Virtual reality might be hailed as the next best thing since sliced bread but the launch of the Oculus Rift and HTC Vive might also be heralding a new kind of “console wars”. While tied to the more open PC platform, games and apps for each of the two VR giants mostly remain within their own walled gardens. Well, sort of. While it is possible for the Rift to gain access to the Vive’s SteamVR platform, the reverse isn’t true. Now a homebrew open source project named Revive tries to bridge that gap, at least while Oculus hasn’t set its foot down yet.
Valve uses a somewhat open OpenVR (not to be confused with OSVR) SDK for SteamVR so, to some extent, it is more possible for other parties, like Oculus, to plug into the platform even with a non-Vive headset. Sadly, it’s a one-way street and those with HTC Vives can’t use Oculus Home. Oculus has been passing the buck to HTC and Valve, saying that it can only do so if the manufacturers, meaning Valve, allow it to. Valve, for its part, denies being the hurdle.
While the giants battle it out, others are taking up the work of bridging the two. Unofficially, of course. Part of the magic is made possible by the fact that the PC platform is more open, and therefore more easily patched, than, say, consoles. The other part is made possible because many of these VR games and apps use popular engines like Unity and Unreal.
Ready-made patches are available for two Oculus Rift games, the Unity-based Lucky’s Tale and the Unreal Engine-based Oculus Dreamdeck. Other users, however, have reported that the implementation available in Revive’s GitHub site have also successfully been applied to other games using those same engines. Of course, the “ports” aren’t perfect, especially when input is concerned. In some cases, no input works at all.
As with any unofficial workaround, some might even call it a hack, the caveat is that none of these is guaranteed to work forever. Oculus has yet to respond to this development and could very well use legal or technical methods to ensure exclusivity of its content for its headsets.
VIA: Ars Technica