Oculus Backs Down on Hardware Check

Subject: Displays | June 25, 2016 - 02:23 AM |
Tagged: valve, oculus rift, Oculus, htc vive

Facebook has disabled their software check that prevents Oculus Store games from running without an Oculus Rift being connected. Further, Motherboard has directly quoted an Oculus spokesperson as saying “We won't use hardware checks as part of DRM on PC in the future”. This check prevented these games from running on the HTC Vive using the user-created tool, Revive, until the creator of Revive disabled the DRM in response.

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Oculus will continue to develop their DRM itself, of course. They have also been approaching developers to make Oculus-exclusive content, and I expect that will continue. This is where we get into a little bit of a debate that has been brewing online. Some believe that, due to the size of the potential market, exclusivity could bring content to life that otherwise would not be viable. While that does have some merit to muse over, I cannot see how that would be any better (for society) than all the platform holders pitching in to an open incubation fund. This way, art will not locked away unless it absolutely requires a specific feature that some platforms cannot provide, and consumers will have a larger pool of content to justify the initial purchase.

That topic aside, Oculus has not pledged that they won't interfere with third-parties that want to support Oculus-exclusive titles on other headsets. A hardware check will not be involved, now or in the future, though.

Source: Motherboard

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June 25, 2016 | 10:32 AM - Posted by Anonymous (not verified)

Oh the VR hardware market war is just beginning! It's time to pop up some of old Redenbacher's kernels and melt the butter, the show has just begun!

June 25, 2016 | 10:52 AM - Posted by M (not verified)

- whenever "the facebook" and the slimy-shill zuckerberg-creature are involved no-doubt there'll be some scuzzy dealings.

June 26, 2016 | 04:42 PM - Posted by Penteract (not verified)

Absolutely! Oculus shot themselves in the proverbial foot by accepting Facebook's money.

June 25, 2016 | 11:30 AM - Posted by flippityfloppit...

Too late I say, most of the Internet has given them the finger.
But I suppose you can't expect much from a company full of sociopaths that only care about profit and market seizing, where creativity always takes the backseat to riches.

June 25, 2016 | 02:17 PM - Posted by Anonymous (not verified)

Wrong, we still have console wars still today....Same will happen in VR war.

June 25, 2016 | 02:41 PM - Posted by Shambles (not verified)

Not unless VR headsets start to include the computer to run them. Any new proprietary accessory will fail like every other one has before it. Standardize or get dropped by the market.

June 25, 2016 | 03:21 PM - Posted by Anonymous (not verified)

Yes open standards are the way to go, with all that VR functionality standardized in the Vulkan Graphics API, and used by the gaming engine SDKs. All that closed proprietary crap in order to get market share with which to milk the gaming market needs to be ended.

Let's put into Vulkan a standardized industry API for all the VR software and games, and let the OS/Graphics APIs manage the hardware, with the hardware's drivers kept as simple as possible! Let the OS/graphics APIs manage all the graphics adapters, with the Graphics APIs having the function calls that can use any GPU/CPU/other processing hardware for games/VR games and graphics/VR based graphics applications can make use of.

All these interests like facebook/Google/M$ and others need to stop trying to force hardware/software/ad pushing ecosystem lock-in onto the PC/laptop gaming/VR software/hardware markets. It should be open standards based or not at all, and the VR headsets need to get some compute power of their own, for those that want to use the headsets with mobile/laptop devices driving the games.

Whatever the new display port standard is, it should include some from of TB like PCI/other signal passing so headsets with their own APUs/SOCs can assist in running the VR game from mobile/laptop devices, with all the processor/s in the headset and laptop/mobile device used to run the VR game. Explicit multi-adaptor should work across any processors in a headset and in the mobile/laptop/PC device as the standard way to do things for gaming VR or otherwise.

June 25, 2016 | 07:50 PM - Posted by Alamo

i would love to give them credit, because this is a turn in the right direction, but to me oculus already reached microsoft level of trust, which is like 0.
i dont take anything they say, and i always expect them to go back on their word and find another way to implement their strategy.
yes this is good, having exclusive software for an 800$ peripheral, is idiotic at this point in VR life, and pushing for it would most certainly hurt VR in general and repel ppl from it.
anyhow i would still expect some bitch move from oculus in the future, so dont celebrate just yet.

June 26, 2016 | 04:49 PM - Posted by Penteract (not verified)

Microsoft got into trouble by publishing the fact that they do what Google, Yahoo, AoL, Amazon, Facebook, Twitter, and scads of other businesses do without telling you anything about it. At least they were more or less up-front about it.

And we also have what is gathered and stored from every cell phone, especially smart phones, by ATT, Verizon, Comcast, and all of that ilk as well.

June 25, 2016 | 10:04 PM - Posted by Branthog

No, it all makes sense.

