Oculus Rift exclusives patched for HTC Vive support

April 14, 2016 // 2:27 p.m.

Tags: #htc #htc-vive #librevr #oculus-rift #oculus-vr #palmer-luckey #revive #sdk #steam-vr #steamvr #virtual-reality #vr #vr-headset

Owners of the HTC Vive virtual reality headset now have a way to play selected games written as exclusives for the rival Oculus Rift, seemingly putting lie to claims that cross-device development is a tricky business.

Facebook-owned Oculus VR, when it's not dealing with component shortages and angry pre-order customers, makes much of the software exclusives available on its Oculus Rift headset. Founder Palmer Luckey has claimed that these titles rely on the Oculus Software Development Kit (SDK), which can only be brought to third-party platforms with the permission of the owners of said third-party platforms - something Valve, which partners with HTC on the Vive headset, has denied withholding. Regardless, anyone wanting to play Oculus-specific titles needs an Oculus Rift headset - until now.

Revive, a plugin for the LibreVR platform and tested by Ars Technica, makes it possible to play Oculus Rift 'exclusives' on non-Oculus hardware - including the HTC Vive - supported by Valve's SteamVR platform. Doing so requires only that the user install the Oculus runtime libraries and SDK platform, which are then used by the patch to translate Oculus SDK calls into SteamVR SDK calls.

So far, only two games have been tested and confirmed as fully working: Luckey's Tale and Oculus Dreamdeck. Its operation, sadly, is far from straightforward: to bypass code-signing checks built into the software, presumably for the precise reason of preventing modification for use on third-party devices, the executable for each title has to be directly patched - meaning that rather than being suitable for all applications with a single installation, patches for each individual Oculus SDK-based exclusive will need to be developed and released independently.

More information on the Revive toolkit is available on its GitHub repository.
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