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Oculus rift S versus Oculus link for quest?

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So I am torn between using the link that is going to be released with the oculus quest, which would enable me to play oculus rift games on my quest, or get an oculus rift s for simming with areofly fs2...

Here is the link to how the Oculus link works:


Edited by Flybynumbers

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If you already have a Quest just wait for the Link release to see if you are happy with it, then you decide... This new bet on Quest things just left us all with the feeling of abandoned product for the Rift S, understandably? not to me, i dont own any of it, i was about to get the Rift S, but now im not going to buy any of it from Oculus, thanks to mister Zuckerberg and hes marketing choices, but thats me.

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The issue is that while the link will allow connection with a pc, the graphics will likely be noticeably compressed, with a commiserate affect on Quest image quality. https://arstechnica.com/gaming/2019/09/the-future-of-oculus-quest-hands-on-with-hand-tracking-pc-vr-link-mode/

For simmers obsessed with maximum clarity, this may be an issue:



Oculus admits the USB Type-C pipeline isn't fast enough for a pure 1:1 VR video signal. So the team had to develop a process to compress and encode the VR action coming from a PC, then decode that information on a Quest. The biggest compression point that the team could work with wasn't a full-scene shrinking of resolution—that would introduce obvious pixel blur within a VR game or app. Instead, Oculus opted for a custom version of foveated rendering. The center portion of any Oculus Link video signal will be closer to a 1:1 resolution compared to the PC version, Oculus says, while the outer radius is shrunken on the PC side with a downscaling of pixels and a fish-eye effect. When that's decoded on the Quest side, that information is re-stretched and upscaled.

Soon after the presentation, I strapped into an Oculus Quest connected to a PC via Oculus Link, and I played the upcoming adventure game Asgard's Wrath for 10 minutes. I devoted most of my demo time to wildly moving my head and hands around while squinting at the Quest's peripheral, outer-radius pixels. I went searching for obvious artifacts in the region that I'd been told was most compressed. I spent my time in a colorful "hub" restaurant full of large characters and lighting effects, and I honestly couldn't perceive significant issues with corner-radius pixels.

That might be because Oculus' official line might undersell how much compression is applied to the entire Quest panel, not just its outer radius. Though Quest comes with an appreciably high-res OLED display, rated at a 2,880 x 1,600 resolution, any Link-driven image appears to come with a mild-but-noticeable smoothing effect. Ultimately, it looked more detailed than native Quest content, but I could anecdotally confirm that a neighboring Oculus Rift S game station looked noticeably sharper, even though its LED display is rated at 2,560 x 1,440.

That sense of improved smoothness might be due to Rift S running at a slightly higher refresh rate of 80Hz, compared to Quest's refresh maximum of 72Hz. There's also the matter of movement latency, which Oculus Link researchers confirmed was a problem that needed solving before Link could go live. The researchers' solution was to break down the required encoding-and-decoding transfer from PC to Quest in a process they call "sliced image transfer." Basically, each frame of visual data is sent in horizontal strips, one on top of the next, to be decoded and displayed, instead of doing that process for one discrete frame at a time.

Smooth: That’s how we do it

That sounds like a recipe for "screen tearing," in which different parts of a screen's image slam together as broken-apart strips. But I didn't perceive anything of the sort in my demo. However, when using this week's test version of Quest Link, there are clearly an extra few frames of latency between when I wave my hand or press a button and when that happens in the VR world in kind. That irregularity is perhaps on par with the latency found in wireless systems like the HTC Vive Wireless Adapter or maybe a hair faster than those. I'll need more time to test before feeling confident on that call.

But as I've already reported, Oculus Quest's built-in array of sensors is solid, and my natural head and hand movement didn't get lost just because I'd switched from a Rift S to a Quest. That's promising.

I also conducted my test with the official Oculus Link Cable (seen in an above gallery), which is fiber optic and runs five meters long. I agreed with the Oculus call that this cord is designed specifically to distribute its extra plastic bulk in a way that barely feels noticeable, as opposed to a standard, sticking-straight-out Type-C cable you might buy from Monoprice. But Oculus hasn't announced a price for this cable, which doesn't inspire confidence. (Hopefully Oculus didn't hire someone from Monster Cable to pick a price.)

The Quest Link presentation ended without a Q&A portion, so I didn't get to ask questions about compatibility with other VR software platforms like SteamVR. The good news is that the Quest Link connection wholly emulates a standard Rift S headset, and that hardware already works great with existing SteamVR software. So I'm optimistic.

There's always a chance that my test experience from this week will be superseded by more tweaks and updates to Quest Link before its November launch. Even so, I left my demo feeling confident in two things. First: Oculus clearly went to engineering trouble to make this work without any additional hardware. That's great news for existing and future Quest owners, in terms of future-proofing its device to some extent.

Second, Quest Link introduces obvious, acceptable compromises, and that means anyone who prefers PC-VR and ponied up for a dedicated computer VR system should chill out on their buyer's remorse. Quest Link is cool in a pinch, not the ultimate PC-VR option.



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