VR Hardware

Editorial: Why The VirtualLink USB-C Port Matters

Comments (37)
  1. impurekind says:

    But if most VR headsets going forward are going to be wireless, and I totally expect they are, then it kinda seems a little bit pointless in the long run to me. But it’s obviously cool to have it anyway for those people who are still doing wireless VR, and that will likely be the case for some time anyway.

    1. RagnarLothbrok says:

      Well even then I assume you would need a dongle/receiver/transmitter sort a thing and maybe it would be best suited if pluged into a VirtualLink ?

    2. Wayne Ennis says:

      If we want better resolution and better FOV for now we have to stay wired.

    3. dk says:

      u can’t get great quality latency and high res/fps wireless at this point without $300-$400 dedicated transmitter and receiver add on ….and that can be plugged in the virtuallink

      1. impurekind says:

        I mean standalone when I say wireless. I don’t expect more VR headsets going forward to either connect to or use a PC.

        1. RagnarLothbrok says:

          hmm.. that would be absurd. I mean like I don’t judge ppl playin games on smartphones , tablets , and mobile consoles, but I couldn’t care less for such type of games.

          1. impurekind says:

            I think you only think it’s absurd because you’re not looking far enough forward. Fully standalone is the future, and it’s about more than just smartphone level games. In the future these standalone systems will be the main VR headsets out there, and they will absolutely be capable of the fully VR experiences we all expect. I mean, even the first generation of these standalone systems are allowing us to play more than just mobile stuff, at least with the Quest (which already has a bunch of the PC VR games announced for it), and this is just the start. I think you’d be better off thinking of the future of standalone more like say consoles vs PC: Sure, a dedicated consoles isn’t going to perform at the quite the same level as the highest spec PC on the market, but for most intents and purposes the difference is negligible and you’ll be getting fully featured games all round. That’s the future of VR and standalone headsets too.

          2. RagnarLothbrok says:

            well let’s define “far enough”? I mean if you’re talking like 30 years from now on well maybe? Chronology says: for the past 10 – 15 years does PC’s has become smaller in size ? or consoles ? I don’t think so. Measurement wise they’re the same. It’s just that the difference is in power capabalities. So in 10 years you could probably enjoy most of the current PC VR titles on a standalone HMD but those titles should be already outdated. I’m not saying there’s no market for that too (don’t get me wrong), but by no means it will replace a PCVR anytime soon. And just to be clear we’re talking about the gaming audience in the VR market. You see even the most powerfull consumer PC today struggles with 1.5 – 2.0 generations HMD’s (ie Vive Pro , Pimax 5/8k) in SOME games, and VR enthusiasts are already asking for higher native res and games with stunning visuals (AAA games for VR). I don’t see anytime soon to fit such a powerful hardware fits in a regular sized HMD.

          3. The Mogget says:

            So in 10 years you could probably enjoy most of the current PC VR titles on a standalone HMD but those titles should be already outdated.

            I don’t think you understand how many good PC VR titles are already going to be on the Quest at launch, in like 2 months. Stand-alones are going to be able to run almost all of the current titles, just at slightly lower polygons, pixels, and fps. There will always be the fps boys who have top equipment, but they will be playing against people on stand-alones in the same game. There will always be some top simulation games that only the top hardware can run, but they will be few.

            If you think of the Quest as more like the PSVR, as ‘console level’ gaming instead of either ‘mobile’ gaming or ‘PC’ gaming, it makes sense. For me it will replace the Switch I was gonna buy. Same money, similar power, but its VR.

          4. The Mogget says:

            I don’t think that is what @impurekind:disqus is talking about. A tablet touchscreen game will always be a tablet touchscreen game no matter how powerful the chip is and how high the resolution is. Those games will always be casual games because of the format and the kind of device.

            A ‘mobile headset’ even though it has mobile-level chip in it and doesn’t have a big heavy PC with it, is not just a casual toy. It has all the tracking and features the big boys have, just with lower specs. It plays all the same kinds of games the big boys have. It has more in common with PSVR than either Google Cardboard or the Vive Pro. Its a console. If you think of it as a console, a serious built-for-real-games platform, it makes more sense. Consoles are outgunned by PCs, but real gamers play real games, often the same games, on them.

            In fact, people describe the Quest experience both in terms of visuals and tracking as comparable or better as PSVR, but not as good as a Vive or Rift. Imagine PSVR that doesn’t require buying the PS or connecting to it or lugging it around. No wonder people are excited about standalone.

          5. care package says:

            The power of a PS4 in an HMD? Find that hard to believe.

          6. The Mogget says:

            Your lack of imagination is a problem. I didn’t say it had the power of a PS4. I said it performs as well. A little motorcycle has a lot less power than a freight train, but it sure goes faster.

            The PSVR and its headset are a generation old now. The Quest has more power than you think, and a lot of effort has been made to optimize games for it in a way that used to be done with brute force. Who needs efficient code when you have a supercomputer? The Quest and the programs on it are more efficient, and have it ‘where it counts, kid.’ The mobile chips coming out these days have dedicated VR-thingies in their ‘integrated graphics’ that do a lot of the heavy lifting.

            Reviewers say that the PS4 has power, but its tracking system is not the best design. The visuals are what you would expect. Reviewers walk in thinking like you do, that power always means performance-in-the-real world. They cannot deny when they put it on that the Quest is so similar even to the Rift that they have to use them back-to-back to even tell a difference. Those of us who do not already own a PSVR or a Rift certainly are not going to miss a thing, even if we have played those here and there.

          7. care package says:

            settle down kid. I just said I found it hard to believe. Imagination isn’t reality btw. If it is on par with PSVR, then wow, cool.

