Meta is expanding its Horizon Worlds platform to mobile and web, introducing new features and aiming for broader user accessibility.
Meta, previously known as Facebook, is set to expand the horizon of its 3D virtual reality world, Horizon Worlds. Spearheaded by CEO Mark Zuckerberg, Horizon Worlds will soon be available on mobile devices and computers. This move signifies a strategic shift from limiting access only through virtual reality headsets to a broader audience.
On September 15th, a blog post from Meta confirmed the initiation of the early access phase for Meta Horizon on mobile and web platforms. Super Rumble, a fast-paced shooter game that launched in July, stands out as the first experience to be introduced. This thrilling game allows two to six players to engage in a five-minute match. And if you’re wondering what’s next, Meta assures that additional worlds and experiences are in the pipeline for the coming months.
Rollout and Access Updates from Meta
For those eagerly awaiting the broader launch, patience will be key. Initially, Meta has chosen a limited group of users to experience Horizon Worlds on the web and through the Meta Quest app for Android. However, iPhone users have something to look forward to, as the iOS version will be rolling out soon. The phased approach for access is intentional. Meta plans to gather user feedback, refining the experience before extending it to a larger audience.
Meta remains committed to democratizing access to the metaverse. They believe that while the Quest headsets provide an immersive metaverse experience, alternative access routes are essential. By bringing Horizon Worlds to a variety of devices, Meta aims to engage a wider user base. It’s worth noting that recent data from The Wall Street Journal, dated October 2022, hinted at Meta’s monthly active users numbering below 200,000.
In the competitive realm of virtual realities, blockchain-powered platforms like Decentraland and The Sandbox offer contrasting approaches. These platforms prioritized web and PC-based experiences. For instance, Decentraland unveiled its browser-centric 3D world in February 2020, while The Sandbox presented its Alpha version on PC in November 2021. As of now, neither has ventured into offering an exclusive virtual reality version.
Exciting Updates for Horizon Worlds Avatars
Moving away from just the accessibility front, Meta’s Horizon Worlds has also showcased a fascinating update: avatars now have virtual legs. The omission of legs had earlier drawn criticism, with industry experts pointing out such an oversight despite significant investment. Addressing this feedback, Meta had, during their Connect 2022 event, committed to introducing legs in a 2023 update. Recent reports suggest that this feature has already been integrated into some versions of the Quest Home space. Moreover, several users have indicated the presence of virtual legs within the Horizon Worlds app.
Meta’s Horizon Worlds promises a revamped 3D virtual experience, blending accessibility with innovative features. Whether it’s extending its reach to mobile and web or enhancing avatar functionalities, Meta is gearing up to redefine the virtual realm.