[Updated] Oculus VR Now Preventing Users from Using Other Headsets

Published: May 21, 2016 3:01 PM /


Oculus Breaks Revive

Update: we got an official response back from Oculus. See below:

Last week we issued an update design to improve several features, and it happened to break the Revive hack. The update was not released to break the hack, it just did. The hack’s creator has fixed it.  Our stance regarding the hack remains the same.
This is a hack, and we don’t condone it. Users should expect that hacked games won’t work indefinitely, as regular software updates to games, apps, and our platform are likely to break hacked software.

It seems noteworthy that breaking Revive is considered to be an unintended side-effect by Oculus, despite comments from Revive's developer suggesting otherwise. Original article below:

In a recent update to the 'Oculus App', Facebook subsidiary Oculus VR has introduced new DRM-based restrictions disallowing users from playing otherwise Oculus Rift exclusive titles on alternative headsets. 'Revive', a popular program used to run these titles on Valve's HTC Vive headset, no longer functions with this update as confirmed by its creator. Within hours of this occurring, however, Revive was updated with the capability of bypassing this restriction on games created using the Unreal engine.

According to Revive's creator, the Oculus Platform DRM has been updated to check whether an actual Oculus headset is connected to the system. Whereas Revive previously relied on emulating an Oculus headset connection on an application level, the developer noted in the comments to his post that it would now be "challenging to circumvent this check while keeping the DRM intact." This has, however, now been achieved with Unreal engine titles. The developer also assured users that this update only affects the Oculus Platform DRM: "Only games published on the Oculus Store that use the Oculus Platform SDK are affected."

Users of Revive who own either an Oculus Rift CV1 or DK2 have been advised to plug in these headsets whilst using the software, as this circumvents the DRM for all titles and allows them to be played on the HTC Vive regardless.


Start screen of Project Lucky when the user doesn't have an Oculus VR headset plugged in, courtesy of reddit user /u/wickfut

Users were quick to note the hypocrisy of Oculus' actions, given this statement made by Palmer Luckey - co-founder of Oculus VR - in a reddit comment five months ago:

If customers buy a game from us, I don't care if they mod it to run on whatever they want. As I have said a million times (and counter to the current circlejerk), our goal is not to profit by locking people to only our hardware - if it was, why in the world would we be supporting GearVR and talking with other headset makers? The software we create through Oculus Studios (using a mix of internal and external developers) are exclusive to the Oculus platform, not the Rift itself.

  • Palmer Luckey

It is of note that Samsung's Gear VR for Samsung Galaxy devices was co-developed by Oculus and is dual-branded, with both company's logos appearing on the outer shell.

We have reached out to Oculus for comment on this development, however we have not heard back yet. This post will be updated if and when we receive correspondence from Oculus on this issue.

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Have had an interest in games for over a decade, especially on the PC. I write for TechRaptor, but on the side I enjoy creating digital art and programming… More about Harry