Notebookcheck

The NVIDIA GeForce RTX 30 series marks the end of the VirtualLink connector

The GeForce RTX 20 series will be the first and last time that we see the VirtualLink connector. (Image source: NVIDIA)
The GeForce RTX 20 series will be the first and last time that we see the VirtualLink connector. (Image source: NVIDIA)
The VirtualLink connector has been killed off only two years after its announcement. NVIDIA introduced the VR connector with the GeForce RTX 20 series, but it is absent from the company's new RTX 30 Ampere cards. AMD, meanwhile, never released a card with a VirtualLink connector, despite being part of the VirtualLink Consortium.

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.

Read all 4 comments / answer
static version load dynamic
Loading Comments
Comment on this article
Please share our article, every link counts!
> Notebook / Laptop Reviews and News > News > News Archive > Newsarchive 2020 09 > The NVIDIA GeForce RTX 30 series marks the end of the VirtualLink connector
Alex Alderson, 2020-09-11 (Update: 2020-09-12)
Alex Alderson
Alex Alderson - News Editor - @aldersonaj
Prior to writing and translating for Notebookcheck, I worked for various companies including Apple and Neowin. I have a BA in International History and Politics from the University of Leeds, which I have since converted to a Law Degree. Happy to chat on Twitter or Notebookchat.