The popularity of the Oculus Quest platform has meant a significant portion of virtual reality (VR) developers want to get their content onto the Oculus Store but don’t always meet the standards set. SideQuest has filled this void but early next year developers will get an official way of bypassing the store.
The plan for this new distribution method was announced back in June, whereby developers could share their projects with Oculus Quest owners without the need for sideloading. Recently, Oculus Product Manager Clorama Dorvilias revealed the company’s developer roadmap and high priority issues which the new distribution path was a part of.
Oculus confirms that while: “Applications will have to meet the obligations of the Oculus Content Policy,” developers submissions “won’t be held to the same technical standards as official Oculus Store Apps.” So this could mean a greater influx of content, although the quality may vary far more wildly. There’s been no indication yet as to how this will work from a customer standpoint, such as an ‘Early Access’ section of the app for example.
What is known is that select developers will get an initial beta release in December 2020, with a wider launched slated for Q1 2021. How this will affect SideQuest and its community remains to be seen.
In addition to the new distribution, other features on the developer roadmap for December and the near future will include an experimental release of OpenXR on Quest for Unreal Engine 4.26 and a keyboard overlay so studios can ‘customize its position and behavior within their immersive apps’ whilst users will get the option to enter emojis.
Oculus Quest will become Facebook’s sole VR platform once the Oculus Rift S is discontinued and while Oculus Link does expand the catalogue greatly, not all Quest owners are going to have a PC, so a simple, non-sideloading solution is required. As further details regarding this new distribution feature are released, VRFocus will let you know.