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Meta emphasized that early access will gradually expand as it collects feedback and refines the user experience.
Meta, the parent company of Facebook, is taking a significant step in its metaverse journey by expanding its 3D social platform, Horizon Worlds, beyond virtual reality (VR) headsets.
The online gaming platform, which was initially accessible to the United States and Canadian residents before rolling out to other parts of the world, will be available to more users outside the metaverse for the first time since its launch in 2021.
Expanding the Metaverse Vision
In a blog post on September 14, the company announced that it had commenced the early access rollout of Horizon Worlds on mobile and web platforms. The 3D video gaming platform will initially offer “Super Rumble”, a free-for-all shooter game that allows two to six players to engage in fast-paced five-minute matches.
Currently, access to the game is limited, with a small number of users being able to join via the Meta Quest app on Android. The iOS version is expected to launch in the coming weeks. For those interested in the web version, it is currently in early access, and users can sign up for the waitlist.
“We’re excited to announce that Meta Horizon Worlds is beginning to expand beyond VR. We’ve started rolling out our first Meta Horizon world to mobile and web early access, with more experience to come. To start, a small number of people can now access Super Rumble through the Meta Quest app on Android, with iOS rolling out in the coming weeks,” the company said.
The move aims to make the metaverse accessible to a broader audience, bringing immersive experiences to mobile and web users.
Enhanced Controls for a Smooth Experience
Meta emphasized that early access will gradually expand as it collects feedback and refines the user experience. While Quest headsets offer an immersive experience, Meta acknowledges the importance of multiple entry points to ensure inclusivity.
The company aims to make the metaverse a welcoming space for users across various devices.
The expansion comes after Meta’s discussions about bringing Horizon Worlds to non-VR platforms last year. Vishal Shah, the company’s metaverse VP, mentioned that an early mobile version was developed but had to be refined to provide a native mobile experience.
The tech company has gone a step further in optimizing controls to enhance users’ experience on mobile devices and computers. Features such as mute and pause have been fine-tuned to provide a more seamless and user-friendly interface to the platform. These improvements aim to make metaverse exploration as intuitive and enjoyable as possible.
Like its VR counterpart, the Meta Horizon Worlds on mobile and web is freely accessible. According to the company, users aged 13 and above in supported regions can access the platform.
In addition to free access, the company said it has improved security. According to the firm, the mobile and web versions offer the same robust safety features on the Quest VR platform. These measures include dedicated protections designed with teenage users in mind, ensuring a secure environment for all.
A Promise Kept
Meanwhile, in a much-anticipated move, Meta’s Horizon Worlds has updated its avatars, giving them virtual legs.
The company received criticism for not including virtual legs in its avatars when the metaverse was launched. Given the company’s significant investment in the project, many users found this absence perplexing.
During Connect 2022, Meta pledged to address this concern, promising that the avatars would eventually have virtual legs. This promise has now been fulfilled, enhancing the realism and immersion of the avatars in Horizon Worlds.