For a brief period of time, Oculus was the standard bearer for VR, but just a couple of years into this latest (and by far most promising) wave of consumer-facing VR, the company stands at a crossroads. It?s facing market threats from all sides, and its more or less walled-garden strategy looks more tenuous than ever.
In a way, it?s sort of the Apple versus Android paradigm that?s defined the smartphone market for the last decade. Apple is the only company that makes iPhones, and no non-iPhone devices run iOS or iOS apps. Google designed Android, by contrast, as an open platform. Any number of hardware makers could build phones that ran the operating system and its apps.

With few exceptions, that?s where the market stands today: Apple has found great success with its walled-garden approach to mobile, and Android runs on an astounding number of devices and has allowed the larger smartphone market to exist and grow.
Following this paradigm, Oculus is like Apple and HTC/Valve (and now, Microsoft) is like Google.

Oculus (or more accurately, Facebook) has dumped hundreds and hundreds of millions of dollars into building its platform and jumpstarting a market for experiences to run on it. But it has so far shown little interest in sharing with other companies.

By contrast, Valve?s SteamVR was conceived as more of an open platform. However, given that the only device that ran those SteamVR applications was the HTC Vive, ?open? was mere lip service. The platform was essentially open but effectively closed.