Oculus seems to have decided that it doesn’t want to share its content with the rest of the virtual reality space. An update released last week now forces the Oculus platform to check for a connected Rift. Failure to do so prevents all Oculus content from launching; an act that now locks out a fan made mod that allowed HTC Vive users to access that very content.
There isn’t much to choose from as far as VR content goes. Steam offers the widest selection of VR games thus far, and is compatible with both the Rift and Vive. However, Oculus also built a private store for its platform; which inevitably lead to Vive users creating a mod – called Revive – to enjoy the same benefits.
Oculus founder Palmer Luckey was apparently alright with this happening, as an earlier AMA on Reddit revealed that he believes that VR should be an open platform. On the other hand, this latest patch to the Oculus store prevents this from happening and turns the platform into a walled garden.
A spokeman from Oculus claims that the patch was to prevent piracy, and does not target any mods in particular. It is said to validate that a particular user has bought a piece of software, and it supposedly very common with e-commerce platforms. However, members of the Revive team confirmed that the patch not only validates software but also checks for the associated hardware.
Oculus has not made any comment on the claims from the modding team.
Revive was not created to allow users to steal Oculus content, but instead translate the movement axis readings from one headset to the other. In other words allowing the Vive to emulate being a Rift. It still required the Oculus Platform to be running in the background for DRM checks on software to be performed.
Nobody is sure why this has happened, and Oculus is certainly not shedding any light on the issue. It could be that Oculus is feeling the pressure from being owned by Facebook; which most definitely prefers to avoid sharing if it can help it.