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Meta opens up Quest's OS for third-party hardware

Levono and ASUS to make their own headsets using Horizon OS; Meta wants Google Play on Quest

Meta today announced some changes to its virtual reality business to make it a more open ecosystem for developers and users.

First, the company said that it will make the operating system behind the Meta Quest headsets, Meta Horizon OS, available to other companies to create third-party hardware.

It already has a handful of partners on board to make headsets, with ASUS Republic of Gamers creating "an all-new performance gaming headset," while Lenovo designs one optimized for productivity and entertainment.

Meta also said it will create a limited-edition Meta Quest headset "inspired by Xbox," and Meta CEO Mark Zuckerberg suggested in an Instagram post that one could make a VR headset bundled with an Xbox controller and Game Pass so players could play on a virtual big screen TV wherever they happened to be.

"Our goal is to make it so the open model defines the next generation of computing again, with the metaverse, glasses, and headsets," Zuckerberg said. "That's why we're releasing our operating system, so that more companies can build different things on it."

In keeping with the opening up of the hardware, Meta is renaming the Meta Quest Store as the Meta Horizon Store.

It is also integrating the primary Meta Horizon Store with the App Lab, which to this point has been a separate store for experimental or still-in-development games. Going forward, App Lab titles will be featured in their own section on the main storefront.

Meta is also opening up the Quest more on the software side of things, saying it will make it possible for Quest owners to play content from other storefronts, like Steam, Xbox, and potentially Google Play.

Xbox and Steam games have already been playable on Quest VR headsets through the Xbox Cloud Gaming and Steam Link apps, respectively.

As for Google Play, Meta said it is encouraging Google to make its store accessible via the Quest, and added that Google Play would be allowed to run with "the same economic model it does on other platforms."

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Brendan Sinclair avatar
Brendan Sinclair: Brendan joined in 2012. Based in Toronto, Ontario, he was previously senior news editor at GameSpot.
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