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Oculus Store update ties DRM to headset

Dec 15, 2006
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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 isn't CEO.

Here's to hoping a company better than Oculus and Valve get a good headset out within the next two years. Tempted to just sell my kickstarter rift and shelve things for now.
 

Kyuur

Member
Dec 13, 2008
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Alberta, Canada
I almost wonder if this isn't some misguided engineer's mistake implementing a check to alert users just in case their headset is accidentally not plugged in / has some other issue. Any evidence that they did this specifically to lock out other headsets?
 

Krejlooc

Banned
May 27, 2014
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I almost wonder if this isn't some misguided engineer's mistake implementing a check to alert users just in case their headset is accidentally not plugged in / has some other issue. Any evidence that they did this specifically to lock out other headsets?
What you describe was already in place.

No, this isn't a mistake or a by product of other intent. What this is, is pretty clear.
 

SneakyStephan

Banned
Jan 23, 2011
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I'll give you the pcmr link (though I don't visit that cesspool, not related to your point though:p)

But linking to r/oculus kind of proves what I was trying to say, that there is no general talk about vr lately. You'd have to go look for it in a specialised subreddit. Nothing on games, pcgaming, and haven't seen anything on gaf either.
You can't claim that the internet is abuzz with talk about woodworking and then link to a woodworking sub.




I clicked that link and I while I don't remember the username I had him tagged as 'oculus shill' in RES haha, I think I have like 3 people tagged in total.

isnt now a good time to like foster vr growth instead of smothering it

Shh, no competition now, just anti consumer and community splitting bullshit :p
 

Mihos

Gold Member
May 10, 2009
7,873
4,148
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steamcommunity.com
I gave it a week before this is worked around. They would probably be wise to make legitimate way for us give them money for content instead of starting a technical slap fight to push their brand to a small audience and exclude the few that are already on board with the tech.
 

MaDKaT

Member
Sep 7, 2013
1,542
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Good thing I didnt purchase a few games this week from the Oculus store. Ill wait it out.
 

Kyuur

Member
Dec 13, 2008
5,628
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Alberta, Canada
What you describe was already in place.

No, this isn't a mistake or a by product of other intent. What this is, is pretty clear.
So it was already detecting and stopping the launch of the game? I don't understand, did it just manage to detect other VR headsets as well?
 

RoyalFool

Banned
Jan 29, 2012
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Told you guys this was coming in the launch thread, the number of times peeps quoted Palmer as evidence I was making it up.

They are also withholding the latest SDK from developers who are not releasing to their store-front.
 

Nibiru

Banned
Nov 24, 2012
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There will soon be many headsets to choose from so I don't think this is a good idea. Bad pr can crush products these days.
 

SneakyStephan

Banned
Jan 23, 2011
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Terrible VR launches, next batch should do better, especially software.
Just waiting for more competition to enter, it'll be a much healthier market then.

Right now it's just oculus trying to fuck everything up and turn VR into some proprietary walled garden platform (instead of what it is: a peripheral like a keyboard or a track-ir) and valve. (who are relatively benign, but already have way too much marketshare on PC in general which makes them like a volcano waiting to erupt the day Newell croaks and the company goes public).


Everyone who isn't happy with what Oculus is doing would do well to remind themselves that the PC is an open platform and an open market, and that other companies WILL enter with VR stuff. You don't have to be a hostage to oculus.
 

collige

Banned
Nov 12, 2012
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I'll give you the pcmr link (though I don't visit that cesspool, not related to your point though:p)

But linking to r/oculus kind of proves what I was trying to say, that there is no general talk about vr lately. You'd have to go look for it in a specialised subreddit. Nothing on games, pcgaming, and haven't seen anything on gaf either.
You can't claim that the internet is abuzz with talk about woodworking and then link to a woodworking sub.
In the context of GAF, there's a combined 250+ pages of threads since the Vive+Rift launched. Are you expecting a higher volume of threads outside of the launch threads, or what? LoL is one of the biggest games in the world, but you'd never know that just by browsing the front page of GAF. Established areas of gaming generally self-segregate on here unless there's a major controversy (like this one) that gets a thread made.
 

