After launching an initial beta test of Horizon Worlds on mobile devices with selected users last month, Meta has now announced that more people will be able to access its social VR experience via their phone, and via desktop PCs, beginning with a collaborative shooting game that will welcome more users into the Worlds experience.
As explained by Meta:
“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 in early access, with more experiences 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.”
As noted, a small number of users were actually able to access this experience last month, with some sharing clips of what it looks like.
A look at Meta Horizon Worlds Mobile (running on Pixel 6a) pic.twitter.com/c4eJHJJG7o— Luna (@Lunayian) August 25, 2023
As you can see in this example, with Worlds on mobile, you control your avatar on screen, so you obviously don’t get the full, immersive VR experience, but you can still participate in games, and other elements.
Which, of course, is part of the broader plan to make the metaverse the place to be for all of your interactions. That still seems like it’s a long way off, but by providing broader access, and enabling users to log in via different devices, that’ll extend the metaverse experience beyond VR alone, and could help Meta boost its appeal with the next generation of consumers.
Many of whom are already accustomed to engaging via digital characters. Users of Roblox, Minecraft, and Fortnite already interact via their digital proxies, and these worlds have become the main social interaction port for many young users.
Which is a key point. While accessing VR via 2D entry points may seem like a step back in some respects, engaging via avatars is a behavioral shift that Meta needs to lean into, in order to make its metaverse vision come to life. That’s why it’s adding avatars in all of its apps, and providing more ways to use your avatar as your profile image, in stickers, in video calls, etc.
The more that Meta can align users with their digital character, the more likely they’ll then be to engaging in its metaverse experiences via these depictions.
Which also relates to this new experiment. And by broadening metaverse access, that’ll also see more users experience these creative worlds, which could then prompt them to buy their own VR headsets, to get the full, immersive VR view.
It’s a smart move, which will help to showcase its evolving VR worlds, and as they continue to develop, giving users a taste via other devices will likely help to drive metaverse adoption, while also potentially prompting more developers to build VR worlds, that a broader audience can access.
Meta says that it’s still in early testing of Worlds on mobile and on web, so not everyone will have access just yet. Interested users can sign up here to be notified when Meta releases more invites.