In the past month, the consumer versions of both the Oculus Rift and the HTC Vive have been released along with their games — some available on both platforms, and some exclusives. For virtual reality fans, though, it’s a bit of an annoyance if the demo you want to play isn’t available on the headset you shelled out hundreds of dollars for. For that reason, it was probably only a matter of time before unofficial workarounds surfaced, like this proof of concept program on GitHub that allows Rift exclusives Lucky’s Tale and Oculus Dreamdeck to play on the Vive.
The code was posted to Reddit by user CrossVR, who stresses that you still need to own the games to get them working on the Vive, but that the code could also also be used to ‘port’ other titles. “It may work with plenty of other games, but that hasn’t been tested by myself,” writes CrossVR. “In the future more games will be supported, but I’m glad to see such swift progress already.”
Our colleague at Polygon, Ben Kuchera, tested the system — named Revive on GitHub — and said it works just fine. In fact, Kuchera notes that the port of Dreamdeck (a VR demo sampler that shows off varying animation styles) is actually better on the Vive, as the headset’s enhanced tracking functionality allows you to actually walk around the scenes. “The Vive’s chaperone system, which shows you the limits of your play space, also works just fine on the Rift titles,” writes Kuchera. “They seem to run nearly as well as native Vive titles in our testing.”
Unofficial ports like this are going to be an interesting factor in the competition between the Vive and the Rift for VR supremacy. (Not forgetting Sony’s Playstation VR, of course, which arrives this October.) Will Oculus or HTC or Valve do anything to try and limit these workarounds, or is it too niche for these companies to care? For the moment, at least HTC Vive owners will be happy, getting to play games and demos that were previously for the Rift only.