The announcement that Steam will support the forthcoming Windows VR headsets was big news which means that owners will eventually have a strong library of VR content to draw from while Microsoft builds up its own library of VR games and apps on the Windows store. Some of VR’s best games however are exclusive to Oculus’ content library, though savvy Vive owners know that the unofficial ‘Revive’ workaround opens the door to playing Oculus games on the Vive, and the same could be true for the Windows VR headsets.
Update (11/13/17): German VR blog VR Nerds has posted a video showing Revive working with a Windows VR headset. Using the latest version of the mod, the video shows how the Oculus app library can be access via Revive using the (soon to be publicly released) SteamVR integration for Windows VR headsets. The Oculus touch demo First Contact is shown as a demonstration.
Commenting on the video via Reddit, Revive creator Jules “CrossVR” Blok says that some games don’t work currently because they expect to see a certain number of external sensors (which don’t appear because the Windows VR headsets use on-board sensors instead). Blok says that the next version of Revive will fix the issue.
Speaking with Road to VR, Blok says he doesn’t yet have a Windows VR headset himself for testing, but says about the video: “from that initial feedback it seems that the driver implementation works very well, it even correctly gives access to the physical joystick which Revive already had some untested support for. So as long as the driver quality remains good I don’t mind implementing one or two hacks like spoofing the number of connected sensors.”
Original Article (8/29/17): When it comes to desktop VR headsets, the Oculus platform only officially supports the Rift. However, Vive users can quite easily play Oculus exclusive games and content thanks to Revive, a free unofficial workaround which opens the Oculus content library to the Vive. Revive will quite possibly also support Windows VR headsets, says its creator, Jules Blok.
The difficulty of adding Revive support to Windows VR headsets, and allowing them to access Oculus exclusive games, could come down to how those headsets interface with SteamVR, says Blok.
One logical assumption is that Microsoft and/or Valve will build an official OpenVR driver for the headsets. OpenVR is Valve’s API for allowing any headset vendor to make their VR hardware work with SteamVR content. Because it’s a common API from one headset to the next, and the same way that the HTC Vive interfaces with SteamVR, an official OpenVR driver for Windows VR headsets would be a major boon for adapting Revive to support the headsets.
“Revive can support any headset that has an OpenVR driver. How well the headset is supported depends on the quality of the driver. So yes, an official OpenVR driver would make [supporting Windows VR headsets] a lot easier,” Blok tells Road to VR.
Microsoft’s announcement that “Steam content will also run on Windows [VR] headsets,” doesn’t precisely indicate how the headsets will interface with SteamVR, and Microsoft has declined to go into detail at this time. it’s hard to imagine Valve wouldn’t insist upon the OpenVR route, given their commitment to making SteamVR a hardware agnostic platform (which is underpinned by OpenVR). However, Microsoft is one of the world’s largest and most important companies—it’s possible that Valve would make some concessions to ensure Windows VR headsets could access VR content on their platform.
If the implementation turns out to be something other than an OpenVR driver, it will make adding Revive support more challenging, Blok tells us.
“Adding support in Revive for directly translating to Microsoft’s Mixed Reality Toolkit is more difficult as the Mixed Reality API doesn’t map that well to the Oculus SDK. While it is possible, the compatibility would likely be worse than OpenVR-supported headsets.”
Blok says that he “definitely doesn’t look forward” to writing the necessary code if it turns out that he has to adapt Revive to the Universal Windows Platform (rather than relying on an OpenVR driver) in order to access the Mixed Reality API that the Windows VR headsets make use of.
Blok has been developing Revive in his free time since 2016. His project recently got a major boost thanks to Oculus founder Palmer Luckey (who is no longer with the company) pledging $2,000 in monthly support through the project’s Patreon page.