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Wednesday, July 17, 2024

Oculus Quest 2 gets official wireless support for PC VR with Air Link

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The best thing about the Oculus Quest 2 is being able to play games untethered, flailing about in Beat Saber without worrying about tripping over the cable or yanking it out of your PC. That only works natively for games installed on the headset, however, and if you want to play PC VR games like Half-Life: Alyx you need to either plug in a USB cable, or fork out $20 for a third-party solution like Virtual Desktop.

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That’s about to change with Air Link, a new feature announced in the latest Oculus blog post. Part of the v28 software update rolling out this month, Air Link is “a completely wireless way to play PC VR content on Quest 2 using WiFi” that you’ll be able to opt into in experimental mode.

When the v28 update rolls out for you at a completely random time this month, as is the way with Oculus, you’ll be able to enable Air Link in the Settings > Beta section of the Oculus program on your PC and then the Settings > Experimental section in your headset, which you’ll need to turn off to go back to a USB cable.

As with Virtual Desktop, for the best performance you’ll need a top-of-the-line router, a wired connection from that to your PC, and to be standing near the router while you play. “We’ll work to improve Air Link over time,” Oculus says, “including performance, visual quality, and the ability to run in less than ideal wireless scenarios.”

Oculus also announced native support for a 120Hz display refresh rate, as Andrew Bosworth, VP of Facebook Reality Labs, suggested in February. (The Quest 2’s refresh rate jumped from 72Hz to 90Hz in November.) That’ll be another option in the Experimental panel, and Oculus notes, “While there aren’t any apps that support 120Hz just yet, people who turn on this setting will experience 120Hz performance in apps that choose to support it in the future.” 120Hz support will come to Oculus Link later as well.

The next update also has some new features for Infinite Office, like the ability to pair a physical keyboard over Bluetooth. The Logitech K830 will be the first model supported, expanding to more keyboards in the future. Another experimental feature will let you put a virtual desk in your Home environment, lining up with your actual desk in reality. “With this feature, you can use your desk as a separate seated area to access work tools like Browser”, Oculus says. “In addition to integrating with your real environment, your virtual desk boundary is automatically saved and detected, letting you easily pick things up right where you left off.”

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