Oculus confirms Rift games don’t have to be sold through its storefront

oculus rift
Ross Martin / Twitter
Now that the Oculus Rift headset is heading out to consumers, Facebook-owned Oculus VR has launched a new Oculus PC software development kit (SDK), version 1.3. Available now on the Oculus Developer Center, this new SDK not only includes support for the new consumer edition, but provides integration into the latest versions of the Unreal Engine and Unity platforms. The company has also unleashed the Oculus Platform SDK 1.0, which allows developers to add features like peer-to-peer matchmaking and leader boards intogames and apps.

However, along with this announcement, Oculus VR revealed that developers don’t necessarily have to offer their Oculus Rift games and apps on the Oculus Store. In fact, they can use their own in-app purchasing (IAP) system if they want, meaning Oculus VR won’t take a cut of the profits. Even more, developers can sell their Oculus PC product to the community through the Oculus platform by requesting royalty-free keys.

To access this content, Oculus Rift owners must enable the “Unknown Sources” setting in the Oculus app for the desktop. However, the company points out that Oculus apps sold on other distribution platforms will still need to provide means for returning to the Home menu. They will also need to provide notifications, health and safety notices, and platforms overlays.

“The Oculus platform and store are designed to provide the best VR experience and content, but we also recognize that people will want to use apps that aren’t available on the Oculus platform or in the store,” the company said on Monday.

Oculus VR has also launched two new sections in the Oculus Store on PC: Concepts and Early Access. The former is based on Oculus Share and provides means for developers to publish “innovative experiments and tech demos.” The other section, Early Access, contains games and apps that are still works in progress, and the developers are looking for feedback from the Oculus Rift community.

For developers who are still hanging onto the second-generation Rift development kit (DK2) hardware, they can use the “functional” unit with the latest SDKs throughout the year. However, the company notes that SDK2 isn’t supported as a consumer device.

The Oculus Rift is now shipping out to consumers. Palmer Luckey personally hand-delivered the first headset to a guy in Alaska wearing a Hawaiian shirt and flip-flops. The recipient, Ross Martin, was actually at work, so they couldn’t fire up the VR headset. Instead, they talked about various topics including the Rift development.

“I said hey guys, I’ve been working on this since 2009, we’ve been working on Oculus since 2012, I’ll be damned if some random delivery guy is going to get the satisfaction of delivering the first Rift. That’s mine.” Luckey told Polygon. “So I could figure I could take a day out of the launch process and take a quick vacation in Alaska.”

He also commented on Twitter that hiking through Alaska in the winter wearing flip-flops was “a mistake.”

Reviews for the consumer-based Oculus Rift are now rolling out, and they seem a little mixed. Naturally, customers need a somewhat high-end computer that’s tethered to the headset, limiting movement. The touch controls are also not available at launch, but the hardware itself is reportedly awesome, as we expected. Those who wear glasses may also have an issue with the headset, so keep that in mind (or slap on a pair of contacts).

Home Theater

Plex is the latest player to contemplate the subscription streaming game

With massive reach thanks to its client app being supported virtually every media device on the planet, Plex is now looking at the future of its media curation platform. A future that may include free and subscription services.
Computing

Yes, you can use Android apps on your Chromebook. Here's how

You can now get Android apps on your Chromebook! Google has enabled the Google Play Store app support on its Chrome OS and Chromebook hardware, so to get you started, here's our guide on how to get Android apps on a Chromebook.
Mobile

Text up a storm with the best messaging apps for iOS and Android

These days, most people tend to favor digital messages over phone calls. We have the best messaging apps that allow you to share photos and documents, send text messages, and more with end-to-end encryption.
Mobile

Here’s how to download podcasts and listen to them on Android or iOS

Podcasts have become a cultural staple. Here's how to download podcasts and listen to them on your Android or iOS device, and which apps to use if you're looking to get the most out of the format.
Gaming

HTC brings two new headsets, a VR browser, and ‘Netflix for VR’ to CES 2019

HTC Vive made several new announcements to CES 2019, including two new headsets, a new subscription service, and a new user interface that completely transforms how applications are launched.
Photography

Camera records real-life scenes to design virtual worlds using a single device

Creating virtual reality worlds may get a bit easier in 2019 -- the Axis is a camera module that records a 180-degree depth map, allowing designers to reconstruct the scene for virtual or augmented reality.
Product Review

HTC puts eye-tracking tech in Vive Pro Eye to make next-gen VR hands-free

With the announcement of integrated eye tracking for the Vive Pro Eye, hands-free VR, less demanding high-quality experiences, and intuitive software, are all on the table.
Gaming

The Vive Pro Eye uses Tobii eye-tracking technology to make VR more lifelike

HTC revealed the Vive Pro Eye with eye-tracking support at its CES 2019 press conference on January 7. We now know that Tobii will be the company responsible for integrating the technology.
Computing

Oculus’ Quest is the headset that will make me (and you) a VR believer

Without excessive wires or complicated setup, and a price point that makes sense for tech that just isn't there yet, Oculus' upcoming standalone headset, the Quest, could bring VR mainstream.
Gaming

Dive headfirst into the best experiences available now on the Oculus Rift

The Oculus Rift brought back virtual reality and put a modern twist to it. Grab your Touch Controllers, put on your VR headset, and jump into the fun with some of the best Oculus Rift games available now.
Gaming

The best VR headsets at CES 2019 could bring the technology to the mainstream

While there weren't a ton of new VR headset on display at CES 2019, the ones we saw led us to believe that VR could have a real moment soon, both from a gaming and business standpoint.
Gaming

These are the coolest virtual and augmented reality gadgets from CES 2019

CES 2019 had plenty of VR and AR gadgets on display, including headsets that completely change how you experience virtual reality, and some that don't even require a PC or a phone to run.
Gaming

These shoes let me stroll through ‘Skyrim,’ and I desperately want to go back

After being funded in just two hours on Kickstarter back in October 2018, Cybershoes has earned itself a place among the coolest VR walking and running tech. At CES 2019, we got to try them out and they live up to the hype.
Gaming

The Teslasuit could turn Black Mirror’s terrifying ‘Playtest’ into a reality

We spoke with Teslasuit co-founder Dimitri Mikhalchuk about VR gaming at CES 2019. With all its features, the future of the Teslasuit and virtual reality look bright. And it also sounds a bit like a Black Mirror episode.