Sidequest have recently announced on Twitter that the Virtual Desktop app has reached over 200,000 downloads on their third-party sideloading app store.
The Virtual Desktop is an app that allows you to stream your PC desktop to your headset so that you can view and interact with it in VR.
The app is also available for purchase on the first-party Oculus store for Quest. There is one major difference between the two versions of the app that makes the Sidequest version far more popular. The alternate version of Virtual Desktop available on Sidequest allows the wireless streaming of PC VR content. This means that Quest users could stream games from their SteamVR libraries directly to their headset.
This feature initially came as standard in the official app on the Oculus store. Unfortunately, Facebook forced the company to remove it shortly after it launched on the store. Guy Godin, developer of Virtual Desktop, at the time of its removal wrote in a Reddit post,
“Hi guys, I'm sorry to announce this but Oculus doesn't want the SteamVR streaming feature in their store. I've been developing in VR for 5+ years and as some of you may know, I like to experiment and push the envelop [sic] with the tech. I saw the ability to stream VR content from your PC as a very cool idea. I thought it would be a perfect fit for my app since it already gives you access to your computer. Like a nice bonus feature. I worked on this for months and was eager to improve the functionality as I received your feedback over the last few days but according to Oculus, I am hurting Quest...”
The feature can be enabled by downloading a patch from Sidequest and installing it on an official version of the Virtual Desktop app.
The high number of downloads is a major milestone for the Sidequest app store, we have previously reported that they are balancing on a knifes edge, one wrong move and Facebook could ban them. This is proof that a technically minded and developer focused app store has a place in the Oculus Quest ecosystem.