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V-arrrrrr: Oculus suffer another setback in battle against pirates

Eve: Valkyrie

Virtual reality is about hopping into the body of anyone you like: soldier, climber, eagle, pirate. But some Rift users have been less about sailing the high seas than hacking Oculus software to work with other headsets – and measures designed to stop the practice have only made things worse.

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Last week, Palmer Luckey and co. released an Oculus patch which added an security extra step for launching games, asking players to have a Rift headset already connected. It sounds like an effective counter to Revive: the popular mod (or “hack”, in Oculus’ terminology) which users have exploited to play Rift-exclusive games with other hardware.

As Oculus closed that crack, however, Revive modder Libre VR opened up a fissure. The new version of Revive bypasses the Rift ownership check completely, leaving the software unable to check for not only a headset but also a legitimately-purchased copy of a game. Libre says he doesn’t want users to pirate the games they play, but the fact is that it’s now possible – at least until the next update from Oculus.

The hardware check has caused upset in the Oculus community – unsurprisingly, since just this year Luckey was still telling Redditors they could run Oculus-bought games on whatever they wanted.

“As I have said a million times (and counter to the current circlejerk), our goal is not to profit by locking people to only our hardware,” the fresh-faced inventor said in January.

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