Oculus Opens Game Library to Vive: Why VR Wins

Recently, Oculus VR was a subject of major controversy when it introduced software locks to disable Revive, a fan-created patch designed to allow HTC Vive owners to play Rift-exclusive games. Citing a need to discourage piracy, the app update introduced DRM checks on Rift software, essentially contradicting Oculus founder Palmer Luckey's statement on Reddit on keeping the Rift an open platform back in 2015.

After an internet uproar, Oculus quietly disabled the update, allowing Vive owners once again to play exclusive titles such as Lucky's Tale on the Vive.  The company commented to Ars Technica and stated it "will not use hardware checks as part of DRM on PC in the future."

MORE: Oculus Rift vs. HTC Vive

Oculus did reiterate that it believed protecting content is important for long-term VR success. But for now, early adopters' ability to access rival hardware's stores has been restored--and that's a good thing.

Currently, the entry fee for PC-powered virtual reality is steep. You're shelling out $599 for the Rift or $799 for the Vive and that's before you consider the PC needed to power these contraptions. Having the ability to play titles across platforms can only help grow the industry, which is only a few months old in the eyes of mainstream consumers and needs as many people to buy in as possible.

Keeping the the Oculus Store and Steam VR open is a way to create evangelists for both systems -- especially with PlayStation VR looming on the horizon.

While I agree with Oculus' assertion that protecting developers' hard work is indeed important, it's not so vital that you hamstring a fledgling industry with exclusive content. Until VR purchases match the $2 billion + predictions that analysis companies like IDC have put forth, the best route that Oculus and Vive can take is a collaborative one. They can start the exclusivity battle after the  technology achieves mainstream adoption.

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