Oculus Removes DRM Blocking Rift Games On Vive

In April the cyberworld rejoiced when cybergoggle enthusiasts created a tool to like HTC Vive cybernauts play games made for Oculus Rift. In May, er, Oculus responded by adding a DRM headset check that stopped software working if it wasn’t on a Rift, despite Oculord Palmer Luckey previously saying sunny things like “our goal is not to profit by locking people to only our hardware.” Naturally, Revive quickly got around that. Well! Things seem to have come to a happy conclusion, as Oculus have quietly removed the checks. Vivers may once again play Riftzaps using Revive.

To explain in a grossly reductive way, Revive translates code written only for Oculus headsets to a language the Vive understands. It lets people use their Vivergoggles in games not built to support them. That’s good!

“I’ve only just tested this and I’m still in disbelief, but it looks like Oculus removed the headset check from the DRM in Oculus Runtime 1.5,” is the word today from Revive creators LibreVR. Their retaliatory workaround had been a bit burly, done in a way that would anti-piracy DRM in some games, and they seem glad to no longer need that. “As such I’ve reverted the DRM patch and removed all binaries from previous releases that contained the patch,” they say.

It seems Oculus had a change of heart (or a change of thinking-this-was-a-sound-business-decision), as the company have told Ars Technica that they “will not use hardware checks as part of DRM on PC in the future.” Which would hopefully spell the end of this particular mess.

So! If you have Vivergoggles and want to play games made for the Oculus SDK, you can download Revive over here.

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  1. Hyena Grin says:

    Good on them. The last thing we needed was yet more fracturing and monopolizing in the PC gaming industry.

    • monkeytommo says:

      Still have to use a mod to get it working. Moreover, I’m not going to install Oculus Home even if they did open it up to us Vivers in the future!!

  2. Ethaor says:

    Defcon 3 -Oculus implements store exclusives
    Defcon 2 -Developpers create Revive to use OR Store exclusives on Vive (by buying them on their store)
    Defcon 2 -Oculus responds by implementing hardware checks
    Defcon 1 -Developpers have no choice but to “crack” more aggresively and completely bypassing the Oculus DRM (all game being cracked and ‘free’).
    Defcon 3 -Oculus removes hardware check and Revive brings back Oculus DRM

    Oculus started a piracy arms-race it cannot win. They just took a step back because that’s in their best interest, in fear of having their whole store pirated instead of useable on the Vive.

    I wouldn’t call that a good will nor the end of that mess by any means. It just isn’t a step in the wrong direction.

    • SomeDuder says:

      Provided that they don’t mess around with this policy in the future, does it matter? In the end, players can play the games they want on the hardware they want, which is all that matters.

      But we haven’t had a Microsoft enter the VR market yet, so we’ve still got allllllllllll kinds of shenanigans coming up! Happy days.

  3. waltC says:

    If they want to sell the hardware they’d better not block *any* software from running on it that can run on it! Treating the VRware as if it was a console like the PS4 or xBone is a sure-fire way to kill it fast! Nobody’s going to pay you 5-10% per copy for developing software to run on it! Sometimes hardware developers amaze me by their sheer stupidity and irrational greed…;) (Not always, just sometimes.)

    • Sakkura says:

      Actually 5% would be very enticing. Steam takes six times as much. That’s a huge difference, even though Steam at the moment is of course way better.

      • aepervius says:

        Steam is a distribution platform. Occulus/vive are hardwares pieces. Not comparable.

    • k.t says:

      They weren’t blocking anything on their hardware, they were blocking the software they funded from working on other hardware.

    • Unclepauly says:

      Almost everything you said is off base.

  4. Soapeh says:

    This is great news, almost like some sort of VR Union. I’m gonna aim for a Vive over an Oculus come the new year because now, as far as I can tell, Vive does everything the Rift does but with the added benefit of room-scale technology.

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      Aitrus says:

      Oculus is also capable of room scale, I have been shown.

      • Rindan says:

        That’s cute. I’m just going to not buy a Facebook Rift because Facebook is a shit company that has already proven that they are happy to use their monopoly money from social media to fuck up competition. I can’t believe I was originally positive on the Facebook takeover. I, like a naive fool, thought that they would spend their billions on making superior hardware, not paying people to intentionally break functionality for the superior competing face monitor.

        Less learned. Fuck Facebook, and fuck the Facebook Rift. As long as Facebook is bribing folks to not make stuff for the competition, they can go fuck off.

        • Asurmen says:

          It’s a business. They want a return on their investment. Don’t see the problem here. And calling it bribing is such hyperbole it hurts.

          As for superior, the specs are the same.

          • MajorLag says:

            Know who else want a return on their investment? Pay-day loan companies. Do we really want to live in a world where we let companies get away with this shit because it was in the name of the One True God, Profit?

          • Asurmen says:

            Because a product for entertainment, and a business that works by feeding off the poor and with little regulation are really the same things, right?

    • SingularityParadigm says:

      It is a complete myth that the Oculus Rift CV1 can not do roomscale with tracked controllers. Please watch this video:

      • Soapeh says:

        This is good to know, thanks for the vids. I’m hoping that in 6 months there will be plenty more support for VR, be it in the form of these interesting ‘experiences’ or full VR ports of classic games.

    • SingularityParadigm says:

      And again, here is a demonstration of 360 degree roomscale with Oculus Touch:

  5. FecesOfDeath says:

    My guess is that Facebook’s algorithms discovered that the DRM contained conservative/right-wing political content, which was why it was removed.

  6. Cinek says:

    Came in to see if people still whine – was no dissapoint.

  7. Comco says:

    Dear god, I re-read the first sentace of this article about 10 times trying to make sense of it and I still can’t. It appears in dire need of a comma. Maybe it’s a pommy thing – is there meant to be a comma after cybernauts? I know the writing style is pretty tongue-in-cheek around here, but surely it still needs to actually be readable? ;)

    • Comco says:

      Sentence. That should read sentence. Curse you RPS, with your lack of an edit post function that makes me look like a wanker when I make a whiny post about grammar and make a spelling mistake!

      • xyzzy frobozz says:

        I too, like a lot of articles on RPS, found it bloody difficult to parse.

    • Don Reba says:

      I believe she meant to write:
      In April, the cyberworld rejoiced when cybergoggle enthusiasts created a tool to let HTC Vive cybernauts play games made for Oculus Rift.

      Wrote “like” instead of “let” and forgot a comma after an introductory phrase.

  8. Morcane says:

    Does this mean I can play Eve: Valkyrie on the Vive now?

    • k.t says:

      The Revive compatibility list says no, but Valkyrie isn’t an Oculus exclusive, CCP just hasn’t released the Vive version yet.