Mrbob

Member
Jun 7, 2004
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Told you guys this was coming in the launch thread, the number of times peeps quoted Palmer as evidence I was making it up.

They are also withholding the latest SDK from developers who are not releasing to their store-front.
They are really withholding the SDK? Hardcore. I feel like this is going to end badly for Oculus. Guess they will have to rely on Samsung vr from now on.
 

NoPiece

Member
Mar 27, 2013
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480
San Francisco, CA
They actually don't own any patents on their vr equipment beyond look and feel.
That's not clear - Facebook generally has a very actively strategy to file and buy patents. With respect to VR, there have been reports about Facebook patent purchases that they may be able to apply to VR including patents on virtual displays, inertial sensors, head and motion tracking.

Look at it this way, Facebook aggressively uses patents in their core business, why wouldn't they be using patents to protect and grow their 2 billion dollar purchase of Oculus?

Facebook expands portfolio with 100 new patents in virtual reality, video, speech technology
 

RoyalFool

Banned
Jan 29, 2012
2,211
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They are really withholding the SDK? Hardcore. I feel like this is going to end badly for Oculus. Guess they will have to rely on Samsung vr from now on.
They are withholding SDK updates from developers not deploying apps via their store-front. It is currently very painful to try to make a title which supports both headsets or bypasses their store. In the future, it's looking likely that DRM will force developers to release software for the Rift via the store if they want to use the latest SDK features. The argument (we're told) is that they need to screen content due to health risks, but it's basically it's just greed, VR is the next big thing and companies like Facebook either want to Monopolize it or let it die. There is no profit in facilitating a truly open platform. By withholding the SDK they are holding a gun to developers heads to support their monopoly. Gear VR 2 will have the same restrictions.

Sad thing is the Rift isn't even their main focus anymore, the store and the white labeled tech (Gear VR) is what they are really pushing. Most of the big titles coming up won't require the £600 headset.
 

Zomba13

Member
Sep 27, 2009
19,653
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This is exactly what I expected to happen but hoped wouldn't.

So its wrong for a platform holder to restrict its exclusive games to its platform only?
It's kind of like a PC game only running if you use an Xbone pad and refusing to run if you use a kb/m or a DS4.
 

Krejlooc

Banned
May 27, 2014
25,432
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I'll give you the pcmr link (though I don't visit that cesspool, not related to your point though:p)

But linking to r/oculus kind of proves what I was trying to say, that there is no general talk about vr lately. You'd have to go look for it in a specialised subreddit. Nothing on games, pcgaming, and haven't seen anything on gaf either.
You can't claim that the internet is abuzz with talk about woodworking and then link to a woodworking sub.
So because the pc gaming reddit isn't posting news about mobile VR, the internet isn't buzzing about it? That's like saying there is never any buzz about the apple keynotes because /r/pcgaming doesn't post the live stream.

Not on neogaf? Did you miss that 18 page topic I linked you to?

Look, they talked about this literally everywhere you'd expect them to talk about something like this, including tech blogs and gaming websites. You don't get to exclude any sites that would talk about VR, then say nobody is talking about VR. Again, if you missed google IO, that's on you.

what do I see when I go to engadget, for example? Front page, top story: "Google's VR plans are more ambitious than we thought."
 

Krejlooc

Banned
May 27, 2014
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Look at it this way, Facebook aggressively uses patents in their core business, why wouldn't they be using patents to protect and grow their 2 billion dollar purchase of Oculus?
Because prior art with a long paper trail prevents them from doing so.
 

Krejlooc

Banned
May 27, 2014
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So its wrong for a platform holder to restrict its exclusive games to its platform only?
The platform is PC.

