Things are already changing in the metaverse.
Meta will be moving the event spaces from its Horizon Venues VR app over to the Horizon Worlds platform on June 6, and that's not the only change in store for the nascent VR platform.
For starters, Meta is getting rid of the standalone Horizon Venues app that same day, which will cause some groups to lose access to the event space. If you’re under the age of 18 and live outside the United States or Canada, for instance, the new Venues feature will be inaccessible.
The same goes for people still playing on the old Quest 1 virtual reality headset: They’ll lose access, too. However, you’ll still have access to events via the Oculus TV app, so you can catch replays at a later date.
Players outside of the US and Canada won’t have to wait too long. Meta also announced the new Horizon Worlds will be rolling out to other countries sometime this summer.
Horizons Worlds launched to all users over the age of 18 in December 2021 and saw lukewarm reviews. Some critics appreciated what Meta is going for in its first VR world experience. Horizon Worlds has been criticized for being boring, having middling graphics, and its long load times. The open VR playspace does have some interesting ideas, but it ultimately pales in comparison to other VR titles.
But the lackluster reviews haven’t dampened Meta's enthusiasm for Horizon Worlds. The company shelled out a lot of money to get big-name musical acts on Venues, like the Foo Fighters who have played multiple shows in the digital space.
And in a blog post from mid-April, Meta announced it’ll allow certain creators to build assets for Horizon Worlds and let them sell them for real money. However, the post neglected to say how much creators can charge for their assets and it was only later that Meta confirmed it'll be taking a 47.5 percent cut from transactions.
Meta isn’t reluctant to expand into new territories. It’s essentially taking a page out of Microsoft’s playbook with Project Cambria. Like Microsoft’s HoloLens 2, Project Cambria will be a work-related VR headset. But instead of focusing on industrial or medical fields, Meta’s new headset will be intended for office workers. Instead of meeting on Slack, ideally, you would put on Project Cambria for a meeting in a digital world.
But most of what’s known about Project Cambria has been through leaks and the occasional statement from Meta CEO Mark Zuckerberg. Like the Venues update, the world won’t know the full potential until release day.
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Cesar Cadenas has been writing about the tech industry for several years now specializing in consumer electronics, entertainment devices, Windows, and the gaming industry. But he’s also passionate about smartphones, GPUs, and cybersecurity.