The arms race between Valve and Facebook to reach the top of the newborn consumer VR market has taken an interesting turn today. Ordinarily, owners of the Oculus Rift were capable of enjoying HTC Vive based titles as well as Oculus exclusives, with Vive users excluded from the former. But today a developer by the name of CrossVR has thrown a rather large spanner in the works by releasing Revive (pun certainly intended).
Revive is a compatibility patch for windows that allows HTC Vive owners to run two titles, Lucky’s Tale and Oculus Dreamdeck, on their headset. However, because the two titles run off different engines, with Lucky’s Tale using Unity, and Dreamdeck using Unreal, they require different patching methods. This is significant because savvy Vive owners have reported on Reddit that by applying the respective patches to games running the same engine, they are able to ‘unlock’ other titles as well.
We’re not too sure Mark Zuckerberg will be crying himself to sleep anytime soon, with Vive users still needing to buy the games off the Oculus store – although Lucky’s Tale and Oculus Dreamdeck are free to Oculus home users – oh yeah and his $30bn net worth. But it certainly is an awesome way of flipping the bird to the prospect of headset exclusives, the kind of which has plagued console gaming over the last few years.
Something that Facebook may have the right to be concerned about, however, is the potential fall in the appeal of the Oculus compared to the Vive. Remove exclusive titles and you remove a notable selling point, not to mention the fact that the Vive’s Chaperone system is a direct improvement upon the game experience only available to Vive owners, and is compatible with the patched Oculus titles.
Will this cause a change in strategy from Facebook? Charging for the free titles? Removing exclusives? Hitting CrossVR with a fat lawsuit? Only time will tell as Facebook/Oculus are yet to comment. In the meantime, you can go download the patch for yourselves over here. I for one thank CrossVR, not all heroes wear capes.
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