Meta Expands VR Landscape by Sharing Horizon OS

Meta Expands VR Landscape by Sharing Horizon OS

Key Points

  • Meta Platforms has rebranded its VR OS to Meta Horizon OS and opened it to other device makers.
  • Collaboration with ASUS and Lenovo will expand Meta’s VR applications and device diversity.
  • Meta aims to integrate Google Play apps, potentially enhancing its ecosystem compatibility.

In a strategic move, Meta Platforms has announced the opening of its Quest headset’s operating system to rival device makers. Consequently, this marks a significant shift in the virtual reality (VR) landscape. This decision accompanies the rebranding of their operating system to Horizon OS. Meta’s CEO, Mark Zuckerberg, outlined the company’s ambition. This openness aims to foster a more unified and less fragmented ecosystem, contrasting sharply with some competitors’ approaches.

ASUS and Lenovo Join Meta in Expanding VR Applications

Meta is expanding access to its operating system and strengthening ties with other tech leaders. ASUS and Lenovo are now poised to develop devices that leverage the capabilities of Horizon OS. ASUS’ Republic of Gamers is reportedly working on a dedicated gaming headset, while Lenovo focuses on a mixed reality (MR) device tailored for productivity, learning, and entertainment purposes. These partnerships could significantly broaden the applications and appeal of Meta’s VR technology.

Horizon OS: A Leap Towards a Unified VR Marketplace

Horizon OS, previously the operating system for Quest, now features the Horizon Store. Formerly known as the Quest Store, it enables app downloads directly within the VR interface. Furthermore, the system is set to work with the newly rebranded Horizon app, a mobile companion that enhances user experience and device management. These changes refine the user experience and align with Meta’s vision of a more interconnected and versatile VR ecosystem.

Meta Considers Integrating Google Play Apps into Horizon OS

Considering recent developments, Mark Zuckerberg suggested integrating Google Play apps into Horizon OS devices and expressed his openness to this addition if Google shows interest. Google is working on an Android platform for virtual reality (VR) and mixed reality (MR) devices, which could be an opportunity for collaboration, potentially benefiting the Meta ecosystem. However, Andrew Bosworth, a senior executive at Meta, has raised concerns about Google’s past VR/MR initiatives, pointing out that they had restrictive conditions which could potentially fragment the ecosystem.

Market Dynamics Shift: Apple’s Entry at $3,499 Price Point

The VR industry is becoming increasingly competitive by introducing high-end devices such as Apple’s Vision Pro headset, which has entered the market at a premium price of $3,499. This new entry could recalibrate market expectations around pricing and features for high-end VR headsets.