Oculus Has Hardware-Locked the Rift from Porting Exclusive to the Vive

Oculus Has Hardware-Locked the Rift from Porting Exclusive to the Vive

2016 seems to be the year of VR. Among the many VR headsets in the market, the Oculus Rift is one of the most popular.

But Oculus has pulled a controversial move in the new update, effectively DRM-locking the Rift, such that you cannot play games which you have brought from Oculus store on the HTC Vive, which was previously possible through the Revive app. Responding to the matter, Palmer Luckey from Oculus said

If customers buy a game from us, I don’t care if they mod it to run on whatever they want. As I have said a million times (and counter to the current circlejerk), our goal is not to profit by locking people to only our hardware – if it was, why in the world would we be supporting GearVR and talking with other headset makers? The software we create through Oculus Studios (using a mix of internal and external developers) are exclusive to the Oculus platform, not the Rift itself.

The issue is people who expect us to officially support all headsets on a platform level with some kind of universal Oculus SDK, which is not going to happen anytime soon. We do want to work with other hardware vendors, but not at the expense of our own launch, and certainly not in a way that leads to developing for the lowest common denominator – there are a lot of shitty headsets coming, a handful of good ones, and a handful that may never even hit the market. Keep in mind that support for the good ones requires cooperation from both parties, which is sometimes impossible for reasons outside our control.

Referring to Revive, Palmer defended the move saying “This is a hack, and we don’t condone it,” Oculus VR said in a statement issued to VRFocus.  “Users should expect that hacked games won’t work indefinitely, as regular software updates to games, apps, and our platform are likely to break hacked software.”

Oculus apparently hardware-DRM locking their games is shaping up to be a contentious move. Is Oculus trying to monopolize the VR gaming market? Only time will tell.

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