New Asus ROG and Lenovo headsets will feature Meta Quest’s software

Asus ROG, Lenovo headsets, Meta Quest's software

Meta, formerly known as Facebook, has made an exciting announcement for Quest users. The company is opening up its headsets’ operating system to third-party companies, allowing them to expand the technology and bring new experiences to consumers. This move by Meta aims to achieve two main goals: provide more choice in the virtual reality gaming market and give developers an opportunity to reach a wider audience.

Among the first batch of partners that will be working on expanding the Quest ecosystem, ASUS’ ROG (Republic of Gamers) is developing an all-new performance gaming headset. Lenovo, on the other hand, is said to be working on three individual models: one for productivity, one for education, and one for entertainment. This collaboration between Meta and these companies will undoubtedly lead to innovative and immersive VR experiences for users.

In addition to partnering with hardware manufacturers, Meta is also making some changes to the names associated with its virtual reality ecosystem. The operating system will now be known as Horizon OS, the Meta Quest Store will be renamed the Horizon Store, and the mobile app will be rebranded as the Horizon app. These name changes reflect the transformation that Meta’s technology is undergoing and align with the company’s vision for the future.

To facilitate the transition for third-party developers, Meta will be providing a spatial app framework, which will assist them in bringing their software to Horizon OS or creating entirely new products. With Horizon OS at the core, Meta aims to introduce social features that developers can integrate into their software. This will enable users to interact and connect with others across different platforms, including mixed reality, mobile, and desktop devices. The ability to seamlessly move avatars and friend groups between virtual spaces will enhance the social experience in VR.

Meta’s CEO, Mark Zuckerberg, shares the same vision for Horizon OS and wants it to be an open playground for developers. In a recent Instagram video, Zuckerberg expressed his desire for developers to have the freedom to create software without the constraints of a walled garden ecosystem, similar to iOS. This approach shows Meta’s commitment to fostering creativity and innovation within the VR community.

While these announcements are undoubtedly exciting for Quest users and developers, it’s important to note that it will take some time before we see the launch of these new headsets. Zuckerberg mentioned in his post that it could take a couple of years for these products to become available. However, in the meantime, Meta is actively working to remove barriers and make the process of publishing software on their platform more accessible to developers. By simplifying the process and providing guidelines, Meta aims to encourage developers to bring their creations to the Quest ecosystem.

It’s unclear if other tech brands will join in on this open access initiative. Zuckerberg expressed his hope for the Horizon Store to offer a wide variety of software options, including titles from Steam, Xbox Cloud Gaming, and even apps from the Google Play Store, if they’re willing to participate. However, it seems that Google may be focused on other endeavors, as rumors suggest the company is collaborating with Samsung on an XR/VR headset, potentially competing with Meta’s offerings.

In conclusion, Meta’s decision to open up its operating system to third-party companies is a significant move for the VR industry. It not only provides consumers with more choices in the market but also allows developers to reach a broader audience. The collaborations with manufacturers like ASUS and Lenovo will undoubtedly lead to innovative hardware options for Quest users. With the introduction of Horizon OS and the planned social features, Meta aims to create a connected virtual reality ecosystem that spans across different platforms. While it may take some time for these products to launch, Meta’s commitment to creating an open playground for developers shows promise for the future of VR.

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