When the word “hacker” worms its way into the headlines, it’s usually bad news for somebody, often in the form of a data breach or multi-million victim identity theft event. (Admittedly, it’s also sometimes news that the FBI can’t get into an iPhone 5.) But the reality of most hacking is that it’s simply a new way of solving an age-old problem, one that apparently hasn’t been solved by other means.
That’s the case for news that there’s now a software hack for Oculus Rift that allows HTC Vive owners to play certain OR games. Why? According to ExtremeTech’s Joel Hruska, “Oculus Rift owners can play games on Steam VR, but the reverse isn’t true — HTC Vive owners can’t play games on the Oculus Rift.”
How is that right?
Due to proprietary software regulations and agreements among the developers, you can work one system both ways but not the other. And some VR gurus didn’t think that was right. They set out to write some software hacks in the form of a title called Revive that let Vive users play two OR games, Lucky’s Tale and Oculus Dreamdeck.
Revive’s description makes it a little more clear: “It works by reimplementing functions from the Oculus Runtime and translating them to OpenVR calls. Unfortunately Oculus has implemented a Code Signing check on the Runtime DLLs, therefore the Revive DLLs cannot be used unless the application is patched. The Revive DLLs already contain the necessary hooking code to work around the Code Signing check in any application. However you will still need to patch the application to actually load the Revive DLLs.”
Needless to say, Oculus Rift isn’t so thrilled with that. Instead of embracing the capabilities that VR users have created and running with in in the direction of open-source, cross-platform compatibility, the company issued a statement to the effect of, “Enjoy it now, once we issue the next update these hacked games won’t work anymore.”
Way to play nice, OR. For more in-depth instructions on what’s compatible and what add-ons you might need to take advantage of this hack, Ars Tecnica offered its own run down of the hack.