Valve’s first VR app for Meta Quest simplifies access to SteamVR. Meta’s Andrew Bosworth is excited about the collaboration.
Steam Link for Meta Quest was released a week ago and has been well received by PC VR users.
The free VR app makes it a bit easier to stream PC VR games to Quest headsets. Unlike similar solutions like Meta’s own Air Link and Virtual Desktop, it requires no PC software other than Steam and SteamVR itself.
The announcement came as a surprise, as Valve has paid little attention to its own PC VR platform in recent years. Nowadays, almost every second headset used on a PC is a Meta Quest. So it makes sense for Valve to simplify access to SteamVR with a dedicated app.
Meta’s CTO: A win for everyone
Steam Link for Meta Quest is the first VR app Valve has released in the Meta Quest store, which requires Meta’s help and blessing. Getting that was apparently no problem.
In his latest AMA on Instagram, Meta’s CTO Andrew Bosworth tells his side of the story behind this collaboration:
The Valve team reached out to us and said: “Hey, we’ve noticed a lot of people who are on our platform are using one of your headsets. Can we build something that connects them up? And does it for free by the way?” The answer is: Of course, that sounds amazing. Sounds like a great thing for them and for us and for everybody. And it did, and we’re thrilled about that.
Don’t buy into all the narratives you hear out there about this and that. I’m a huge fan of Steam and the catalog and so glad to make this a little bit easier for all of our customers who use our headsets, hopefully, for lots of things, but among other things to play great PC VR titles on.
Former rivals, now partners?
The rivalry between Meta and Valve dates back to 2014, when Facebook acquired Oculus and key Valve employees like Atman Binstock and Michael Abrash switched camps. For years, a headset and platform war raged over PC VR.
In 2019, Facebook turned away from PC VR and went all in on standalone VR with Meta Quest. The Oculus Rift product line was discontinued. Lone Echo II, the last major PC VR game funded by Facebook, was released in 2021.
Meta’s Rift platform has been dormant ever since, and it is currently completely unclear what will become of it in the long run. At the moment, it looks like Meta wants to pass the PC VR baton to Valve entirely, so Steam Link is indeed a win-win for both parties, but most importantly for consumers.
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