          8. The Mogget says:

            That is what reviewers who had it on their faces said. So uh …. wow…. cool… dude? What you find hard to believe has pretty good evidence.

        2. dk says:

          yeah that’s not wireless ..that’s a headset powered by phone hardware …and those don’t have free great quality latency and high res/fps wireless connection option with pcs at this point in time
          …..maybe at some point in the future with some super duper wifi10 version or with dedicated for vr streaming router with built in dedicated video transmitter and built in video receiver in the headset and that will need line of sight

          1. impurekind says:

            I think you’re confused about what I’m talking about here or something: I’m talking about properly all-in-on fully standalone headsets, like the Oculus Quest, which don’t require a PC at all and don’t use phones in any way either. Those are the future VR headsets I’m referring to here.

          2. Trenix says:

            Comparing a standalone all-in-one VR headset to a tethered PC VR headset, is like comparing a mobile phone to a computer, literally. The standalone will not replace a PC for decades to come. The gap of what these devices will be capable of doing, is much larger than what you probably believe.

          3. impurekind says:

            The standalone headsets absolutely will “replace” the PC headsets for the majority of users.

          4. The Mogget says:

            …and those don’t have free great quality latency and high res/fps wireless connection option with pcs at this point in time

            Yes, but why would you bother connecting to a PC when you have on-board processing? The only thing I can think of is if you already have a big Steam library or something.

          5. dk says:

            it will be a great device for what it is

            “Yes, but why would you bother connecting to a PC when you have on-board processing?” it’s a phone processor from 2 generations ago …even if it wasn’t built in processing means limitations

            ….if it had 90hz pc mode for close to free or 20 bucks more it could have beaten most desktop headsets

            ….I just like versatility ….and they r not betting on that …they r betting on profit from the store …which is fine

          6. The Mogget says:

            A gaming standalone headset is a whole new category, and I am glad we have one at all. I agree that it is good ‘for what it is’ but that it is not the top hardware. Wasn’t meant to be. The Vive preceded the Vive Pro.

            If they had a Quest Pro at launch with the latest chip, a better battery, and a virtual link option for another hundred bucks I would be on that like white on rice.

            For standalones in general, the best way to get more fps is do what you said, up the mobile chip to the top of the line newest generation. That is why I am skeptical of the ‘dual use’ sets that are standalone but they also connect. I would rather pay more to up the all-the-time power than pay more to have to connect to something else to get it.

    4. Trenix says:

      Wireless is not going to be the future anytime soon. Keyboards are still wired, mouses are still wired, headsets are preferred to be wired. Making things wireless increases costs, reduces performance, and causes an inconvenience.

      1. impurekind says:

        Wireless absolutely is going to be the future anytime soon. Let me be clear, I mean untethered all-in-one headsets when I say “wireless”.

    5. The Mogget says:

      Wireless or standalone? In the long run I think it will be standalone. By long run, I mean from the moment the Quest comes out in a couple months.

      The fps, polygons, and resolution people below are still going to be wired, but they will suddenly be the minority. Fps, polygons, and resolution are nice, but not what makes a game fun. Most people won’t care, and standalone is so much cheaper and easier.

      Right now the big boy in terms of total units sold is actually the PSVR, not either of the PC units. The Quest is aiming at console gamers in terms of power and performance. It is as good as PSVR but without having to buy a PS.

    6. Hugo Stiglitz says:

      Only dummies want wireless VR. Why would you want a heavily compressed signal with the possibility of interference and lag??

      1. impurekind says:

        Sorry if I’m confusing people by using “wireless”. I’m talking about all-in-one untethered headsets here. This has nothing to do with PC in any way, so there would be no compression or lag; the games would run directly from the headset themselves, just like the Oculus Quest. Untethered all-in-one headsets are the future of VR.

        1. care package says:

          I think the future of VR will keep all options available, until streaming video takes everything over (including flat panel gaming).

  2. Dave Haupert says:

    Nearly all of the new RTX laptops are shipping without a virtuallink port. Add that to the lack of support for GTX GPUs and it doesn’t matter that the consortium has all the big players. None will be shipping with virtuallink cables if only RTX desktops support it IMO. Too bad as it’s a great improvement!

    1. dk says:

      so u r saying someone should make a list with all the virtuallink laptops ….ok get on that 😛 jk

  3. Xron says:

    Not all Rtx 2060 have Virtual Link, only Nvidia’s founder and some premium brands.

  4. polysix says:

    And new Radeon 7 opted to not include the VR link port. Another downside of the dog of a card . For VR users Nvidia is still better anyway, just a shame they are scamming customers on pricing right now!

    1. Rainfox Wolfstone says:

      a single vendor solution is not a solution why is AMD on this working group if they are not going to do anything with the standard?

    2. dk says:

      well the problem with a video card lacking that port is only as big as the price of the adapter that is going to be needed…….which is annoying but it’s not a super massive problem …it’s still early days it will be more popular in the future hell they might get rid of all other types of ports at some point

    3. Hugo Stiglitz says:

      Nvidia is better for non VR users too. I still have no idea why someone would buy Radeon. They’ve got better since I bought one several years ago but as the benchmarks show, they’re worse in practice than they are on paper.

  5. Nelson Tutorials says:

    Why can we just buy it as an usb adapter?

  6. The Mogget says:

    The virtual link is a huge step forward for the industry. Every time a company makes a proprietary cable they help themselves, every time they choose a standard one they help their customers.

    That said, I am going to get an Oculus Quest, so all of this is irrelevant to me. Who needs a good cable to hook to a giant paperweight when a mobile processor on board does a good-enough job. Freedom!