September 20, 2023
Meta Platforms will offer its “Horizon Worlds” virtual reality experience to the world at large, making it available in 2D via mobile and browsers on the Web, starting with early access. Initially, a “small number of people” will be able to tap into the FPS game “Super Rumble” via the Meta Quest app on Android, with iOS availability over the next few weeks and “more experiences to come.” Early access can also be requested by those who prefer to use computer browsers at horizon.meta.com. “The metaverse should be available to everyone — no matter what device they’re on,” Meta suggests.
The VR version of “Horizon Worlds” that is available to Meta Quest headset users offers numerous experiences, created by Meta as well as by users. “This initial rollout could prove to be an important moment for Meta’s broader metaverse ambitions,” writes The Verge.
“While Quest headsets are the most immersive way to access the metaverse, we believe there should be multiple entry points,” Meta explains in a blog post, adding that “bringing ‘Worlds’ to more surfaces is a step toward delivering on that vision and opening up the experience to more people.”
Metaverse VP Vishal Shah said Meta had a working mobile version in 2022 that didn’t ship because “it was a little bit too much of a VR game on mobile as opposed to a mobile-native experience,” according to The Verge, which posits “Meta will talk more about ‘Horizon Worlds’ and its metaverse efforts at its Connect conference September 27-28.”
“Meta is working on a metaverse that’s no longer a metaverse,” is how Gizmodo sizes up the move, which comes two years after Horizon Worlds debuted as a VR showcase for the company’s headsets.
“Meta isn’t a game developer (or maybe it is now), it’s a social media company building out a specific vision of the future,” Gizmodo writes. “Letting people play on a phone is probably an attempt to get people interested in the more metaverse-y version of ‘Horizon Worlds’” and the company’s VR headsets.
Meta’s sign-up page provides a FAQ on how to best experience “Horizon Worlds” in 2D.
Meta’s Horizon Worlds Avatars Finally Have Legs, UploadVR, 9/14/23