And yes, for a litany of reasons, it's wrong for Oculus to restrict VR games only to the rift. It hurts literally everybody, including software developers and consumers.
 

mrklaw

MrArseFace
Jun 10, 2004
59,895
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Windsor, UK
They are withholding SDK updates from developers not deploying apps via their store-front. It is currently very painful to try to make a title which supports both headsets or bypasses their store. In the future, it's looking likely that DRM will force developers to release software for the Rift via the store if they want to use the latest SDK features. The argument (we're told) is that they need to screen content due to health risks, but it's basically it's just greed, VR is the next big thing and companies like Facebook either want to Monopolize it or let it die. There is no profit in facilitating a truly open platform. By withholding the SDK they are holding a gun to developers heads to support their monopoly. Gear VR 2 will have the same restrictions.

Sad thing is the Rift isn't even their main focus anymore, the store and the white labeled tech (Gear VR) is what they are really pushing. Most of the big titles coming up won't require the £600 headset.
Ouch this isn't good. Presumably you don't have to only release on oculus home - you can release on steam as well - this just stops people that want to release on steam only.
 

LaneDS

Member
Jun 11, 2007
9,131
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The platform is PC.

And yes, for a litany of reasons, it's wrong for Oculus to restrict VR games only to the rift. It hurts literally everybody, including software developers and consumers.
And potentially even Oculus themselves, as a delightful capper.
 

Krejlooc

Banned
May 27, 2014
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And potentially even Oculus themselves, as a delightful capper.
Take developers like Blair Renaud, author of Technolust. He has been super supportive of ReVive and wants to use it as the official means to get Technolust "ported" to the Vive. He's been encouraging users to use ReVive with Technolust.

He just lost potentially about 30k customers on Oculus Home. And this is a dev on Oculus Home who openly wants ReVive to exist.
 

Scapegoat

Member
Aug 12, 2010
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This is such a scummy move. I really hope there is enough backlash to pressure them to reverse it.
 

NoPiece

Member
Mar 27, 2013
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Because prior art with a long paper trail prevents them from doing so.
That's thinking about a patent strategy way too narrowly. No one will be able to patent a "VR Headset", but there are hundreds, if not thousands, of technological innovations present and coming online that are finally making VR viable. Tracking, motion controls, lenses, rendering techniques, wireless data. All these areas are ripe for patenting and territorial disputes.

Facebook files ~10 patents a week. If you believe the best about them, they will be collecting VR patents as a defensive measure to protect against lawsuits. If you are realistic about Facebook, they will be using patents to quash potential competition, or to build firewalls around advances they make.
 

artsi

Member
Apr 7, 2014
7,116
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Finland
Take developers like Blair Renaud, author of Technolust. He has been super supportive of ReVive and wants to use it as the official means to get Technolust "ported" to the Vive. He's been encouraging users to use ReVive with Technolust.

He just lost potentially about 30k customers on Oculus Home. And this is a dev on Oculus Home who openly wants ReVive to exist.
Even if it worked, honestly I would not buy the game without real OpenVR support. I don't want to trust in a wrapper that might or might not work the same as native implementation.

Project CARS for example, the ReVive version sucked compared to the current native functionality.
 

Krejlooc

Banned
May 27, 2014
25,432
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That's thinking about a patent strategy way too narrowly. No one will be able to patent a "VR Headset", but there are hundreds, if not thousands, of technological innovations present and coming online that are finally making VR viable.

Tracking
Oculus didn't invent the outside-in positional tracking they use, it's well understood and has been used in numerous products prior to the rift.

motion controls
This is the same thing as outside-in positional tracking

Oculus didn't invent the lenses they are using

rendering techniques
None of the rift's "rendering techniques" are from oculus themselves.
 

| Praxis |

Banned
Feb 14, 2010
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They are really withholding the SDK? Hardcore. I feel like this is going to end badly for Oculus. Guess they will have to rely on Samsung vr from now on.
Sadly I doubt it. They are the established name in VR to the masses who either wouldn't ever know about this or don't care.

Bad labour practices doesn't exactly stop anyone from buying Nike trainers or the latest iPhone, the brand is all some people see.
 

jellies_two

Member
Jun 14, 2014
5,510
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Richard Palmer: but we wanted to work on the free platform! Not sell a box!
Action Jack Zuckerberg. The box makes us money, build the box.
 

