One nice feature about the Oculus Rift is the ability to play virtual reality games from a variety of different store fronts. It doesn’t matter if you purchased your game from a place like Steam or GOG instead of the Oculus Store – the game will still run on the Rift. There’s just one small problem with that functionality, as up until today, switching between non-Oculus Store apps meant taking the headset off and making the switch through the PC interface for a lot of people.
The good news is that this rather frustrating necessity is a thing of the past as of today. Oculus has started pushing version 1.17 out to Oculus headsets, and it comes with a major new feature for those who have their Oculus library scattered across a selection of store.
The patch notes for Oculus update 1.17 read that users “can now quickly launch all apps that support Rift from within the Oculus software, even if you acquire those apps from outside the Oculus Store.” This, obviously, is a great addition for those who like to keep all their options open when buying Oculus games, as both Steam and GOG have been known to run some pretty excellent deals on VR software.
The other major addition tagging along with Oculus update 1.17 is party chat. Party chat on the Rift functions similarly to how the same feature works on dedicated gaming platforms like the PlayStation 4 or the Xbox One – simply select a friend from Oculus Home or the Universal Menu, select “Invite to Party,” and get to chatting. These party chats will stay open regardless of which app you and your friends are using, and each one can host up to four players.
Beyond those two features, we can also look forward to a few bug fixes and improvements, but nothing that seems to be too major. Those of you with Oculus headsets should see this update rolling out either now or over the next few days, so if you haven’t received it yet, just sit tight.