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Oculus removes "platform integrity check" DRM

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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 Motherboard, 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.” 

A rep confirmed in an email 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

Andy Chalk
Andy Chalk

Andy has been gaming on PCs from the very beginning, starting as a youngster with text adventures and primitive action games on a cassette-based TRS80. From there he graduated to the glory days of Sierra Online adventures and Microprose sims, ran a local BBS, learned how to build PCs, and developed a longstanding love of RPGs, immersive sims, and shooters. He began writing videogame news in 2007 for The Escapist and somehow managed to avoid getting fired until 2014, when he joined the storied ranks of PC Gamer. He covers all aspects of the industry, from new game announcements and patch notes to legal disputes, Twitch beefs, esports, and Henry Cavill. Lots of Henry Cavill.