Finally, playing your full Steam VR library on Meta Quest headsets just got a whole lot easier. Valve shared details about the new Steam Link app for Meta Quest that lets users stream their VR games to their devices.
Valve made it clear in its announcement post that the new free app will need your PC to have a wired connection to your router. Like any game streaming, you’ll need a quality internet connection or a 5Ghz WiFi signal for your headset to ensure everything runs smoothly. The new app should work with Quest 2, Quest 3, and Quest Pro VR headsets.
With all that, you’ll still need to have a computer with at least an Intel Core i5-4590 or equivalent. You’ll likely need a lot better than that to make use of some of the more demanding VR games, such as Valve’s own Half-Life: Alyx. Valve recommends a PC with at least 16 GB of RAM or a Nvidia GPU of an RTX2070 or better.
Previously, players who wanted to try out their Steam Library on Quest had to download a virtual desktop or go through Meta’s own Quest Link app. That service is also supposed to allow players to stream their games to their headsets. You can use it either with a cable or with “Air Link,” which, similar to Steam Link, requires a quality WiFi connection. You then needed to jump through several more hoops in order to access the Steam VR launcher.
The Steam VR environment also allows players to play flatscreen games through the headset in a kind of screen-in-screen mode, so technically, this allows players to access the full extent of their Steam library through the Meta headset with relative ease, should they truly want to.
This new app makes things much easier and simpler for more players to access their full VR library immediately. Valve recently released a newly updated SteamVR 2.0 that changed the UI to simplify and modernize different interface aspects. It was such a big update that some folks hoped that Valve might be in the mood to release all-new Steam VR hardware, like a new headset with better hand tracking that didn’t require players to set up base stations in every corner of the room.
With this app, Valve could be trying to tide over players until the company can release its own new hardware, though the Bellevue, Washington PC gaming giant is notoriously shifty when it comes to major projects. The company has just released its revised Steam Deck, but the company is normally tight-lipped about any projects it may be working toward. Next year will see the release of the ultra-high-end Apple Vision Pro as well as the more budget-friendly VR headset from Meta.
But Valve may be waiting to see how well VR headsets sell in 2024 before it decides it should continue making new hardware for the space. Analysts have expected Meta to sell fewer Quest 3s than it had the Quest 2 going into next year. Pico, owned by TikTok’s parent company ByteDance, has drastically reduced staff this past year despite being one of the biggest VR headset makers in overseas markets. Next year will be a true canary in the coal mine for the overall long-term viability of mainstream VR hardware.
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