VirtualLink will combine USB, HDMI, and power all in one cable to make VR more accessible
One major obstacle to the proliferation of VR gaming is the amount of cables necessary when connecting to a PC. Several individual ports are needed including USB, HDMI, and power just to get the experience started. In response, major OEMs have joined forces to create one overlying standard moving forward that will combine all the above into a single port.
Called the VirtualLink consortium, the group was founded by AMD, Nvidia, Microsoft, Valve, and Oculus in an attempt to utilize USB Type-C for VR. Products labeled as "VirtualLink 1.0"-compatible will have at least one USB Type-C port that can offer video and data bandwidth at up to 32.4 Gbps and 10 Gbps, respectively, similar to DisplayPort over USB Type-C. The port must also be able to deliver 15 W to 27 W of power to the connected headset.
The standard should make compatibility easy for most laptops where DisplayPort over USB Type-C is already common. Future desktop graphics cards, such as the yet-to-be-released MSI GTX 1080 Ti shown below, could also ship with VirtualLink 1.0 USB Type-C ports.
What about OEMs who are not a part of the VirtualLink consortium? It remains to be seen if key VR players like HTC or Sony will jump in on the standard or continue to create their own proprietary methods. Wireless solutions, for example, could potentially make VirtualLink obsolete.
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