In a surprising and very quiet turnaround, Oculus VR has dropped the “platform integrity check” DRM that prevented Oculus Store apps running without an Oculus Rift headset. As noted by Ars Technica, word of the change came not from Oculus, but from the maker of Revive, the hack that allows Rift-exclusive software to run on other VR platforms.
“I’ve only just tested this and I’m still in disbelief, but it looks like Oculus removed the headset check from the DRM in Oculus Runtime 1.5,” the latest Revive update says. “As such I’ve reverted the DRM patch and removed all binaries from previous releases that contained the patch.”
There doesn’t appear to be any mention of the change in the latest Oculus PC SDK beta (which, based on the date, isn’t actually meant to go live until tomorrow) but a rep confirmed that the DRM has been removed, and also pledged not to bring it back.
“We continually revise our entitlement and anti-piracy systems, and in the June update we’ve removed the check for Rift hardware from the entitlement check. We won’t use hardware checks as part of DRM on PC in the future,” the rep said. “We believe protecting developer content is critical to the long-term success of the VR industry, and we’ll continue taking steps in the future to ensure that VR developers can keep investing in ground-breaking new VR content.”
No indication was given as to precisely why the change was made, but I would guess that the move was driven primarily by the fact that the entitlement check actually did the reverse of what it was meant to. In order to keep Revive working, it became necessary to have it bypass every ownership check: The ultimate result was that instead of only being able to play legitimately-owned Oculus software on OpenVR platforms, it became possible to play pirated software as well.