September 27, 2017 // 11:19 a.m.
Facebook-owned Oculus VR has announced that it has added a simple, unified, automated refund request system to its storefronts for both the Rift and Gear VR virtual reality headsets - though admits that 'not all purchases are eligible'.
The Oculus Store is a major string in the eponymous company's bow: As well as offering first-party content - though less so since the company closed down its internal content creation studio earlier this year - the Oculus Store is the only place to find software written exclusively for the Oculus Rift headset, including 4A Games' Arktika.1.
Where the Oculus Store falls down, however, is in its lack of support for automated refunds. While rival digital distribution platform Steam - the source for software written with the rival HTC Vive headset in mind - allows for fuss-free automatic refunds should software be 'returned' within 14 days of purchase and a two-hour window of first being executed, with manual refunds being processed outside this window, the Oculus Store's refund policy has been far less lenient and heavily manual. Until, that is, now.
'By popular demand, we’ve added a quick and easy way to request refunds for content purchases for both Rift and Gear VR on the Oculus Store,' the company details in a blog post on the change. 'Starting today, you can request a refund on most apps and experiences purchased through the Oculus Store by visiting your Purchase History page.'
The company has taken a leaf from Valve's book for the new refund policy, allowing automated refunds within 14 days of purchase and a two-hour window since it was first run. However, there are exceptions: Films, bundles, content purchased as part of a bundle, content downloaded or purchased inside apps including downloadable content (DLC) and in-app purchases, and content made outside the Oculus platform are all excluded from the automated refund process, as is any content you've already had refunded in the past. This differs from Valve's approach, which allows DLC to be refunded automatically providing you have not exceed two hours of playtime since installing said DLC.
At the same time, Oculus VR announced a new Public Test Channel for the Rift and Gear VR headsets, allowing early access to beta-status software updates and features, and the ability to install software without ever removing the VR headset. Other changes to the platform include the ability to add third-party, Rift-compatible software into Oculus Home; party-chat functionality with up to three other users; and a new guided setup for three-sensor room-scale installations. All these new features are live now, the company has confirmed.