Virtual Desktop developer Guy Godin submitted his wireless PC VR streaming patch to Facebook’s App Lab last week.
The patch to activate the feature is currently “under review” by Facebook, according to the developer, with hopes that the wireless PC VR streaming feature will see an easier path to installation for users.
According to Godin, more than 40,000 people every day use the feature in Virtual Desktop. All of those users had to jump through some hoops — like signing up as an Oculus developer — to play high fidelity PC VR games like Half-Life: Alyx wirelessly on Oculus Quest and Quest 2 via his paid Oculus Quest app. Distributing the feature through App Lab would make the process much easier for users and would likely reduce the amount of time Godin needs to devote to helping users troubleshoot their problems figuring out sideloading to use the feature.
He outlined the feature’s review status in a pair of tweets:
The feature is used by more than 40k people every day and adds lots of value to the Quest platform. I hope it gets approved as it will make it easier for new users to get it installed; no developer account, no USB cable, no ADB drivers to install. (2/2)
— Guy Godin (@VRDesktop) February 10, 2021
Facebook forced the removal of the feature in 2019, shortly after Oculus Quest’s release, citing an effort to “deliver a consistent, comfortable experience to customers.” Godin then moved a patch for the application over to SideQuest that made it possible to enable to feature if they purchased the app from Facebook first.
While much-loved by many, the Virtual Desktop feature might provide inconsistent performance depending on a number of factors in a person’s home. It relies on your Wi-Fi network to stream a PC VR game from a Steam or Rift library to the Oculus Quest, for example, and if your Wi-Fi router isn’t top quality or there’s too many people using it at once or there isn’t a good line-of-sight to the router itself — some users might experience discomfort streaming PC VR games this way.
As Godin’s 40,000+ daily users figure suggests, however, there are still tens of thousands of people using the feature daily despite the potential constraints. Facebook warns all App Lab users that applications available through the system “may include unknown issues relating to comfort, performance or other factors,” a warning that would seem to cover comfort concerns related to Virtual Desktop’s PC VR streaming.
Facebook is also working on its own PC VR wireless streaming solution, but details of the project are still unknown.