Air Link is a Virtual Desktop replacement from Oculus and was recently unveiled and released, allowing users to play VR games without a cable connection. We’ll compare Air Link versus Virtual Desktop in this post to see which is best for Virtual reality wireless streaming.
The main difference between Air Link and Virtual Desktop is that Air Link uses native Oculus API whereas Oculus Virtual Desktop can be used on platforms not supported by Air Link.
What Is Virtual Desktop?
Virtual Desktop is an application that allows you to use your VR headset to reflect a nearby PC. Inside the Quest, people use this to view movies, access the internet, and play PC VR games.
Basic functions don’t necessitate a high-end PC with a powerful CPU. Your simple laptop will be more than capable of mirroring your VR headset. However, high-quality VR games will necessitate the use of a gaming PC.
The Oculus Virtual Desktop has been in production for five years, while the pc and Mobile versions have been in development even longer. It has a lot of bugs fixed and has been optimized for virtual reality.
What Is Airlink?
Oculus Air Link is an alternative that doesn’t require a cable or a tethered connection to a computer. Air Link, like Oculus Link, allows you to run VR games in an Oculus headset remotely.
You may play any VR game from the Steam VR or Oculus or stores on your Quest 2 once it’s connected. As soon as you have a PC that can run them, you’ll have access to all of the top PC VR games.
Both Air Link and Virtual Desktop have a similar objective in terms of functionality. Which is, nevertheless, the superior option for VR wireless playing games? Next, we’ll compare these two in greater depth.
Airlink vs Virtual Desktop – Main Differences
Virtual Desktop costs USD 20 and can be purchased through the Oculus shop. This application is downloaded and installed on your headset. Then, from the official website, you must free download and install the VD Streamer on your computer. After that, you’re ready to start putting things together.
Meanwhile, Oculus Air Link is completely free to install and use. On your computer, you should have Oculus VR firmware version 28 loaded. After that, all you have to do is turn on the Airlink on either side.
Air Link is more reasonably priced as compared to a virtual desktop.
Both applications have a similar setup method. You must first set up your Oculus or virtual esktop PC. You must enable Air Link in your headset’s settings. For either approach, it will be the same to set up the wireless access points. Don’t worry if this appears difficult.
This will be a tie as the setup process for both is fairly similar.
ASW vs SSW
Air Link makes use of Asynchronous SpaceWarp, an internal Oculus function. ASW works to provide “free” CPU and GPU updates to VR consumers. It enables higher-quality virtual reality on lower-end technology. As the headset spins and travels in 6DOF, ASW activates. It smoothes and extrapolates frames to reduce judder and make VR experience better.
Other advantages of ASW include:
● Improves performance when the frame rate is severely reduced.
● Reduces the latency of 6DOF headset tracking
● Repeating patterns are re-projected.
● ASW works with Air Link to ensure that VR video is transmitted smoothly and quickly.
A feature called synchronous space warp was introduced in Virtual Desktop version 1.20.9. SSW, like ASW, eliminates stutter when your PC’s fps drop below 90 or 120 frames per second. In certain circumstances, the game is rendered at half-framerate on your PC, and the missing frames are generated on Oculus Quest 2.
Whereas Oculus does ASW on the computer, the SSW is done in the headset. SSW makes intelligent use of the additional processing power available on the Quest 2 for PC VR games. The manufacturer of Virtual Desktop says that SSW outperforms ASW in terms of extrapolation quality.
Both ASW and SSW have their own advantages with their respective applications.
Virtual Desktop optimizes the connectivity between both the PC and the Oculus Quest by using APIs. To increase wireless compatibility, the developer applies game-specific bug patches on a regular basis. Virtual Desktop is compatible with dozens of popular Computer
Oculus AirLink uses secret APIs to link to the Oculus ecosystem. Oculus’ internal development allows them to leverage specific capabilities, such as ASW, to maximize wireless streaming. This should ensure that Oculus PC VR games are fully compatible.
Meanwhile, Oculus has no formal relationship with Steam VR. As a result, don’t assume any official Airlink and Steam compatibility.
Oculus AirLink is an advantage in this aspect because of its full internal compatibility.
The most significant advantage of VD is the speed with which it may be developed. For the past five years, it has done a fantastic job of decreasing faults and improving latency. To enhance the performance, you can change a variety of options in the settings.
Oculus Air Link, on the other hand, is a strong and superior competition. It can wirelessly broadcast games with exact visual quality and lesser latency thanks to its internal interaction with the Oculus ecosystem.
AirLink is also absolutely free, which would be a significant benefit for a service that is equivalent to or superior.
In the end, Oculus Air Link, in our opinion, is the superior option. And we’re looking forward to seeing how it develops in the future. With the Oculus Rift S’s supply running out, cordless VR broadcasting over AirLink is the way of the future.