New VR standard could make setting up headsets a piece of virtual cake

Jumping into a virtual reality world can be a mind-blowing and immersive experience. But it's easy to have that sense of immersion broken by reams of trailing cables coming from a headset, not to mention the frustration they cause when initially setting up. 

However, a new standard could change all that. AMD, Microsoft, Nvidia, Valve and Oculus have made the preliminary steps for a new cable spec called VirtualLink.

Using a single USB-C cable, the system could deliver four lanes of DisplayPort video, data for sensors and cameras and a decent power supply. As you'd expect, being designed for virtual reality, it's also low-latency in terms of data transfer speeds.

'Advance overview'

Before you get all excited about VirtualLink revolutionizing VR hardware development anytime soon, not that the partnered brands have so far only delivered an "advance overview" of what the spec can achieve. 

It'll be some time before there's physical hardware established, and even longer after that for headsets that take advantage of it to materialize.

It's also as yet not entirely supported by the all the big players. While HTC Vive-supporting Valve is onboard, you'll note that HTC itself has not joined the alliance as yet.

There's also the question as to how attractive wired VR in any shape or form will look in the future, as the likes of the cable-free Oculus Go show there's great promise in the increasing power of portable VR. That's before considering wireless VR add-on modules from the likes of TPCast.

Either way, we're another step closer to a VR experience that won't get you all caught up in cables.

Gerald Lynch

Gerald is Editor-in-Chief of Previously he was the Executive Editor for TechRadar, taking care of the site's home cinema, gaming, smart home, entertainment and audio output. He loves gaming, but don't expect him to play with you unless your console is hooked up to a 4K HDR screen and a 7.1 surround system. Before TechRadar, Gerald was Editor of Gizmodo UK. He is also the author of 'Get Technology: Upgrade Your Future', published by Aurum Press.