The NVIDIA GeForce RTX 30 series marks the end of the VirtualLink connector
VR gaming may have re-entered the headlines this year with the release of Half-Life: Alyx, but the Virtual Link standard for PCs has been abandoned only two years after its release. AMD, HTC, Microsoft, NVIDIA, Oculus and Valve established the VirtualLink consortium in 2018, which should have heralded a new standard connector for PC VR gaming.
The VirtualLink connector resembles a typical USB Type-C port, and combines two video connectors, USB and power into a single cable. Despite its holistic approach, most of the VirtualLink consortium members failed to adopt the standard. NVIDIA included VirtualLink connectors on its RTX 20 series Founders Edition cards, as did StarVR and XTAL with its VR headsets. However, NVIDIA add-in-board (AIB) partners, decided against releasing cards with VirtualLink connectors. The same applies to AMD and Oculus too, while Valve cancelled pre-orders for a VirtualLink Valve Index adapter.
NVIDIA has not included VirtualLink connectors on its RTX 30 Founders Edition cards either, effectively marking the death of VirtualLink. Even the VirtualLink website has gone dark, probably signalling the end of the consortium, too.