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Oculus Store update ties DRM to headset

Zepp Twofist

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Aug 14, 2015
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For a while now, people have been able to buy games on the Oculus Store and use a free and open source plugin called Revive to play these games on their HTC Vive. It is not something Oculus officially support, but if you read earlier quotes from Palmer Luckey, you would think they didn't mind this as long as people were buying software from them:

https://www.reddit.com/r/oculus/comments/3vl7qe/palmer_luckey_on_twitterfun_fact_nintendo_doesnt/cxr6rid
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.
So yesterday a new update for the Oculus Store dropped that puts a DRM check to make sure the Rift headset is present to launch any game sold on the Oculus Store. Since the ReVive mod never broke any DRM schemes, this effectively renders it useless for Oculus Store games and it is hard to imagine any other reason to introduce this change other than to stop this practice.

Basically, they are introducing hardware DRM on their store to make sure that their potential customer mass is half as big. When they have repeated over and over how making money from software and not headsets was their end goal, I find this to be a pretty strange business move.

Revive still works for games that only use the Oculus SDK but are bought from other stores. But in light of this, who knows for how long?

Edit: A few quotes from the developer of Revive. All of it is from the Reddit thread he made
I'm basing it on the fact that the "Headset not detected" error are now coming from the OculusOnlineSubsystem which is also responsible for entitlement check (DRM) errors.

This is on top of the check for the headset the game does itself. If I don't use Revive I get a different "Headset not detected" error coming from the game itself.
It will be challenging to circumvent this check while keeping the DRM intact. So it's not very simple, but I'll do my best.
 

Chairmanchuck

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Jun 18, 2011
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I also dont quite get it. People with Vives would buy Oculus exclusive stuff if they want to play it and could...

Revive still works for games that only use the Oculus SDK but are bought from other stores. But in light of this, who knows for how long?
This is what I dont get though. I mean if there would be a pirated version of game ABC out, you could actually play it with Revive?
 

Vuze

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Nov 13, 2013
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Their loss I suppose? VIVE owners won't buy a Rift just for the handful of exclusives and now they won't even get a cut from the software sale itself.
 

Rektash

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May 28, 2007
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Well, I thought it was about time for them fencing the garden. Infuriating but sadly not surprising.
 

Afrodium

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Apr 21, 2009
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I don't know much about the Oculus experience, but how much stuff sold in the Oculus store can only be bought in the Oculus store? Can't you buy VR games on Steam? How does this not drive consumers to alternative marketplaces?
 

Pandy

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Ladies and Gentlemen, allow me to introduce you to Facebook.

EDIT: I should also add an 'It begins'.
There's every chance the competing headset vendors will destroy the new wave of VR before it reaches mass market adoption.
 

Chairmanchuck

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The sad thing is that it seems to be true. I was one of the guys who said the FB thing wouldnt make VR worse, but better, because now they have someone with billions behind them, that can make them fund games. That is true, but it leads to a segregation.

If you compare what Palmer was talking about before they were bought and after, its like a 180°. From "Everything should run on any HMD. Exclusivity is bad." to "If we fund games, we can dictate where you can play them." and "Only one would profit if another HMD manufacturer could play Oculus games on their headset."

I don't know much about the Oculus experience, but how much stuff sold in the Oculus store can only be bought in the Oculus store? Can't you buy VR games on Steam? How does this not drive consumers to alternative marketplaces?
There are some games. The Climb, Chronos and some others. The upcoming Edge of Nowhere and Rockband too.

Right now Oculus doesnt offer any good solution if games are available on Home AND steam. On Steam you have refunds, achievements, a community, cards, your friendlist, chat etc. On Oculus Home you have the VR-storefront...
 

komplanen

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Jun 23, 2013
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I'm so fucking happy I waited on VR. I would feel so horrible if I had given this company so much money.
 

Krejlooc

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May 27, 2014
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I don't know much about the Oculus experience, but how much stuff sold in the Oculus store can only be bought in the Oculus store? Can't you buy VR games on Steam? How does this not drive consumers to alternative marketplaces?
There are games exclusive to the oculus store, like chronos
 

epmode

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Jun 7, 2004
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I figured we'd have a few years before Facebook pulled this shit. You know, to let the platform get off the ground before strangling it.

Fuck em. Not buying a Rift.
 

diablos991

Can’t stump the diablos
Jun 15, 2013
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Poor form Oculus.

They really need to demote Palmer and get a CEO with some balls and passion for the gaming industry.

Palmer shouldn't let this bullshit happen. He is one of the more anti consumer CEOs out there.
 

Zepp Twofist

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I don't know much about the Oculus experience, but how much stuff sold in the Oculus store can only be bought in the Oculus store? Can't you buy VR games on Steam? How does this not drive consumers to alternative marketplaces?
At this point (as far as I know) it is mostly the titles that are funded by Oculus Studios that are exclusive. There is some high profile stuff on there, like Lucky's Tale (which I guess I understand why they would want to protect with DRM since it's free), Eve Valkyrie, The Climb and a few others.

But I think any independent VR dev who wants to actually make money will support both headsets. Anything else is leaving money on the table.
 

MMaRsu

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Wtf is this bullshit? DRM already? Palmer fucking sold out.

Not getting a Rift anyway ( to be honest I wasnt planning either, getting a PSVR ).
 

Chairmanchuck

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Poor form Oculus.

They really need to demote Palmer and get a CEO with some balls and passion for the gaming industry.

Palmer shouldn't let this bullshit happen. He is one of the more anti consumer CEOs out there.
I dont think Palmer is calling the shots now. Palmer had a totally different opinion before the whole FB thing happened. From "open" to "closed" if you might say so.
 

