Oculus Engineers are Working to Make Rift Games More Compatible With Vive Hacks

by Joe Durbin • February 22nd, 2017

During a panel discussion at DICE Summit 2017, Oculus’ Head of Content Jason Rubin was asked to discuss the concept of open platforms in the virtual reality industry. Rubin’s company has infamously been at the center of an exclusivity debate following its decisions to keep the games it funds on Oculus platforms only.

Rubin was asked by CEO of Insomniac Games Ted Price: “What would it take for Oculus to be more open to having its titles on other platforms?” By way of an answer, Rubin addressed the hacks and workarounds people are using to play Rift games on other platforms such as the HTC Vive.

“Just this week I played Dead and Buried with Vive users. I could tell they were Vive users,” Rubin said. According to him, he knew they were Vive users because their in game voice chat was being distorted by the “hacks they were using.” Rather than condemning these actions, Rubin claims that, “we have done nothing to stop this right now and in fact members of the team in Menlo Park are working now to fix the mic problem.

Rubin’s comments here paint the picture of a much different company than the one that once patched one of its launch games to block users of a hack known as ReVive. That patch was later undone in an even further patch and Rubin is now admitting that Oculus is apparently moving from passive acceptance to actively fixing problems when it comes to these types of hacks. Rubin did not specify which hack he was referring to in this particular case.

Rubin’s response was that “[at Oculus] we totally agree [with the idea of an open platform]” adding that “this is an issue where we agree with the industry more than most people think.”

rubin-price-dice-2017

Jason Rubin and Ted Price at DICE Summit 2017

Rubin pointed to Oculus support of The Khronos Initiative as a sign of its commitment to keeping VR an open platform.“[At Oculus] we support the Khronos Initiative…if there was an open platform for VR we would support it…an open platform is never created by one company and the right way to do this is through the open standard……we believe in the open standard and we will be part of that ecosystem no matter what…it’s not that we don’t support openness, but right now is not the right time in our belief system with what’s available.” 

The “one company” Rubin is referring to is most likely Valve who’s Steam content distribution platform is hailed by many as a more open platform than Oculus’ own Home due to its willingness to make VR programs available to both Rift and Vive users.

Rubin, then would challenge the notion that a truly open platform for VR exists as of yet, even including Steam. Instead, he restated Oculus’ commitment to The Khronos Initiative and says that the company is “committed to join it.”

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  • Muddy

    Sounds like more bullshit and glitter to me Jason Rubin. If you really want to make Rift games more compatible with Vive, then lift the exclusivity.

    • Simplex

      Or at the very least allow Vive users to play Oculus Home games without having to resort to “hacks” such as Revive.
      Then more people will buy your games and you will be richer.

    • Religion is Cancer

      The Vive is a superior product when directly compared to the Rift with the touch controllers. It’s obvious to everyone that the Vive is a better experience with a much larger list of games and an open platform. They know this so that’s why they feel they need the closed platform to make money.

      • Marco Dena

        Not obvious to everyone. Hardcore fans and Oculus viral marketing still sayis Rift with 180 degrees setup is the real deal.

    • Marco Dena

      Exactly. Not going to dowload that useless store and even less paying for their software until their greed and hypocrisy forces me using a third party software to make things run.

    • Martin L

      As of right now, they still haven’t fixed this bug. Is this bug that difficult to fix that it takes more than 3 months to get rid of this audio issue?

  • jlschmugge

    Here come the sour grapes.

  • wheeler

    I’ll believe it when I see it. Pretty sure they’re just fixing the mic problem to keep their walled garden well pruned. Perhaps there really will be a change in the direction of the company (but they e.g. don’t want to upset the investors they promised a captive console-like market to), but I think it’s more likely that they’ll only make that change out of necessity (e.g. to avoid getting steamrolled by open standards).

    • Exactly.

    • Scott C

      “to avoid getting steamrolled by open standards”

      Like the one that Jason says *and is quoted in this article* they’re eager to participate in?

      SteamVR isn’t an open standard. It’s an open invitation to developers to give Valve a cut of their profits. Why on earth would Oculus, who is funding development of games to promote compelling content for their hardware, want to do that?

      He’s exactly right that open standards are created as collaborations by multiple companies to support multiple platforms.

      • Sebastien Mathieu

        Does’nt it work both ways???? if the VIVE was welcomed on the oculus store, Facebook would be making more money selling software no??? just has the rift is welcomed on the steam platform…

        • JSM21

          Well Steam allows everything lol…for it to not allow Oculus would look bad for Steam as an ultimate game store.

  • Simplex

    “According to him, he knew they were Vive users because their in game
    voice chat was being distorted by the “hacks they were using.” ”

    Clarification for Jason Rubin – the voice chat was not being distorted because of “the hacks they were using” but because of a bug in the game. How do I know it’s a bug in the game – because voice chat works fine in all other oculus games run through revive, except D&B. Also, revive does not touch audio output at all.

