Meta this week announced a significant step in expanding its Horizon Worlds metaverse, making it accessible not only on virtual reality headsets, but also on mobile devices (iOS and Android) and web browsers.
Until now, Horizon Worlds has been available exclusively in a format compatible with the company’s virtual reality headsets. However, Meta is opening new doors to reach a wider audience.
The first experience available is the Super Rumble game, a shooter released in July, allowing two to six players to face each other in quick five-minute matches. According to Meta, new worlds will be launched soon.
Mark Zuckerberg, CEO of Meta, expressed his determination to expand Horizon Worlds beyond virtual reality headsets, making it accessible on smartphones and personal computers.
Early access is now available to a select group of users on the Meta Quest app for Android, with a launch for iOS devices planned in the coming weeks. The company emphasized that the expansion aims to make the metaverse accessible to everyone, regardless of device.
Metaverse from Meta
“The metaverse must be available to everyone, regardless of what device they are on,” Meta said in its statement. “While Quest headsets offer the most complete and immersive experience, we believe there should be multiple entry points.”
Meta, however, has not released public statistics on its monthly active users, although previous reports suggest it was fewer than 200,000.
Meta’s social platform is currently available in select countries, including Canada, France, Iceland, Ireland, Spain, the United Kingdom and the United States.
One update to Horizon Worlds is the addition of virtual legs to avatars, a long-awaited feature. Meta received criticism for not implementing this functionality in its initial release, but promised to incorporate it in an update scheduled for 2023 during the Connect 2022 event.
While Meta is expanding its metaverse, it’s worth noting that other blockchain-based metaverse platforms like Decentraland and The Sandbox have taken a reverse path, first launching as web-based experiences on personal computers before considering virtual reality.