Oculus Quietly Drops Headset-Checking DRM

Oculus Quietly Drops Headset-Checking DRM

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Without fanfare, Oculus has apparently removed its headset-checking DRM in the latest update.

Oculus has been at the forefront of the VR discussion for a while now, and one of the company's most unpopular decisions has to be the inclusion of DRM to block the use of Oculus games on other headsets. In fact, it led to the creation of the Revive mod, which translated the VR calls of Oculus games to work with the HTC Vive.

Now Oculus has confirmed that it removed Rift hardware checks from its runtimes in the newest software update. In a statement to Ars Technica, the VR company said that it "will not use hardware checks as part of DRM on PC in the future." Strangely, there's no mention of the change in the patch notes that released earlier today.

This change brings the VR company in line with statements made by Oculus founder Palmer Luckey prior to the headset's launch. Luckey had stated that the company didn't plan to lock all software to their headset.

In response, the Revive team has removed the DRM patch from the software, as shown in their GitHub notes.

It still remains to be seen how compatible the various controller systems, like the Oculus Touch and the HTC Vive's wands, will be with each other. That said, this is definitely a step in the right direction for the future of shared software on VR.

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Good.

...and one of the company's most unpopular decisions has top bew the inclusion....

Please double-check your work before publishing/posting. It took me longer than I care to admit to figure out what this sentence was trying to say (I can usually account for one spelling/grammar error, but two in sequence is a bit much). I can kind of understand the "top" part, but I don't even think that "bew" is a word, so even the most rudimentary spell-check ought to catch it.

PSA: Spell- and grammar-check are your friends. (This is true for everyone, not just the OP.)

Well, I'm glad that it was removed- taking out DRM is always a good thing, both for compatibility's sake as well as the trust in shows in community at large- but why stay quiet about it? The gaming population is pretty well divided between those who dislike DRM (though some see its necessity) and those who aren't much affected and don't really care. The only real argument against removing it is "you're opening yourself up to piracy" (or in this case, competition). The former group will love you for taking it out, the latter group won't care- so why stay quiet?

Recusant:
The former group will love you for taking it out, the latter group won't care- so why stay quiet?

My guess is because a large amount of people, myself included, only really hear about these things if they're publicized. I wasn't even aware that Oculus had that DRM, and it's a mark against the company that it was ever even a thing. So the quieter a company is the less people they needlessly agitate. I think a lot of people tend to not ever forget about this kind of corporate BS. Although if Ubisoft shows anything it's that it may not really matter much in the end.

The_Great_Galendo:

...and one of the company's most unpopular decisions has top bew the inclusion....

Please double-check your work before publishing/posting. It took me longer than I care to admit to figure out what this sentence was trying to say (I can usually account for one spelling/grammar error, but two in sequence is a bit much). I can kind of understand the "top" part, but I don't even think that "bew" is a word, so even the most rudimentary spell-check ought to catch it.

PSA: Spell- and grammar-check are your friends. (This is true for everyone, not just the OP.)

I always try to check this stuff, but sometimes the words - they run together on me. Thanks for the assist.

Recusant:
Well, I'm glad that it was removed- taking out DRM is always a good thing, both for compatibility's sake as well as the trust in shows in community at large- but why stay quiet about it? The gaming population is pretty well divided between those who dislike DRM (though some see its necessity) and those who aren't much affected and don't really care. The only real argument against removing it is "you're opening yourself up to piracy" (or in this case, competition). The former group will love you for taking it out, the latter group won't care- so why stay quiet?

the thing is i dont think they have got rid of all DRM to do with the game they have just got rid of a small part of it that stopped you from using it on vive headsets.
i think events went something like this, you could go and buy games from the oculus shop and then run a program called revive to get them working on vive. so up to this point they werent pushing sales unit sales but were still making a cut of game sales in the shop. they didnt like this so added the check. the guy who made revive could only get it to work again by compleatly stripping out the DRM making it very easy to pirate the games.

now normally when a company does something like this they can get away with it to a certain extent as not everyone pays attention to these sort of things and others just dont care. they could keep up a cat and mouse game blocking the software for a bit until another workaround is found
the problem is that, at a guess, with the system requirements to run a vr headset letalone the price of it most of the people are at the clued in, very interested side of the gaming community. every time they do something to block revive they get a little more bad press and the people they need to buy their stuff will get more and more upset with them.

to tell everyone points them back to it and remindes them what they did trying to lockdown the games to one headset this i guess is a sweeping under the rug type of deal. let time and lack of press ease peoples memories

They thought they had the market to themselves and though to block others from entering it. Guess that didn't turn out the way they wanted.

I'm seriously disappointed with the Rift. I was so excited by it back in the day, but it turns out they're assholes.

My guess is that the DRM did more harm than good.

The maker of "revive" made it possible to pirate games. At least with revive before they get a cut of the store sale + developer good will (cause their games inadvertently got access to a larger market). But with DRM-off revive not only do they not get a cut of sales (cause piracy), Devs will also get a bit wary making a game for a device that is easy to pirate. Just like nobody outside free to plays are developed for android compared to iOS.

This is in my opinion was the right choice. They get the customer's and Dev's good will.

Denamic:
They thought they had the market to themselves and though to block others from entering it. Guess that didn't turn out the way they wanted.

I'm seriously disappointed with the Rift. I was so excited by it back in the day, but it turns out they're assholes.

What did you expect? They got bought out by Facebook ...

Good, but the whole situation has been a shitstorm because Oculus for one does not know how to communicate, and two they should communicate sincerity.

But really for me this battle between Oculus and HTC/Valve headsets has been meh. I really don't give a shit about the companies only which headset is superior. I've heard the Rift is better, but with Lighthouse Vive comes on top.

I don't have a headset yet and will wait for the second launch, we will see the situation after Oculus releases Touch.

Good. I'd be sad if Oculus were beaten out by a competitor, but if that competitor genuinely makes a better product then so be it. We need to remember headsets are display devices; this sort of behaviour is akin to putting DRM on products because you don't want to iterate on your CRT monitors.

Meanwhile I'm waiting until I can replace my graphics card before I splash out on a headset.

 

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