Oculus Pressures Virtual Desktop into Dropping Stream VR Streaming Feature
Oculus Quest app Virtual Desktop developer Guy Godin has revealed via a recent Reddit post that Oculus Quest has forced the removal of a recently added feature that enabled SteamVR integration, allowing the games on Steam VR to be played on Oculus Quest headsets.
The Virtual Desktop app allows users to stream their PC desktop onto the display of wide-ranging virtual reality headsets including the popular and recently launched Oculus Quest headset.
In the post, Godin apologizes to users and informs them that Oculus does want the SteamVR streaming feature included in their store. He says he had seen the ability to stream virtual reality content from the PC is a “cool idea” and thought adding the functionality would have been a perfect fit for the Virtual Desktop app he developed as the app already gives users access to PCs so adding the SteamVR streaming feature would have been a “nice bonus feature”. Godin says he has been working on the feature for months and eager about boosting its functionality. All this has now been put to a stop by Oculus as the feature will likely hurt Quest. Godin also stated that he is looking at offering users a separate APK that will have VR streaming functionality and avail it via SideQuest in the next few days. This will be in the form of a separate app that users could side-load into Quest. It could be an unofficial option that users can install as an unsanctioned software thereby bypassing the Oculus Store.
Reached out for comment, a Facebook spokesperson provided the following statement:-
While we don’t comment on the status of specific apps, our Oculus Store application submission system is designed to help ensure that our devices deliver a consistent, comfortable experience to customers. Apps are evaluated on a number of factors including performance, input, and safety with the goal of creating a quality, high-value experience for all VR consumers.
The Virtual Desktop app was one of the 50 launch titles available on Oculus Quest when the headset was released last month. Many users however have been using the SteamVR app to play a number of the SteamVR games inside the Quest headset. It is this loophole that Oculus is rushing to close as it poses a direct threat to its Oculus Store. Some users are not happy with this measure with some on Reddit even calling for the suing of Oculus on anti-trust and anti-competition violations grounds. However, given that this is an app within Oculus’ own store, the VR company is very much within its rights to decide what stays within its store even though the measure is clearly anti-competition.
Earlier this year, Oculus had also stated that it was planning to get strict with the curation of the apps available on its store.
From a user perspective, though, it is a limiting measure as it limits the scope of VR experiences that users can access to only those within the Oculus store. Users will be unable to expand their experiences beyond the Oculus store and access the vast scope of content on SteamVR. This is not the first time a VR company has had to ward off competition from its store. HTC once limited the Revive hack that enabled users to play Oculus titles but a public backlash forced the company to reverse its decision and allow the functionality so not all hope is lost for Quest users.