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Oculus Backtracks on DRM and Allows the HTC Vive to Play Rift Games Again

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Games exclusivity is common place for consoles. Master Chief is on Xbox and Nathan Drake is on PS4. That’s the way it is. But for VR, many fans and developers want things to be more open, so gamers can able games on any headset they want. Today, Oculus’ latest update removes a perviously controversial DRM rule, making that idea much more possible.

As first posted on Reddit and later confirmed by UploadVR, Oculus will no longer require a hardware check when playing an Oculus exclusive game, meaning any headset will be allowed to play a game that is exclusive to the Oculus store.


Released in April, a third-party app called Revive allowed VR games purchased from the Oculus store to be playable on a competitor’s headset, the HTC Vive. A month later, Oculus released a software update that locked down its ecosystem, essentially requiring an Oculus headset to play Oculus exclusive games.


The VR community was none too pleased, accusing Oculus of hypocrisy as its founder Palmer Luckey had been a vocal advocate for creating an open ecosystem for VR. In other words, no walled gardens.

Oculus’ originally defended the update, saying it was meant to battle piracy and protect developers’ games. Up until the Electronics Entertainment Expo last week, Oculus held firm on that decision.

Oculus also ran into some bad PR last week over asking creators of the upcoming game Serious Sam VR to make its new game a timed Oculus Rift exclusive.


Oculus has released a new software update that removes the “hardware check” limitation completely. A spokesperson told Gizmodo that “[it] won’t use hardware checks as part of DRM on PC in the future.”

It would seem that the budding VR community just dodged a massive DRM-shaped bullet. It’s uncertain what the future of VR gaming will actually look like once there’s some serious money to be made. But with Valve, the other big VR company, also dedicated to an open ecosystem, the future looks more promising than ever.


[Reddit and UploadVR via Motherboard]