It's exactly like how I can only get Coke products at Safeway, but not Albertsons. And how I can only get Pepsi products at Albertsons and Publix, but not Safeway.

Oh wait. That's not how it works. People make a product, retailers carry the product.

June 26, 2016 | 08:16 AM - Posted by Anonymous (not verified)

too late

June 26, 2016 | 10:03 AM - Posted by Anonymous (not verified)

Once Facebook acquired Oculus, VR gaming was defaced and there will be little trust for that DRM that ties any games to any specific VR hardware. It is too late for any trust, and all this GPU/CPU/SOC and other hardware exclusivity will only make PC gamers avoid the tie-ins like the plague. Facebook's attempt to strap a console closed ecosystem to PC gamers heads is not going to go over well with any PC gamer.

June 26, 2016 | 12:20 PM - Posted by Prodeous

Good that they decided to pull back, as long as they don't do another 180 later on.

I see no difference between them and Steam. Both have exclusive games for VR, and Steam had exclusives for so long that people got used to them. The "crap" that was on the internet when Steam came out is nearly identical.

This is new territory for Facebook, real gaming. As long as they learn quickly then all good. I'm still happy with my Oculus. Far more comfortable then Vive and the screen feels better. Barely see the subpixels.

Either way, good move on their side, and maybe they should let people with knowledge of the gaming industry to decide not Facebook lawyers.. Just a thought

June 26, 2016 | 01:43 PM - Posted by Anonymous (not verified)

You guys remember the xbox one? Yea the one that tried to destroy options and caused MS to change their policy. Or was that Facebook.

I was going to buy Oculus. It was 100% a sure thing then Facebook happened. The Oculus story changed.
The Vive is too expensive
Pre-ordered the Sony. Now there are reports of people getting sick.

I'm done with this generation.

I might look at Google's Daydream stuff to just watch some casual VR.

Oculus blew it. I should have just bought the Dev edition.

I guess its another 2 year wait for interactive VR

June 26, 2016 | 02:13 PM - Posted by Ramon (not verified)

How can those "brilliant" people, working for one of the top technology firm in the world, can be soooo disconnected from reality? I guess they didn't saw that obvious backlash coming from the the confine of the bubble in their ivory tower.

The moral of this story is: superior intelligence does not guaranty good judgment. Now they lost what was left of their credibility and seriously eroded customer confidence. They did it once, they can do it again later...

June 26, 2016 | 07:27 PM - Posted by Alamo

because thats what they learn in school, and because companies hire pll with no passion or knowledge for the sector they work in, all they know is take data numbers and push for a strategy accordingly, but this data mining is useless, it might tell you how many hour ppl use X or Y, that doesnt mean ppl want X or Y, it might be the only thing they can use, they might hate it, you giving them more of what they have might make sense when looking at the numbers, but in reality you are just upsetting them by giving them more of what they hate, that at some point, they will have enough and backlash at you.
this is the stupid trend of data mining, it is a short term solution that works, they consider it to have less risk, because the numbers will give you a base line of revenue.
ppl need to learn to reward companies that take risks on their behalf, and stop being like cattle to eat whatever shiet is thrown at them.

June 27, 2016 | 05:00 AM - Posted by Anonymous (not verified)

>How can those "brilliant" people, working for one of the top technology firm in the world, can be soooo disconnected from reality?

Because, unlike internet pundits, they actually need to

If you look at comments from Croteam (giant Cop developers), the Superhot developers, etc, they are all very clear that they would not be able to put out a polished VR experience on Vr revenue alone. The market is just too small: 100k Vives at most abd maybe another 100k-200k Rifts.
Compared to any other market, that's shit-all. Without external funding, you get barely-implemented shovelware, and that's not good enough to kickstart VR development for long enough for the install base to sustain development. Funding sources like VC funding and debt funding (loans) not only have MUCH greater risks for developers, they are often not even a possibility unless investors are confident VR will take off. If you are an investor, and all you see in the VR world is small demos and shovelware, then you;re not going to be inclined to invest. If you see multiple full titles, you are more likely to invest.

No, the real gamble is how long Oculus (or Valve, now they've FINALLY started funding games, albeit debt-funding) need to keep funding games. Too long and the market will collapse because it is assumed it will continue to be propped up even once it could sustain itself, too early and it will collapse because it cannot sustain itself. Whether the market is 'fractured' or not is almost irrelevant: it was 'fractured' the moment Project Morpheus was unveiled along with Sony funding developers. Fracturing the market mainly serves to shove additional risk onto whoever is providing the development funding.

June 27, 2016 | 08:39 AM - Posted by Anonymous (not verified)

Just a heads up not PC Oculus related but if you purchase a galaxy gear oculus it wont work unless you have facebook installed on your phone. These guys are such asshats

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