Can anyone beat Oculus’ $80 solution?
According to a comment made by an Oculus Product Manager (u/HiFiPotato) in response to a question submitted to the official r/OculusQuest subreddit, Oculus will be releasing the specs for its previously-announced Oculus Link cable to any third-party manufacturer interested in developing their own proprietary solution.
“Just to add onto what was stated above, the Oculus Link cable is quite thin and flexible when compared to a standard usb-3 active cable,” states the Oculus employee in the thread. “But length, data integrity, flexibility, ergonomics, and weight were all a factor. We also are releasing the specs of our cable so if a 3rd party wants to build their own and sell it, they are welcome to do so.”
Originally announced during the Oculus Connect 6 developer conference this past September, Oculus Link will allow users to stream their PC VR content, both Oculus Rift/Rift S and SteamVR, directly to their standalone headsets. While the service itself is scheduled to launch at the start of November, Oculus has stated it will be releasing its own dedicated cable towards the end of the year. Although the company has yet to confirm an official price, word is the cable will cost somewhere around $80.
While the Oculus Quest does come packaged with a standard USB-C cable for charging, Oculus Link requires a more powerful optical cable capable of transferring significant amounts of data while at the same time remaining flexible enough that it doesn’t interfere with player movements.
Not too long after u/HiFiPotatoes comment, Oculus staff member u/cmonkey provided additional information regarding the internals of the cable while responding to a different unrelated post.
“To be clear, the cable is an active optical cable to allow it to be thinner and longer while still being in spec from a signal integrity standpoint, and the shape of the cable is customized for better reliability and cable routing on the headset. From a protocol/latency/throughput perspective though, it’s identical to any other USB 3.0 cable.”
While the rumored $80 price tag may of come as a shock to some, Oculus’ willingness to share its specifications with third-party manufacturers points towards confidence in their pricepoint. As popular electronics manufacturers begin offering their own solutions, it’ll be exciting to see how their prices stack up against Oculus’; no doubt experienced companies such as Anker, Griffin, or Belkin could give them a run for their money.
Feature Image Credit: Oculus, Facebook