps to launch on the Oculus Quest last month. But users have since discovered an incredible use for the streaming app; playing SteamVR games inside your standalone headset. The combination of wireless streaming to a headset with full six degrees of freedom (6DOF) positional tracking picked up a lot of interest from the VR community.
Steam Steam No More
But, in a Reddit thread posted a few hours ago, Godin said Oculus “doesn’t want the SteamVR streaming feature in their store.”
“I’ve been developing in VR for 5+ years and as some of you may know, I like to experiment and push the envelop [sic] with the tech,” Godin wrote. “I saw the ability to stream VR content from your PC as a very cool idea. I thought it would be a perfect fit for my app since it already gives you access to your computer. Like a nice bonus feature. I worked on this for months and was eager to improve the functionality as I received your feedback over the last few days but according to Oculus, I am hurting Quest.”
We’ve reached out to Oculus for comment on this story. Godin says that, instead of providing the service officially, he’ll look to provide an APK to sideload onto Quest “over the next few days.”
If true, it’s not surprising to see Oculus request the removal of this feature. Quest itself only provides official access to the Oculus Home storefront. Features like cross-buy, which provide you with free versions of a game on both Rift and Quest, also entice players to stay locked into that ecosystem.
Oculus has also drawn critisicm for its curation on Quest. Its strict approach to what can and can’t release on the platform has turned some VR developers away.