It didn’t take VR fans long to hack Oculus Rift exclusive software and bring it to HTC Vive, and it hasn’t taken long for Oculus VR to put a stop to it.
Earlier today we reported Oculus updated its Rift desktop app, adding features such as support for multiple currencies. What the company didn’t tell us, however, was that updating the app would stop the fan-made ReVive program from working. Launched in mid-April, ReVive allows Vive owners to play two Oculus Rift exclusives – Lucky’s Tale and Oculus Dreamdeck – in their new HMDs, having been purchased from Oculus Home. Following the Home update, ReVive creator CrossVR checked the system’s functionality, and reportedly found it broken.
The developer also claims that Oculus has added an extra check to running software that confirms that the Oculus Rift itself is connected to the Oculus Platform DRM, which ReVive apparently doesn’t cover right now. The result is no more Rift exclusives on Vive, unless the system’s creators can engineer another way around this latest update. There’s a temporary workaround, CrossVR claims, but it requires you to actually own a Rift. CrossVR wanted to make the situation explicitly clear, though, writing: “Oculus prevented people who don’t own an Oculus Rift from playing Oculus Home games.”
Oculus, however, says that this wasn’t a deliberate move. In a statement given to UploadVR, the company told us that the update “wasn’t targeted at a specific hack” and that security updates had been made to “curb piracy and protect games and apps that developers have worked so hard to make”. The statement recalled the warning that the company issued when ReVive was first launched, noting that it likely wouldn’t work “indefinitely”. In other words, this was bound to happen at some point.
At the same time, the move does contradict Oculus Rift creator Palmer Luckey’s own statements made five months ago in which he claimed that, if software is bought from Oculus itself, he doesn’t care if customers “mod it to run on whatever they want.”
Indeed, Luckey himself may well not care, but it certainly seems like other members of the Oculus team do. Is this the end of ReVive? Or will CrossVR be able to magic up a new means of unlocking the ever-growing number of Rift exclusives for VR fans that opted to buy just one of the two high-profile and highly-priced VR HMDs?