Shift to Oculus OpenXR Support Impacts Legacy VR Games

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Shift to Oculus OpenXR Support Impacts Legacy VR Games

July 23, 2021

By: Robert N. Adams

 
 

Oculus OpenXR support will be the only option for virtual reality games on the virtual reality platform next year — and that is going to cause problems for older VR games.

The Oculus Quest 2 had rapidly become the fastest-selling headset in the Oculus family. Facebook isn't one to shy away from innovating, and that applies to software development, too — it is working on integrating OpenXR support as the one and only standard for its flagship platform. Unfortunately, that means that older games might get left in the dust.

Oculus OpenXR slice

How Oculus OpenXR Support Will Impact Older VR Games

The full shift to Oculus OpenXR support itself won't cause problems for VR games; rather, it's about Facebook dropping support for other standards.

 
 

"A year from now, on August 31, 2022, Compatibility Support for Oculus Native Mobile and PC APIs will end and they will be Unsupported," read a blog post on the Oculus developer website. "Existing applications will continue to function on Oculus devices, but our level of support will change."

Games that currently don't have OpenXR support will still work... mostly. Further down the blog post, it notes that Oculus will "fix only critical security, privacy, or safety bugs in Oculus Native and PC APIs."

Ultimately, this means that some older games may be affected if they aren't changed to work with the OpenXR standard. Oculus is depreciating support for its Oculus Mobile API and Oculus PC API and there's always the chance that that will have some unforeseen consequences.

This is a pretty major shift, but Oculus is giving game developers fair warning: they will have a little over a year to shift things over to OpenXR. The blog post notes that it will provide recommendations to developers for converting over to the new standard; hopefully, this means that most players won't be inconvenienced by this behind-the-scenes change.

What do you think of Oculus adopted OpenXR as the standard going forward? What do you think is the best VR headset on the market today? Let us know in the comments below!

A photograph of Robert N Adams
Senior Writer

I've had a controller in my hand since I was 4 and I haven't stopped gaming since. CCGs, Tabletop Games, Pen & Paper RPGs - I've tried a whole bunch of stuff over the years and I'm always looking to try more!

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