Mark Zuckerberg, the CEO of Meta, is significantly expanding the metaverse experience beyond virtual reality headsets and onto people’s smartphones and computers. In a blog post dated September 15, Meta Horizon Worlds, the 3D avatar-based social platform, announced the commencement of its early access rollout for mobile and web platforms.
The inaugural experience on these new platforms is “Super Rumble,” a free-for-all shooter game introduced in late July. It allows two to six players to engage in five-minute fast-paced matches. Meta has assured users that more exciting experiences and worlds will be introduced on the platform in the coming months.
Initially, access to Meta Horizon Worlds on the web and the Meta Quest app on Android will be limited to a select group of users, with an iOS rollout scheduled soon. Meta plans to gradually expand the early access as they gather feedback and refine the user experience.
Meta’s ambition is to ensure that the metaverse is accessible to everyone, regardless of their choice of device. While Quest headsets provide the most immersive experience, Meta recognizes the need for multiple entry points to accommodate a broader audience.
Regarding user statistics, Meta has not disclosed its monthly active user count, but reports from October 2022 suggested it was below 200,000. Meta’s social platform is currently only available in select countries, including Canada, France, Iceland, Ireland, Spain, the United Kingdom, and the United States.
Notably, other blockchain-based metaverse platforms like Decentraland and The Sandbox initially launched as PC and web-based experiences before exploring virtual reality. Decentraland introduced its browser-based 3D virtual world in February 2020, while The Sandbox launched its Alpha on PC in November 2021. Both platforms have yet to release an official virtual reality version.
In a development that has garnered attention, Meta has finally equipped its avatars in Horizon Worlds with virtual legs. Initially criticized for its avatars lacking this basic feature, Meta promised during Connect 2022 that legs would be added in a future update in 2023. Users have reported that this update, introducing virtual legs, has already been introduced in the Quest Home space and is now making its way to the Horizon Worlds app.
This expansion to mobile and web platforms and the introduction of virtual legs marks a significant step in Meta’s ongoing efforts to enhance the metaverse experience and make it accessible to a broader audience. As the metaverse landscape continues to evolve, Meta’s initiatives are poised to play a pivotal role in shaping its future.