Until recently, Oculus Quest users looking to play a bit of PC VR via Oculus Link had to use a high-speed USB3 cable to connect it to their PCs. Thanks to a recent update, however, Quest owners can now start testing Oculus Link with regular USB2 cables, including the charging cable that comes in the box.
The feature is still in beta at the moment, so you’ll need to opt into the Quest’s latest Public Test Channel to try it out for yourself. Still, it’s easy enough to do, and you’ll find it in the Beta tab in the Settings menu of the Oculus PC app. Just check the box next to the Public Test Channel option, and the update will start downloading in your Library.
Of course, part of the reason why Oculus Link has always required high-speed USB3 cables in order to work is due to the sheer amount of data that’s being funnelled down into the headset. It stands to reason, then, that slower USB2 cables would end up being an absolute nightmare. Alas, my Quest review sample has long since flown back to Oculus, so I haven’t been able to try this out for myself yet, but the good news is that the folks over at UploadVR have tried it out and they’ve reported that their VR experience looks exactly the same as using a USB3 cable.
They noted that you still get a warning recommending a USB3 cable for Oculus Link, and that “your performance can be improved by switching to a USB3 connection”, but for them the experience was nigh on identical.
That’s great news for headset owners looking to play Half-Life: Alyx on their Oculus Quest, for example, and it certainly beats shelling out another $79 for Oculus’ fancy fibre optic cable, or indeed spending £15 / $24 on something like the Oculus-approved Anker USB3 cable I used for my own Quest testing. Indeed, UploadVR used the bundled charging cable you get in the box for their Oculus Link testing, which means you won’t even need to go hunting for one down the back of a drawer somewhere to take advantage of it.
As mentioned above, the feature is still in beta at the moment, and there’s currently no time frame on when it will see a proper public release in a future software update. However, if you’ve been thinking about buying a Quest or getting a cable beforehand so it’s ready when your headset finally arrives, you may want to reconsider that purchase and see how it works with the bundled USB2 cable that comes in the box.