Oculus Continues To Drive A Rift In The VR Space

I love my VR. The feeling of immersion in a virtual world is in many cases just breathtaking. However, Facebook and Oculus do not desire a situation where everyone can join in. They want to create a closed environment, one which has been further re-enforced by recent events regarding the launch of Oculus update 1.4.

Updating your own platform is no bad thing. Nor is adding in extra protections for developers. However, this latest update does not seem to be about making the system any more secure, just harder to use non-rift devices.

A little while ago we ran a piece which looked at the popular hack called Revive. This little patch allowed people who had Vive headsets to play games from the Oculus store. It meant that people would pay money to Oculus, and then play the game on their Vive. This is something which, even though Palmer Lucky has explicitly stated is okay, Oculus has been a little too keen to shut down.

The way they have gone about shutting out the Vive is seemingly simple. They added more DRM, and they made it so that a game will check to see if a Rift is a attached to the computer. If it does not find a Rift it kills the game. So, what do people do? There is a new Revive patch out already, and this one is even more effective than the first. As a consequence of the changed DRM, that has had to be bypassed in its entirety. Now it is not only possible to play the Oculus store games on the Vive, and there is less DRM for those who do so.

The new patch and comments on the changes from Libre VR (the developer of Revive) can be found on this reddit thread.

It should also work for other Unreal Engine games, but I haven’t tested it yet. Support for bypassing the DRM in Unity engine games is still being worked on.

This is my first success at bypassing the DRM, I really didn’t want to go down that path. I still do not support piracy, do not use this library for pirated copies.

Also if you want to play all games, some people have had success at downgrading their runtimeback to 1.3 which should work until the games themselves are updated to use the new 1.4 runtime.

I am saddened by this move. I am of the thought that while VR is still a fledgling technology, and game bought from any environment is a good thing. What Oculus is currently doing is telling consumers that they ought to purchase their games from Steam whenever possible. If they did that it would future proof the games as they would be available for any platform. Any game purchased from the Rift Home is likely to be locked to a single platform, and in a highly competitive market, this is very anti-consumer.