Krejlooc

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May 27, 2014
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Poor form Oculus.

They really need to demote Palmer and get a CEO with some balls and passion for the gaming industry.

Palmer shouldn't let this bullshit happen. He is one of the more anti consumer CEOs out there.
Palmer luckey isn't the CEO. Brandon iribe is the CEO. Palmer Luckey's official title is "founder."
 

Nzyme32

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May 23, 2013
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Well if you ever needed to know the difference between what Oculus say and what they actually do, here it is.

This doesn't really prevent them from adding other headsets to the possible hardware that the DRM allows content to run on when bought from the Oculus Store, but as a general practice I can not stand hardware based DRM. I rather not buy products I can't actually have control over and that can not be adaptable to the changes I might want to make in future.

No thanks Oculus
 

Vic20

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Dec 25, 2011
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I had all three pre-ordered, but dropped the rift. I'll stick with Vive and wait for the games to come.
 
Jul 19, 2015
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Man oculus do a complete 180° within the years I remember following it early on it felt like such a dream. Its a shame too because I was one of the ones saying the buyout could be good.
 

GuitarAtomik

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Jun 13, 2008
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Poor form Oculus.

They really need to demote Palmer and get a CEO with some balls and passion for the gaming industry.

Palmer shouldn't let this bullshit happen. He is one of the more anti consumer CEOs out there.
You think the people at the top are going to put someone in charge that would reverse stuff like this lol?
 

JaseC

gave away the keys to the kingdom.
Jul 30, 2009
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Poor form Oculus.

They really need to demote Palmer and get a CEO with some balls and passion for the gaming industry.

Palmer shouldn't let this bullshit happen. He is one of the more anti consumer CEOs out there.
Luckey ultimately has bosses to answer to himself. He can't defy the wishes of Papa Facebook... well, unless he wants to be unceremoniously dismissed.
 

MGrant

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VR supporters right now:



Seriously though, this is a shame. I hope developers start to flock to more open ecosystems, and that Facebook learns a lesson.
 

Chairmanchuck

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Funnily enough, pirated oculus home games wouldn't be subject to this limitation.
So Vive owners could just pirate the games then to play them.

Btw. are there even pirated Oculus games out?

Its a shame too because I was one of the ones saying the buyout could be good.
In the same boat here and I stick with the Rift, since I will be able to play Oculus Exclusive games and Touch games in the future....
Still such a shitty move.
 

mnannola

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Will love to see how they try to spin this to not seem anti-consumer. It will probably go something like this:

"It's true we have put in some additional checks to make sure a supported headset is connected before using Oculus Home. The Vive is not one of our supported headsets so it can no longer be used for Oculus Home. We continue to work with headset manufacturers in order to offer official support for various headsets. If we have any changes to the supported headset list we will make an official announcement."
 

Mushroomer25

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Ladies and Gentlemen, allow me to introduce you to Facebook.
I've never really gotten this line of thinking. Facebook's entire business model is spreading that product thin & making it as ubiquitous as possible. They've never really walled off a garden like this, and their MO with acquisitions has always been about being hands off.

Face it. Oculus is making these decisions of their own volition. You're free to blame the Zucker-boogeyman, but the fault more than likely lies within.
 

mrklaw

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I wonder where people stand that bought something from oculus? I bought blazerush which was only $10 so not the end of the world if I can't play it, but others have bought chronos or the climb for $50 will be much more annoyed
 

_woLf

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It's funny how some people in this thread appear to be surprised by Palmer completely shifting his stance on something. It is not the first time he's done it and it won't be the last. He's a young kid who has seen a neat vision turn into something that secured him lifetime stability financially. He probably doesn't care nearly as much about how he gets there at this point.

I hate saying that, but it's most likely the case, especially given his attitude about it when someone confronts him.

I hope devs who made rift-only games pull support for this bullshit.
 

Jebusman

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Nov 10, 2013
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Question, what happens when you have both a Rift and a Vive hooked up at the same time?

I know it's relatively useless to the problem at hand, but I was always curious what kind of conflict it produces, if any.
 

Krejlooc

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May 27, 2014
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Question, what happens when you have both a Rift and a Vive hooked up at the same time?

I know it's relatively useless to the problem at hand, but I was always curious what kind of conflict it produces, if any.
The drm check passes

There are no conflicts when having two headsets connected at once. People have even gotten dual games running on the same machine to two different headsets.
 

roytheone

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So if someone with a vive bought a game on the oculus store trusting Palmer Lucky, they now have wasted their money? That's kinda scummy. Is there a way to refund your money?
 

KojiKnight

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I was waiting out for a second or third model either way, but this just kind of confirms to me that Oculus isn't even worth considering. Won't support their walled garden.
 

Jebusman

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The drm check passes

There are no conflicts when having two headsets connected at once. People have even gotten dual games running on the same machine to two different headsets.
Man we've come a long way from the early days of peripherals huh. Could barely get a sound card and video card working in tandem without them crashing each other 20 odd years ago, but now we can hook up two VR headsets and somehow they don't bother each other.
 

Krejlooc

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May 27, 2014
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So if someone with a vive bought a game on the oculus store trusting Palmer Lucky, they now have wasted their money? That's kinda scummy. Is there a way to refund your money?
To be fair, oculus actually came out and told people not to buy games for use with revive because they were going to break compatibility. Most just assumed they meant through natural iteration, not updates explicitly to break revive compatibility, though.

Like, make no mistake - this is an update solely to break compatibility with revive.
 

jack....

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Dec 4, 2014
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Bummer.

I made the mistake of buying a few games on the Oculus Store before I decided to sell my Rift and buy a Vive so I was pretty happy about how well Revive worked.