I wrote about this a few weeks ago, yesterday, and now again today. The cycle of hacking and patching never seems to end, and each day seems to be a repeat of the next. As of late, one of the hottest and most talked about hack and patch battles has reigned between Oculus and the creators of a software called “Re-Vive”. The software creates a bridge between Oculus’ code and Steam VR to allow users to play “Oculus only” titles on their HTC Vive. This was great for a lot of people, because while the Rift has some great exclusive titles, many were lured to the Vive due to it’s unique hand controllers and full body motion tracking.
The Re-Vive team has been all too familiar with the cycle I mentioned earlier, and has gone through multiple iterations of it’s software to bypass patches limiting the software’s usability. After some intense recent events however, the cycle could be breaking for good, as Re-Vive creator LibreVR has just patched his software to bypass Oculus’ DRM completely and possibly for good.
While the software’s developer does not in any way promote piracy, they have said they had no option but to open the platform up completely, which does in fact open up a very likely possibility of games being pirated. While the software has had to be updated to bypass checking if the Rift headset is physically connected, LibreVR says the most recent patch from Oculus has merged this check with a game legitimacy check. Because of this, using LibreVR’s software opens up the possibility of playing Oculus games downloaded from third party sources, which remains a now necessary fact pushed with the recent update.
Breaking the DRM entirely is now the now the only way to break Oculus’ hardware check. The problem is that Oculus added the check for the Rift being attached to your PC to the actual DRM. They now use the same function to check that you own the game and that you have the headset.
Says Re-Vive’s LibreVR.
I can’t disable one check without disabling the other one too. Previously these checks were separate and the DRM would only check whether you owned the game.
What happens next regarding the software is anyone’s guess, but merging these checks seems like a terrible idea for Oculus, seeing as the community will almost always around security checks. No cyber-security implementation is perfect, and as I’ve said before, Oculus needs to recognize that for every smart person working at their company, there is a smarter person waiting to break down that door.
The Re-Vive update came only one day after Oculus’ own patch, which shows just how quickly some community members can get around updates to software. Because of this, tensions are high between the company and software developer, and LibreVR is weary of starting something much bigger than they had initially imagined.
As it stands, though, the current state of DRM in virtual reality is the start of an arms race with Oculus that I’m not sure I will win or even want to participate in.
What do you think about the endless cycle Re-Vive has found themselves in? Should Oculus give up trying to block them before something worse happens?
Let us know in the comments below.
via: Ars Technica