    • Scott C

      Either way, they’re devoting resources to making the experience better for people with Vives (and the people who play with those people). That’s to be commended, right? Even if you attribute calling it a problem with ReVive to a conscious effort on his part, it should surprise no-one that a PR vector would prefer to shift blame away from their own software to somebody else’s. And I question calling it a bug in the game — an incompatibility, sure. But a bug would imply that Dead and Buried was explicitly meant to support Vives, and it’s not. Until now, since they’re looking into it to fix it. It’d be a bug if they said it was a Vive game, or if it affected Rift users.

      That they’re fixing the incompatibility is all that matters to Vive D&B players, and that they’re willing to fix the incompatibility says a lot about their stance towards Vive on Home going forward.

    • JSM21

      All I have to say is that I wish there was more Vive users playing D&B so queue times weren’t long lol. Share and share alike. 😛

  • JustNiz

    Just more double-talk from Oculus. If they actually cared about being open they’d break down their walled-garden store, stop funding Oculus-only exclusives, and switch to OpenVR. For those developers already using their locked-down API they could make a version of it that is just a wrapper for OpenVR. That way Vive could directly play those games too.

    • Paulo

      OpenVR is valves “open” standard. why the heck would oculus want to succumb to another companies standard? That makes 0 sense from a business standpoint.

      They are part of the Khronos standard group for VR. THAT is a real open standard. Give that some time and we will all be able to play games in Home. Valves standard is not open source, contrary to popular belief. You guys know that it is just as much valves issue, but they dont get bad press. Oculus users can use different SDK’s. Vive’s are locked down to STEAM. Valve wants it that way in the name of THEIR open standard.

      • Matt Ford

        you can just download an EXE from the internet programmed for openvr, and run it on vive.
        Do you have to download apps on oculus home to run on rift?
        actual question i dont know the answer to

        • Paulo

          yes, i can.

          • Robert Cole

            yes, I have Doll City VR launching straight off my Win10 desktop, boots up my Vive. Very nice!

  • Mourz

    As early as we are in the industry life-cycle, it may be too little too late from Occulus. SteamVR is already seeing network effects. Resale value on Rift’s hit an all-time low on Feb 17th’s data.

  • Hawk1290

    Not one positive thing in this series of threads. He’s acknowledging the revive userbase- he’s making an effort to make it better for those users. So many people fail to see past “Facebook” and it’s an honest shame. I hope that they lift the hardware check but I don’t blame them for creating a platform solely for the device they developed. Hoping for collaboration in the future- we’ll see what happens.

  • Don’t get how they think… they are for an open platform, but have still a closed platform… bah

  • Konchu

    I think an open platform is hard right now. Any platform now requires effort to get going. And I can see oculus’s desire for a strong polished platform leading to an early on walled garden. So I am glad to see they are not trying to be Apple. I really think that early Oculus knee jerk came on the heals of Revive and Lucky’s Tale , an oversight that gave a full game away for free. This was fixed for touch I bought Medium for use on my Vive and this desire for more support makes future oculus purchases easier.

  • DrakeDoesn’tWrite

    Right now GROWTH needs to be the focus. VR is expensive. Also, I’m sure seeing the responses to Devs when they were asked: “Which platform they were planning future VR titles for?” Also, caught Oculus eye. Vive Game Development plans were higher than PSVR and Oculus combined. PC is a open platform. It’s not surprising to see the more open VR Platform come out ahead. I wonder how Zuckerberg is taking the news that he’s not going to be able to monopolize VR? lol

  • bschuler

    AOL needs to be a protected eco-system from the internet. People pay for that exclusivity and it’s ease of use. At this time, AOL is looking into making some of it’s content available on the internet for free.
    Funny how Rift and AOL are running the same path but in different decades. You would think one would have learned from the other. Oh well, guess it is only a year or two for the new “AOL” to learn it can’t be an island in a connected world, or risk being forgotten and passed by. Hope they wise up before it’s too late… AOL waited too long and most people forgot them.

    • kaosstar

      Classic.

  • Ethan James Trombley

    Thats Awesome that they are actually helping those on revive. Upload posted an article a while back about how Oculus was more open than most thought and that Valve was as much to blame for the wall as Oculus. Lets hope we eventually see a completely open platform! For now Ill be content with the content from Steam…and maybe get revive for Robo Recall.

  • Marcin Stachowiak

    Facebook is making a big mistake not letting VIVE users play their games without workarounds.
    Considering how few people own VR headsets, playing multiplayer games, we need as many players as possible, regardless of the headset used… It is not fun waiting in lobby for 10 – 15 minutes, just because nobody is there to play ! 😀

  • Roger Bentley

    If u want to play oculus games so badly get a rift or shut the fuck up and stop complaining how superior vive is then u cry and suck oculus balls every time they have a game. Your superior vive doesn’t mean shit if there are killer games for it so stop trying to sneak in the oculus garden as you so lightly put it and enjoy playing the lab for the 60000000 time or raw data and just enjoy what you have. Oculus funds thier games so if they don’t want thier competitor to play that’s why they ponied up the green. Now get off your HTC high horse and use revive and get a life.