The sideloading platform for Oculus Quest, SideQuest, says there have been 1 million downloads on its platform in less than one year.
SideQuest was launched soon after the Oculus Quest headset began shipping in May 2019. The platform was created to streamline the process of loading content onto the Quest platform without a formal Facebook approval. SideQuest has given VR content developers an alternative route for loading content and easily finding beta testers for their experimental software without grappling with the strident Facebook approvals processes.
SideQuest enabled a patch version of the Virtual Desktop software to be released thereby giving users access to its much-desired wireless PC VR streaming capabilities.
In December 2019, Facebook also released a software development kit (SDK) for its experimental hand tracking feature, a move that immediately saw the SideQuest platform begin to receive various small experiments that have made in-progress apps available to willing testers. Some of the apps have even been approved for eventual release onto the official Oculus Quest store demonstrating that they had merit and qualified for the Quest Store in the first place.
The sideloading process is not a completely unregulated free-for-all. It is still gated by the fact the Quest owners sideloading their apps must inform Facebook that they are developers. While there are people who have downloaded SideQuest multiple times thereby partly distorting the stats, the 1 million figure represents a major milestone in Quest usage and demonstrates that many Quest owners are relying on the sideloading software to expand their VR experiences on the standalone platform.
The SideQuest Twitter account tweeted a chart showing some of the starts that it has collected since mid last year. The platform has 2.1 million total unique downloads for all the games on the platform. The “sign-ups” category in the chart refers to the users that have set up account with the sideloading service which enables them to have automatic updates along with other features.