Oculus software update breaks Revive hack, locks games down to only Oculus VR hardware

The update breaks a hack that allowed Oculus games on non-Oculus headsets, but is the company really reneging on a promise, as some have suggested?

For a while, it looked as if Oculus wouldn’t stand in the way of users hacking Oculus games to run on other hardware. A recent Oculus software update, however, may have put the kibosh on that.

According to Motherboard, the new Oculus App 1.4 update breaks a hack that allowed Oculus games to run on VR headsets from HTC. These new measures, according to the Oculus App 1.4 release notes, encompass “bug fixes and security updates, including updates to platform integrity checks.”

According to Motherboard, these new integrity checks prevent Revive, a piece of software that let Oculus games run on the HTC Vive headset, from running, effectively locking games down to the Oculus hardware.

Why this matters: Several months back, Oculus founder Palmer Luckey took to Reddit and stated, “If customers buy a game from us, I don’t care if they mod it to run on whatever they want.” He went on to explain that, “[Oculus’s] goal is not to profit by locking people to only our hardware.” His statements made it seem as though the company would take a hands-off approach when it comes to locking games down to Oculus hardware. The new safeguards in Oculus 1.4 would seem to fly in the face of Luckey’s earlier statements.

A broken promise?

But does the Oculus 1.4 update really run counter to Luckey’s previous statements? Sorta kinda, but not entirely.

Although the new update knocked Revive out of commission, it’s unclear whether Oculus really intends to block attempts to run Oculus games on non-Oculus hardware, or whether it’s merely a side-effect. For it’s part, an Oculus spokesperson told Motherboard in that “people should expect that hacked games won’t work indefinitely as regular updates to content, apps and our platform may break the hacks.”

Mothertboard also points to similar comments Oculus made in April: “This is a hack, and we don’t condone it. Users should expect that hacked games won’t work indefinitely, as regular software updates to games, apps, and our platform are likely to break hacked software,” the company told Ars Technica at the time.

Taken all together, Oculus’s approach becomes more clear—the company might not necessarily work to stop you from hacking games to run on other hardware, but it won’t support it, and it won’t go out of its way to avoid breaking hacks. Only time will tell, though, whether this is the start a cat-and-mouse game of sorts between Oculus and hack developers, similar to the one Apple had with iPhone jailbreakers in the past.

Join the newsletter!

Or

Sign up to gain exclusive access to email subscriptions, event invitations, competitions, giveaways, and much more.

Membership is free, and your security and privacy remain protected. View our privacy policy before signing up.

Error: Please check your email address.

Tags OculusVRVR

Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Nick Mediati

PC World (US online)
Show Comments

Cool Tech

Toys for Boys

Family Friendly

Stocking Stuffer

SmartLens - Clip on Phone Camera Lens Set of 3

Learn more >

Christmas Gift Guide

Click for more ›

Brand Post

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Aysha Strobbe

Microsoft Office 365/HP Spectre x360

Microsoft Office continues to make a student’s life that little bit easier by offering reliable, easy to use, time-saving functionality, while continuing to develop new features that further enhance what is already a formidable collection of applications

Michael Hargreaves

Microsoft Office 365/Dell XPS 15 2-in-1

I’d recommend a Dell XPS 15 2-in-1 and the new Windows 10 to anyone who needs to get serious work done (before you kick back on your couch with your favourite Netflix show.)

Maryellen Rose George

Brother PT-P750W

It’s useful for office tasks as well as pragmatic labelling of equipment and storage – just don’t get too excited and label everything in sight!

Cathy Giles

Brother MFC-L8900CDW

The Brother MFC-L8900CDW is an absolute stand out. I struggle to fault it.

Luke Hill

MSI GT75 TITAN

I need power and lots of it. As a Front End Web developer anything less just won’t cut it which is why the MSI GT75 is an outstanding laptop for me. It’s a sleek and futuristic looking, high quality, beast that has a touch of sci-fi flare about it.

Emily Tyson

MSI GE63 Raider

If you’re looking to invest in your next work horse laptop for work or home use, you can’t go wrong with the MSI GE63.

Featured Content

Product Launch Showcase

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?