Oculus ditches controversial Rift headset DRM after triggering Internet uproar

"Wait, I'm the bad guy?" said some guy at Oculus. Or maybe that was Michael Douglas in Falling Down. Same thing.

The war is over. The last bombs have all fallen. The soldiers have come back home, and we can all join hands in the street and sing Kumbaya until our voices give out. Oculus has officially removed its ill-considered DRM check from the Rift and preemptively brought this conflict to a close.

Some background: A few weeks ago, Oculus quietly slipped in a DRM-check with only one purpose: Breaking a program called Revive, which wrapped Rift games to work on the HTC Vive. Revive survived—it merely bypassed the DRM—but the virtual reality community went into an uproar (us included) at this anti-consumer behavior, especially given past statements from Palmer Luckey and Oculus’s own post-launch woes.

Chronos

“I just wanted to play Chronos on the Vive” - basically everyone

And for once, an Internet riot apparently worked. Oculus has reversed course, and didn’t even make an announcement. “I’ve only just tested this and I’m still in disbelief” is how most people found out this morning—words that kicked off the update notes for the latest version of Revive. “It looks like Oculus removed the headset check from the DRM in Oculus Runtime 1.5. As such I’ve reverted the DRM patch and removed all binaries from previous releases that contained the patch.”

“Please let me know that this release indeed works and that I’m not still asleep,” the anonymous developer behind Revive continued. Confirmations rolled in from various users and…that’s that. No more DRM. Oculus later confirmed to Motherboard it will no longer use hardware checks.

This is huge. It’s not Oculus endorsing the Vive or necessarily embracing a more open VR community—Luckey was defending exclusive games to press just this week. There are and will continue to be exclusives on the Rift, and Oculus will keep pushing the Rift as a console-esque platform instead of a PC peripheral. If you have a problem with that? Maybe give your money to someone who isn’t Oculus.

On the other hand, this is a huge gesture and Oculus deserves to be applauded for it. If not an official endorsement of Revive, it at least seems like a tacit acknowledgement that hey, maybe starting a war with the most tech-savvy ten percent of VR users isn’t a great idea. Kudos to Oculus for listening to the community—both its own users and Vive users—and meeting them halfway.

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 OculusVR

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

Hayden Dingman

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?