Oculus Clamps Down on Cross Plaform Play
Samuel Wan / 4 years ago
Right now on the market, there are two main PC VR headsets vying for dominance. Valve and HTC have the Vive headset while Facebook owns the Oculus Rift. Each headset has their own compatible software and games may only support one or another. However, some fans have gotten together to make Rift games work for the HTC Vive. Working fine till recently, it looks like Oculus has started clamping down with their latest updates.
Called Revive, the fan patch created by LibreVR translates Rift API calls to the equivalent Vive ones, allowing Rift exclusives to run without issues on the Vive. Just last week, Oculus released a new update that tied the software DRM check to the hardware check. This means in order to get Rift games working on the Vive, you would need to break the DRM. Fortunately for LibreVR, the DRM only requires a simple DLL tweak to bypass.
By implementing the DRM hardware check, Oculus is in effect locking down games bought from the Rift store to only run for the Rift. This is far different than the Vive which dosen’t impose any hardware requirements on its games, at least not to this level. This is quite a bold move to be making considering the PC platform is known for its openness. In some ways, it can be compared to making games exclusive to certain monitors. Already, some VR fans have called foul and are reportedly cancelling Rift pre-orders.
By making it more difficult to have cross-platform play, Oculus is placing a severe restriction on the still vulnerable VR market. What’s more, the DRM check is so easily broken that it might as well not exist. This means the check may sever more as a way for Oculus to take legal action against the LibreVR, than as an actual obstacle. Hopefully, Oculus will embrace the open PC platform and let their games run on the Vive as well.