The Oculus Rift is officially available, in case you didn’t know. Pre-order shipments for the head-mounted display have begun shipping out, and Oculus founder Palmer Luckey even hand-delivered the first Rift unit to an indie dev in Alaska. While it all sounds good for PR and whatnot, one thing gamers and VR enthusiasts need to keep in mind is that a lot of their software that may utilize VR HMDs may not always run on the Rift.
Google Chrome developer Brandon Jones sent out a brief warning to developers and gamers alike, that any software not approved or allowed on the Oculus Store is labeled as an “Unknown Source” and can be blocked from usage with the Rift.
Oculus blocks apps not sold through their store from working unless you “allow unknown sources”: https://support.oculus.com/878170922281071
It’s further explained over on the Oculus support site that in order to make use of some apps, services and games, you’ll need to toggle on the option to allow the rift to interact with software from “unknown sources”…
“Certain developers may create applications for Rift using the Oculus SDK that are not distributed through the Oculus platform. While Oculus allows this, applications from such developers have not been reviewed by Oculus for security, comfort, content, or health and safety. We term these applications as coming from ‘unknown sources.’”
Part of this is to prevent the Rift from accessing what Facebook deems as undesirable content, such as porn.
However, it’s not all about draconian mechanisms to control what people experience with the Rift.
Sony has a certification regulation for the PS VR that software that isn’t at least 60fps cannot run on the PlayStation VR. It’s a reasonable measure put into place to protect consumers from experience shoddily made software that may dip well below 60fps and cause a serious cause of motion sickness or nausea.
The Rift isn’t limited to the closed ecosystem of a home console, so it’s reasonable to expect that Oculus and Facebook would want to take extra precautions to ensure that users aren’t dabbling in poorly made software on a regular basis that could cause serious problems on the user experience front… like Zombies On A Plane.
Hopefully the block on “unknown sources” (such as games and apps not approved to be on the Oculus Store) only goes as far as the toggle switch. It would be a real shame if there were any other preventative measures in place to keep people from using the Rift as they see fit.
(Main image courtesy of The Inquirer)