First strike in the VR gaming war: Oculus blocks HTC Vive users

UPDATE 23/05: Libre VR, creator of the unofficial Revive patch which allows Vive owners to access Oculus Rift apps, has cracked the anti-piracy update within a day of its release.

The developer has created a new patch which allows games to bypass digital rights management (DRM) checks, preventing the Oculus software from verifying whether games are running on an Oculus headset.

Bypassing DRM also means the new patch prevents the Oculus software from checking whether games have been legally purchased, making piracy much easier.

Libre VR made his views on piracy very clear in a Reddit post: “This is my first success at bypassing the DRM, I really didn’t want to go down that path. I still do not support piracy, do not use this library for pirated copies.”

Original article:

In what could be the first of many VR scuffles, Oculus has blocked a workaround that enabled HTC Vive owners to access its own apps.

Oculus has released a Windows PC app update that provides “updates to platform integrity checks”.

What this translates to, in practice, is a closing of the door on the unofficial Revive patch for rival system the HTC Vive. This Revive patch granted Vive users access to Rift-specific apps and games.

According to Revive developer CrossVR, the update now makes the Oculus software check whether the Oculus Rift headset is connected to the Oculus Platform DRM.

“While Revive fools the application [into] thinking the Rift is connected, it does nothing to make the actual Oculus platform think the headset is connected,” explains CrossVR.

Oculus, for its part, has told Ars Technica that the latest update was intended “to curb piracy and protect games and apps that developers have worked so hard to make. This update wasn’t targeted at a specific hack.”

It also claims that such a feature is “common in commerce platforms.”

Regardless of the motivation, the new update seems to run counter to Oculus founder Palmer Luckey’s comments from December of last year.

Related: Oculus Rift vs HTC Revive

“If customers buy a game from us, I don’t care if they mod it to run on whatever they want,” he said on Reddit. “Our goal is not to profit by locking people to only our hardware.”

Apparently, it is possible to get around the latest update by having an Oculus Rift hooked up when you start an app. But having both devices in your possession would appear to preclude the need for Revive.

Next, take a look at our HTC Vive hands-on video:

What do you think of Oculus’s latest move? Let us know in the comments.