JambiBum

Member
Apr 20, 2009
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790
So can someone who owns a Vive test something for me? I only own a Rift but I have added games from Home to Steam via adding the shortcut and when I launch a game that I bought from Home that way it doesn't launch Home at all. If someone could test to see what happens when they launch a Home game from Steam that way with a Vive that'd be great.
 

SneakyStephan

Banned
Jan 23, 2011
18,401
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So because the pc gaming reddit isn't posting news about mobile VR, the internet isn't buzzing about it? That's like saying there is never any buzz about the apple keynotes because /r/pcgaming doesn't post the live stream.

Not on neogaf? Did you miss that 18 page topic I linked you to?

Look, they talked about this literally everywhere you'd expect them to talk about something like this, including tech blogs and gaming websites. You don't get to exclude any sites that would talk about VR, then say nobody is talking about VR. Again, if you missed google IO, that's on you.

what do I see when I go to engadget, for example? Front page, top story: "Google's VR plans are more ambitious than we thought."
Ehm YOU are the one who brought up mobile vr as some counter argument to my statement that I hadn't seen anyone talking about vr on gaf or elsewhere.

Talk about it has died down a LOT. Especially on gaming where we used to have several threads a day and now only the rare 'oculus is shit: part 5575' thread
 

cleveridea

Member
Mar 7, 2005
5,257
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At this point the install base of VR systems is very low, it takes a high up front investment to create games. In the same way people dont expect Uncharted on xbox or Halo on PS4 I dont see why there is problem recognizing that if a company invests money on a particular product they can restrict users of it to their platform or hardware.

Valve could be creating exclusive games for Vive like a new Portal or Half Life. They arent, probably because its just not very profitable. Oculus decided to invest money in developing content like chronos and the new insomniac games - thats a fixed cost that if the games flop, they lost their investment so I dont see why its considered wrong for them to restrict users to their platform given that its their risk/reward.
 

Armaros

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Sep 18, 2013
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At this point the install base of VR systems is very low, it takes a high up front investment to create games. In the same way people dont expect Uncharted on xbox or Halo on PS4 I dont see why there is problem recognizing that if a company invests money on a particular product they can restrict users of it to their platform or hardware.

Valve could be creating exclusive games for Vive like a new Portal or Half Life. They arent, probably because its just not very profitable. Oculus decided to invest money in developing content like chronos and the new insomniac games - thats a fixed cost that if the games flop, they lost their investment so I dont see why its considered wrong for them to restrict users to their platform given that its their risk/reward.
How is locking out Vive users from buy and playing on Oculus Home protecting their developed content? They said they don't make a profit off of headsets and want to make money selling software.

I guess their plan is to make money selling only to rift users and no one else?
 

KingSnake

The Birthday Skeleton
Jan 9, 2013
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At this point the install base of VR systems is very low, it takes a high up front investment to create games. In the same way people dont expect Uncharted on xbox or Halo on PS4 I dont see why there is problem recognizing that if a company invests money on a particular product they can restrict users of it to their platform or hardware.

Valve could be creating exclusive games for Vive like a new Portal or Half Life. They arent, probably because its just not very profitable. Oculus decided to invest money in developing content like chronos and the new insomniac games - thats a fixed cost that if the games flop, they lost their investment so I dont see why its considered wrong for them to restrict users to their platform given that its their risk/reward.
This is PC, not a console. A medium that has been free of hardware locked exclusives for so many years now. If they wanted a console, they should have built a console. They are bringing bad consumer habits on a market that was safe from them.
 

Zaptruder

Banned
Jun 7, 2004
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Oh Oculus. Good night sweet prince. Your soul has been sucked away.

I still maintain that Facebook's buyout of Oculus was for the better. It got the rest of the tech industry's attention and significantly accelerated the development of VR as a whole.

Ideally, we would've had an Oculus that was more concerned about the overall health of the industry, than about their particular position in it... and you know, I bought that rhetoric for a long time.

But this move is just... the final nail in the coffin as far as giving Oculus a benefit of the doubt.

It's a shame too, because I've benefited hugely from them... Kickstarted them, so I already have my free kickstarter unit.

I love the design of their HMD. Even their storefront isn't too bad (although lacking in features relative to SteamVR).

