ICEd: Oculus Rift cybergoggles are broken today while the megacorp work on a fix

Update: this is now fixed, though users will need to take a long route to the update. Oculus officially confirmed that the problem was an expired software certificate, which caused further problems because it also wonked the usual updater.

I keep telling you: if you want to jam with the console cowboys in cyberspace, you’ve gotta roll your own goggs. These megacorp-supplied cybergoggles are controlled by The Man, the very shadowy organisations you should be jacking in to undermine. The vulnerability of megacorp hardware was revealed today when technomancers across the globe woke up to discover the Oculus software throwing up an error message, leaving Rift headsets effectively broken. Oculus say they’re aware of this and are trying to fix it. If you’re hoping to escape meatspace tonight and enter a data trance, you might want a backup plan.

Rifters trying to jack in now are receiving “Can’t Reach Oculus Runtime Service” error messages, blocking their goggs from working, as VRFocus report. Curious planet-hackers have discovered it appears to be a problem with an expired security certificate on a key file.

Those who urgently need to ride datawaves in cyberspace can get around this by setting their Windows time back a few days, though that can make other software freak out so perhaps be wary.

“We are aware of and actively investigating an issue impacting ability to access Rift software,” Oculus said in a message posted at 4:59pm. “Our teams apologize for any inconvenience this may be causing you and appreciate your patience while we work on a resolution.”

This time, it’s only an error message making goggs stop. Next time, who knows: they could deploy Black ICE to fry your lobes. Resist the megacorps.


  1. waltC says:

    I’m a bit puzzled (although “very puzzled” is my norm…;)) Does this mean that Oculus is an always-on Internet device, or is this outage merely affecting Rift-server multiplayer games?

    • Sakkura says:

      Neither, actually. This is a local issue; if you set your system clock back a day, it works perfectly fine.

      • waltC says:

        OK, thanks…so the .dll isn’t really trying to contact the Rift servers, then–it’s merely a bug in the local software that simply shuts the Rift software down locally. That almost sounds very much like some malware behaves. Odd.

        OK–it’s a driver-signing issue then?

    • ancipital says:

      The certificate that is used to sign one of the DLLs expired. The signing identifies the developer so that Windows can trust it.

      It’s not about always-onness, DRM or owt like that. It is mighty sloppy, though.

      • waltC says:

        OK, sounds very much like a driver-signing issue. Would be very interesting to have someone boot Win10 with driver-signing turned off to see if the Rift would work then.

      • Quickly says:

        Thanks for this. The amusingly worded but light on details news piece above gave the impression it was actually syncing online.

  2. Kollega says:


    Someone, please hand me my standard-issue survival kit of eldritch lore that gives the bearer the might to rewrite reality itself. Failing that, a pistol with one round may suffice too.

    Or maybe I should just find and read something solarpunk instead, thin on the ground as that may be… for now. Maybe Alice should too.

    • LennyLeonardo says:

      I’m not sure if a good-natured piss-take of solarpunk jargon would work in an article about virtual reality goggles?

      • Kollega says:

        I would contest “good-natured”, because to me, it was physically revolting to a noticeable degree. This is not an exaggeration.

        And I guess this was the equivalent of snapping and yelling so that everyone in the vicnity can hear “OKAY, WE LIVE IN A CYBERPUNK DYSTOPIA! THE POINT, I GET IT!!!” People are entirely free to call it “impolite and ill-considered”, but I will insistently keep calling it “I can’t put up with this anymore”.

        (I’m also not sure if solarpunk jargon even exists yet… but surprisingly, it might.)

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          Drib says:

          Dude, RPS writes cheeky articles like this sometimes. Pull the stick out of your ass.

          • Kollega says:

            I will do so only if and when I’m allowed to bludgeon my vast array of enemies over the head with it.


          • gwop_the_derailer says:

            As long as you clean it first.

    • Alice O'Connor says:

      Naw I’m good, thanks mate.

    • Baggypants says:

      I don’t fully understand your complaint, but a woman has written some words on the internet and you want to shoot her?

      • Kollega says:

        You clearly don’t understand my complaint, yes. I figured it was obvious that asking for “pistol with one round” would only be any good for shooting myself.

        • shde2e says:

          Clearly you need to invest in one of those auto-tracking cyberbullets.

          • Darloth says:

            With sufficient technology, the one round can punch a hole clean through a planet and still blow up the power core of the spaceship you were aiming at on the other side.

            New planet not included.

  3. Incompleteness says:

    What episode is that x-files picture from?

    • lglethal says:

      The one with the virtual reality woman who killed people for real. I can remember thinking it was a good episode at the time, but then I was about 15, and anything to do with virtual reality was awesome. It’s 20 years later and that awesome virtual reality has yet to become a reality. It’s somewhat disappointing…

    • gwop_the_derailer says:

      A very bad one.

    • kwyjibo says:

      It’s from Ready Player One.

  4. Don Reba says:

    I’d say it was worth having the outage to produce this amazing news article, Alice.

  5. int says:

    They could have used Daryl Musashi!

  6. Trazior says:

    I just registered for an account simply to say that I love how this article is written! Alice O’Connor, great work – you’re channeling cyberpunk hard!

  7. racccoon says:

    Best fix solution is to stomp on ’em & forget ’em! lol

  8. Henke says:

    That explains it. My morning workout for the past couple weeks has been going for a CYBER-JOG in Sprint Vector, but this morning my Rift wouldn’t wake up, forcing me to go un-exercised. OH HOW I HAVE SUFFERED, hopefully they get it fixed soon.

  9. guidom says:

    the funnyness of this article tickled my long dormant laughing parts.

  10. fish99 says:

    The fix is quite straight forward, download and run one file. They’re giving $15 store credits to those affected too (if you attempted to fire up your Rift after 1st Feb).