Up until now, if you wanted to use your Oculus Quest with your PCVR machine via Oculus Link, you were forced to buy an additional USB 3.0 or above cable, or opt for Oculus’ own fibre optic cable at an eye watering price of $80.
Many would think, and even try to use, the cable that came bundled with the Oculus Quest, but sadly it was only meant to power and charge the Quest. Due to its USB 2.0 performance, it was deemed not good enough for use with Oculus Link. That’s until now.
Oculus has this week spun a full 180 on using the bundled Oculus Quest cable that came in your Quest box. For reasons unknown, Oculus’ decision to now support its stock cable is an odd one. Maybe they lined their deep pockets by selling enough $80 cables, maybe the sale of this cable has plummeted due to the growing popularity of people trying wireless Virtual desktop, or people are settling with cheaper third-party cables. Either way, the decision to support USB 2.0 cables is great for anyone wishing to save a money.
Many have now tried and compared the bundled Quest cable against the faster and more pricier alternatives and the verdict is pretty positive, with many people saying though couldn’t tell the difference over USB 3.0 cables and event Oculus’ own pricier cable.
The reason for this is, apparently, to do with the bandwidth limitations on the Quest, which is limited up to 150mbps. A USB 2.0 cable supports up to 350mbps, which is more than enough bandwidth to support Oculus Link on the Quest.
So why would you want to buy another cable to use with Oculus Link? Well, there are still a few reasons, but I would say cable length and charging performance are the two leading factors as to why you might still want to plunge for a different cable.
The bundled cable that comes with the Quest has a decent length of 3m, but this length my not be enough. It depends on your PCVR machine’s location and your overall guardian space. If the space or distance from your PC is bigger than 2m square then you will definitely be desiring a longer cable.
The performance of charging your Quest through the bundle cable is still to be confirmed by current testers. Some faster alternative cables may give you better charging performance, in terms of continuously charging your Quest whilst you are playing on the headset, simultaneously.
Using the bundled USB 2.0 cable for Oculus Link is currently only available to users running the opt-in beta of the Oculus Rift desktop software. So if you find yourself wanting to try this out, you can either switch your Oculus Rift desktop version over to beta or wait for the full public release, that will eventually roll out in the coming weeks.