But actively walling off the Oculus Home application... that negatively effects me as an owner of some of that content. It reduces my choices in the future. While there's potentially still room to change that - what trust can we have that, that will be done? Certainly none as far as the latest actions go. And their PR is just meaningless doublespeak.

Well... whatever. Whoever is behind the decision will have to content themselves with effectively poisoning one of the most important companies behind the new VR revolution.

Jesus Oculus... such a bad 'launch'. I say 'launch', because all the units that have been preordered are still so far out from been delivered. It's the most dragged out half launch I've ever seen in the tech industry. I mean, that's already pretty bad. But then this? Blocking off more than half of the available current VR headsets from engaging with your store front?

If I had any inkling to develop content for Oculus Home before - I sure as hell wouldn't now.
 

cleveridea

Member
Mar 7, 2005
5,257
1
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How is locking out Vive users from buy and playing on Oculus Home protecting their developed content? They said they don't make a profit off of headsets and want to make money selling software.

I guess their plan is to make money selling only to rift users and no one else?
I dont see why this is hard to understand. Lets say Oculus invests 100 million on software like chronos, luckys tale, insomniac games etc. If VR platforms flop, oculus lose that 100 million. What do Valve lose on it? Nothing - they have no exclusives.

Oculus are investing money to create content to convince PC owners that its worth buying an oculus - that there is enough content to justify spending $600

They have a right to then say that since they took the risk, they get to reap the reward which is to get people to buy their product. As a business, thats their goal and what pays their pay checks.
 

NoPiece

Member
Mar 27, 2013
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Oculus didn't invent the outside-in positional tracking they use, it's well understood and has been used in numerous products prior to the rift.
Totally true and completely irrelevant to whether Facebook is going to buy patents, or patent technology they are currently developing with Oculus.

Unless VR technology has hit a ceiling and there will be no new technology or innovation, then there will be patent filings and battles ahead. There are also thousands of patents already on the books that can be acquired applied retroactively.

Facebook already has purchased targeted patents in the VR space. Just by owning those they limit the options for competing headsets.

I read a white paper recently that identified several thousand existing VR patents. Sony, Microsoft, and Samsung each held over 300. I'm not really sure what you point is, Facebook will be a good citizen and let their competitors play the patent game while they sit it out?
 

cleveridea

Member
Mar 7, 2005
5,257
1
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This is PC, not a console. A medium that has been free of hardware locked exclusives for so many years now. If they wanted a console, they should have built a console. They are bringing bad consumer habits on a market that was safe from them.
I dont see any down side. If they were paying third parties to restrict games to their platform, that I can understand people being mad about. But instead their are investing money in products that would otherwise not exist, like lucky's tale, chronos etc.
 

viveks86

Member
Sep 12, 2013
15,859
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485
:/

I've been looking forward to my Rift delivery in the next week or two. But with every passing day, I'm looking forward to it less and less.
 

KingSnake

The Birthday Skeleton
Jan 9, 2013
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I dont see any down side. If they were paying third parties to restrict games to their platform, that I can understand people being mad about. But instead their are investing money in products that would otherwise not exist, like lucky's tale, chronos etc.
You do realize that this is PC, right? One way or another things can be fixed. I think the way in which everybody wins is preferable.
 

cleveridea

Member
Mar 7, 2005
5,257
1
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You do realize that this is PC, right? One way or another things can be fixed. I think the way in which everybody wins is preferable.
Thats how things are though. To me by far the most interesting game on vive sounds like vanishing realms. I cancelled my preorder for Vive because I just didnt see enough content I wanted to justify the $800. But games like vanishing realms seem like the future to me and they are third party games which can be cross platform.

I will end up buying a oculus because I do see the content that to me justifies the $600. The reason being that oculus invested the money in developing games, and they have a right to make them exclusive.

A couple of years down the road if VR takes off, then there will lots of content across all VR devices. As of now, there just isnt the install base for companies to invest large amounts of money into games - unless its to drive the platform, as oculus are doing with rift (chronos, insomniac games etc) and sony are doing with PSVR