Valve isn’t being shy about their support for Jules “LibreVR” Blok, the developer behind Revive, a hack which allows the Vive to play games from the Oculus store. Having patched SteamVR on more than one occasion to ensure Revive’s continued compatibility, the company has now sent Blok the Knuckles controller dev kit
Valve’s new Knuckles controllers have been widely praised by the developers who have been lucky enough to get their hands on them. The company has been sending dev kits of the controllers to select developers, and there’s presently no open way to get one without knowing the right folks at Valve.
Valve has sent one of the dev kits to Blok, the independent developer of Revive, a freely available hack that allows Vive users to play games from the Oculus store. For Oculus’ part, the company’s VR store only officially supports the Rift headset, and in 2016 had something of a standoff with Revive that prompted an update to their platform’s DRM policy which broke the hack. After community outcry, Oculus eventually reversed that decision and has been tolerating the hack since. Oculus founder Palmer Luckey (who is no longer with the company) recently pledged $2,000 per month in support of Revive’s development.
Valve, who of course now distributes VR games through Steam, seems to have found an ally in Revive, as it opens a door for Vive users into Oculus’ platform, allowing them to play a number of major VR titles that aren’t available on Steam. Without Revive as an independent intermediary, it might seem one step too aggressive if Valve had to build and maintain an unofficial door into Oculus’ platform themselves. Valve itself is however responsible for supporting the Rift on Steam.
In updates to SteamVR, Valve has on multiple occasions made tweaks and changes to ensure that Revive continued to work correctly. And now having sent Blok the Knuckles controllers, it seems pretty clear that Valve is supportive of what Revive is doing.
For Blok’s part the developer says that “these controllers will be very helpful to make a more natural Oculus Touch mapping,” and thanks Valve for sending them. Indeed the Knuckles controllers are more similar to Touch than the present Vive controllers, and with his hands on Knuckles it should make it easier for Blok to integrate proper support for the controllers into Revive once they are available more broadly.