Home Gaming Oculus adds DRM to the Rift to lock out competing headsets

Oculus adds DRM to the Rift to lock out competing headsets

2 min read
36

Vive

The two biggest and most feature-packed virtual reality systems are out, with the Oculus Rift and HTC’s Vive (slowly!) being sent to pre-purchasers and retail customers. Of the two, the more expensive Vive is clearly superior, with features like Room scale VR, those amazing controllers and better head-tracking.

Thanks to some clever hacks, it’s also able to run games exclusive to the Oculus Rift, that platform’s one selling point. Or at least it was. Oculus isn’t too happy about losing its key differentiator, so it’s instituting a bit of DRM to keep Vive owners from sampling Rift’s wares.

The creators of Revive, the hack that allowed for Rift games to run on competing headsets have confirmed that new patch, which includes “platform integrity checks” also features DRM.

“While this helps prevent piracy from people who didn’t buy an Oculus Rift, it doesn’t do anything to prevent piracy from those who did buy an Oculus Rift,” Revive maker Libre VR told Motherboard. “And this clearly excludes anyone who bought the game, but didn’t buy an Oculus Rift. Even if Revive wasn’t targeted, they were probably more than aware of the collateral damage.”

The most curious thing about it all is that just a few months ago on Reddit , Oculus’ Palmer Luckey said that they wouldn’t lock people to the Rift.

“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?”

A spokesperson from Oculus told Motherboard that customers should expect that regular platform updates should nix hacks.

“We take the security, functionality and integrity of our system software very seriously and people should expect that hacked games won’t work indefinitely as regular updates to content, apps and our platform may break the hacks,” an Oculus spokesperson said.

While it is, of course, their right to protect their platform I don’t think they’re endearing themselves with the double talk and back-peddling.  So much for that open platform, I guess.

Last Updated: May 23, 2016

36 Comments

  1. Greylingad[He Charges!]

    May 23, 2016 at 08:03

    HAHAHAHAHA!!!! OH MY GAWD!! Where is Ryanza when you need him!?

    Reply

    • Kromas untamed

      May 23, 2016 at 08:05

      Hardware DRM is not his bag. He just hates just Steam and Origin mostly.

      Reply

      • Greylingad[He Charges!]

        May 23, 2016 at 08:07

        But then that’s almost everything anyway?

        Reply

        • Ainar

          May 23, 2016 at 10:00

          Maybe he likes Uplay though! 😀

          Reply

    • Marcus

      May 24, 2016 at 10:32

      HA! Had to scroll too much to find this comment.

      Reply

  2. Kromas untamed

    May 23, 2016 at 08:05

    I fyou seriously did not expect this right after Facebook bought them then you are new to the internet. Welcome and enjoy your stay.

    Reply

  3. Raptor Rants

    May 23, 2016 at 08:08

    The only people who need to lock their stuff off of other platforms are those that know they can’t truly compete.

    Oculus have now just shown their hand to the competition. The hand that says fold.

    Instead of DRM you should make your product more attractive and more competitive to draw people in.

    Shame. To have to resort to DRM. Shame.

    Reply

    • Pariah

      May 23, 2016 at 08:12

      ^ This

      Reply

  4. Alien Emperor Trevor

    May 23, 2016 at 08:10

    Way to fragment the marketplace you’re working so hard to establish.

    Reply

    • Raptor Rants

      May 23, 2016 at 08:12

      This is a very good point. You are making it harder for the tech to take market ground. VR is still in its infancy when it comes to how long other tech has been around.

      Starting off with an anti-competitive attitude can only hurt the future of VR if it is to really take off.

      Reply

    • Greylingad[He Charges!]

      May 23, 2016 at 08:14

      Ba dum tisss…. Thank you, this is exactly what’s going to happen and, for the most part, is not a marketplace with a very big foothold at the moment…

      Reply

    • Pariah

      May 23, 2016 at 08:24

      Oculus. Causing a rift in the market.

      *missed opportunity.

      Reply

      • Dane

        May 23, 2016 at 10:21

        6/10

        Reply

    • HairyEwok

      May 23, 2016 at 08:29

      Doesn’t really matter to us South Africans. Unless you’re really rich or bold enough to make a huge loan you wont use a VR. The price for the 1080 have has been revealed…. R13.5k

      Reply

      • Pariah

        May 23, 2016 at 08:31

        That was revealed last week though. O_o

        And yes, it’s the price of a mid-range gaming PC.

