Meta’s Horizon Worlds Launches on Mobile and Web in Early Access – Mark Zuckerberg, the CEO of Meta, has taken a significant step by extending his metaverse project, Horizon Worlds, from VR headsets to smartphones and computers. In a blog post dated September 15, the 3D avatar-centric social platform revealed that it has initiated the rollout of its inaugural Meta Horizon world for mobile and web, currently available in early access.
Currently, the sole accessible experience is Super Rumble, a free-for-all shooter introduced in late July. It enables two to six players to engage in quick-paced matches lasting five minutes. Meta has indicated that additional experiences and virtual worlds will be introduced to the platform in the upcoming months. During the initial launch, access to the platform will be limited, with only a select few able to use it on the web or the Meta Quest app for Android.
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The iOS release is scheduled for the upcoming weeks. “Early access will roll out to more people gradually as we gather feedback and evolve the experience,” said Meta. “The metaverse should be available to everyone — no matter what device they’re on,” the tech giant added. “And while Quest headsets are the most immersive way to access the metaverse, we believe there should be multiple entry points.”
Meta has stated that expanding Worlds to a broader range of devices will make the experience accessible to a larger audience. Although Meta has not disclosed any public data regarding its monthly active users, a report by The Wall Street Journal in October 2022 indicated that it was below 200,000. As of now, Meta’s social platform remains restricted to Canada, France, Iceland, Ireland, Spain, the United Kingdom, and the United States.
It’s worth noting that blockchain-based metaverse platforms like Decentraland and The Sandbox took a different approach initially. They began as PC and web-based experiences, with Decentraland introducing its browser-based 3D virtual world in February 2020, and The Sandbox launching its Alpha on PC in November 2021. Interestingly, neither of them has released an official virtual reality version as of now.
In the world of Horizon Worlds by Meta, avatars have recently received a highly anticipated enhancement: the addition of virtual legs. Initially, Mark Zuckerberg faced criticism when his metaverse was launched, as people pointed out that despite significant investments, the avatars lacked virtual legs. However, during Connect 2022, Meta pledged to introduce these legs in a forthcoming update expected in 2023.
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The introduction of leg functionality had apparently been initiated a few weeks prior in the Quest Home space as part of a v57 test version update. However, it has been reported by some users that these virtual legs have now been incorporated into the Horizon Worlds app as well. This marks a significant development in the ongoing efforts to enhance the immersive experience of avatars in the metaverse.