Technology

Oculus lifts headset game restrictions

HTC Vive headset Image copyright Reuters
Image caption Oculus initially sought to stop owners of rival HTC Vive headsets trying out games made for the Rift

Virtual reality pioneer Oculus has removed software locks that stopped people playing games made for its Rift headset on a rival device.

The locks were introduced after VR fans made software called Revive that let people move or port Oculus games on to the HTC Vive.

A software update for the Oculus Rift released over the weekend has stripped out the software controls.

Revive developers said they were still in "disbelief" about the change.

Locked in

Oculus worked closely with many studios and developers to ensure that there was a significant library of games available for owners of its Rift headset when it launched in March.

Many of these games became available on the rival HTC Vive via the Revive software which was released in April this year - soon after the headset itself went on sale.

Shortly afterwards, Oculus sought to thwart Revive by updating its core software to carry out a headset check to ensure a Rift was being used to play the games. The decision stood at odds with statements by Oculus founder Palmer Luckey who said it did not want to succeed by "locking" people into using only its hardware.

Online, many VR headset owners criticised Oculus's efforts to keep people playing games with only its headset.

The developers behind Revive sought to get around the Oculus check to ensure games still ran - though some users reported problems because each headset uses different types of controllers to let people play with objects in virtual worlds.

The headset check has now disappeared from the software needed to get the Oculus working. The change was noticed by Revive developers who posted a message about the update on their page on the Github code-sharing website.

In a statement to tech news site Ars Technica, Oculus confirmed that it had stripped out the headset checks and added that it would not use them in the future.

It added: "We believe protecting developer content is critical to the long-term success of the VR industry."

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