        Reply

        • HairyEwok

          May 23, 2016 at 08:45

          I don’t think everybody knew about the cards price so just mentioned it, but yeah, gaming as a whole in SA is really getting out of hand. Steep prices on games and equipment to play the games. I’m thinking about scoping for a new hobby. Maybe counting rocks will be more within my budget, or stay with gaming and play dreaded F2P games *shudders*

          Reply

          • Pariah

            May 23, 2016 at 08:51

            There are a good few F2P games that get it right though. And it doesn’t hurt to try them out until you find ones you like – the cost investment is bandwidth and time, nothing that’ll hurt your wallet.

            Still, gaming in this country is so expensive now that it’s really becoming upper income bracket territory.

          • Darren Peach

            May 23, 2016 at 08:54

            It’s a very worrying thing to adjust to. I bought another Xbox and I have had to sell it already. Gaming is in a weird place in SA. I even checked the PC prices for Doom. R 700.00 depending on where you buy. That is a huge chunk of change.

          • Pariah

            May 23, 2016 at 09:03

            Yes it is. And the hardware to run these new games doesn’t come cheap either. 🙁

          • Darren Peach

            May 23, 2016 at 09:10

            If recent news reports are to be believed, We can end up R 60 to the $.

      • Darren Peach

        May 23, 2016 at 08:33

        Jeez Bru. I bought Doom over the Weekend. R 1000 ! That is a momentum shift in life.

        Reply

      • Raptor Rants

        May 23, 2016 at 08:44

        South Africa is a tiny market. In the bigger picture it’s fragmenting even the larger markets. So yeah, it may not be an issue here due to price. But the rest of the market? It can potentially hurt the industry making those prices never drop due to uptake. If the prices don’t drop it ultimately affects us as the tech will then never become viable in smaller markets

        Reply

        • Darren Peach

          May 23, 2016 at 08:55

          Unless you go with Sony.

          Reply

          • Raptor Rants

            May 23, 2016 at 08:57

            That’s just the thing. You are now stuck with a single choice. That’s not good for market growth and penetration. They all rely on each other to do well. If the entire market for VR doesn’t do well, prices will never drop. With VR prices as they are, they are already for only “High Rollers”

            Without proper competition and proper market penetration, costs for production can’t drop. Without that no brand will be truly viable in lower income regions such as ZA.

            Ergo: Small markets will not flurish with VR. So it still affects SA in a massive way.

          • Darren Peach

            May 23, 2016 at 09:02

            In terms of variety, Yes. It does affect us. But you can almost look at Sony as a salvation of sorts. They will have regulated prices. Probably still be friggen expensive. But at least we will have access. I get the feeling that VR, If successful, will be a expensive endeavor at first anyway.

          • Raptor Rants

            May 23, 2016 at 09:15

            Not at first. Always. If it’s anti-competitive it will always be an expensive endeavor.

          • Darren Peach

            May 23, 2016 at 09:18

            I guess.

  5. HairyEwok

    May 23, 2016 at 08:18

    DRM on actual hardware…… Time to give a moment of silence to gaming.

    Reply

  6. Darren Peach

    May 23, 2016 at 08:32

    Eish. I don’t get it. More people using their product is a good thing, right ?

    Reply

  7. Hammersteyn_hates_Raid0

    May 23, 2016 at 08:32

    First out the door, but first to close the door as well. Not sure that’s how you establish yourself

    Reply

  8. iusedtobe(a)regular

    May 23, 2016 at 08:55

    I could go on a rant and give these guys the “what for” because I despise DRM but I never had any intention of buying this anyway so no loss here, I do however feel sorry for the few hundred who will purchase this.

    Reply

    • Demongo

      May 23, 2016 at 13:45

      Just feel sorry for the people who buy and support open VR platforms who end up with nothing to play because Facebook write big cheques for exclusive content which is then all locked down to be rift only.

      Asshats.

      Reply

  9. Uberutang

    May 23, 2016 at 09:35

    Bunch of twats. VIVE all teh way.

    Reply

  10. Ghost In The Rift

    May 23, 2016 at 09:52

    Chaotic beginning to a beautiful end……

    Reply

  11. Dane

    May 23, 2016 at 10:16

    Boycott rift!

    Reply

  12. BakedBagel

    May 23, 2016 at 13:34

    Ahhh Facebook. Trying to monopolize everything to remain relevent.

    Hows that Free Internet in India going for them? LUL

    Reply

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