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Frontier is now prioritizing HTC Vive over Oculus Rift with Elite: Dangerous

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Matt Smith / Digital Trends

Ever since its Oculus Rift compatibility was announced back in December 2014, many VR enthusiasts have been excited for the arrival of space simulation game Elite: Dangerous on PC. Despite that having happened already, it has come with its fair share of problems for early adopters of Facebook’s virtual reality headset solution.

This was particularly pertinent for SDK 0.7 users, with a complicated workaround available for those on 0.8. While mending the game’s apparent optimization issues should be a priority for Elite: Dangerous creator Frontier Developments, its focus has shifted elsewhere: towards Valve’s SteamVR to be exact.

“We’ve supported VR for a few years now, and Elite: Dangerous is arguably the world’s leading VR-ready game,” said the game’s developer in a statement issued to Eurogamer. “We want to give players the best possible VR experience however they play—it’s something we talked about with Digital Foundry recently—and that means focusing our efforts. Right now, we’ve chosen to focus on SteamVR. We haven’t cut an exclusivity deal with any VR manufacturer, and we’re still working with Oculus on Rift support.”

Related: Elite: Dangerous minimum specs for VR are some of the highest yet

Fortunately, despite the news that Frontier is choosing to put HTC Vive first, that doesn’t mean there’s any kind of timed exclusivity deal taking place between Valve or HTC and the developer.

“I can confirm that there is no deal to release Elite on HTC first,” wrote Frontier’s Head of Community Management Zac Antonaci. “Valve released a stable driver before Oculus but we remain in close contact with Oculus.”

Though worded confusingly, what Mr. Antonaci is saying here, put simply, is that Frontier is giving Valve/HTC priority over Oculus because it was actually issued a completed Vive dev kit. While it admittedly strikes me as a bit odd that the Rift has taken the backseat over at Frontier’s UK studio, what’s even more strange is the response given to Ars Technica from the developer when asked for further comment on the story: “We’re not offering direct comment because the story isn’t true.”

Despite verification from a number of reputable sources, this Frontier spokesperson is, for whatever reason, completely in denial.