Is Oculus Rift’s Oculus Store the Steam for VR? Palmer Luckey Explains

Oculus Rift's Palmer Luckey differentiates between Steam and Oculus Store while inadvertently highlighting the massive similarities. 

Palmer Luckey recently held an AMA session of Reddit where we picked up that the $350 ballpark comment of his was made despite the fact that he knew their company estimates for the price of Oculus Rift were near $599 price that was announced when preorders went live on January 6. Now, he is back with another AMA.

While we are not past the pricing fiasco yet, people are also asking him about certain other things that might or might not be liked by some. For instance, the Oculus Store which is being poised as the Steam for Virtual Reality world.

Although being the Steam for VR has the implication that it will be a huge platform, a one stop shop, but it also means there could be drawbacks similar to Steam – which mostly ensue from their rigid policies.

Anyhow, someone asked Palmer Luckey the same and he answered by clarifying that they are “not trying to make a general-purpose store for traditional games.” However, there are many things the Oculus Store is going to be similar to Steam, one positive aspect of that is:

Publishing a game in the Oculus Store does not require an exclusivity contract. Some VR developers will choose to be on one store, some will choose to be on all stores, some will choose to distribute themselves, but the vast majority are probably going to end up on our store.

The fact that their competitors are also going to be able to run games on the Oculus Store also shows that the store is going to be more of a VR based general store than what we think. “You might see wider support” for other companies and their products when they come out, he said.

Just like Steam, Oculus Store seems to be in place to become the go-to place for buying VR games; and Oculus seems in place to start earning their cuts on every game that will be sold on the store, just like Steam.

However, he also highlighted a number of features that give the store a made-for-VR touch:

  • When you visit the store page for a game, we can load a 360 degree capture of a scene from the game.
  • Store ratings system is also built around VR; some intense VR experiences are not comfortable for many or most people, especially ones with lots of vection-inducing artificial locomotion. We account for this with a comfort rating system.
  • Another benefit is knowing that everything in the store will run well on the recommended PC spec and continue to perform well through future updates.

Let’s just hope there are more positives in their similarities with Steam, because we like the idea of Oculus Rift, Oculus Store and the support, and all these things are ensuring that the store will be of key importance to the VR world.

Sarmad is our Senior Editor, and is also one of the more refined and cultured among us. He's 25, a finance major, and having the time of his life writing about videogames.