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Virtual Reality

Asus, Lenovo, and Xbox partner with Meta for VR expansion

Meta wants to be the Microsoft Windows of virtual reality.

Woman using virtual reality for architectural design.

Meta announced that the operating system that powers its Quest virtual reality headsets will be available for third-party manufacturers to use.

It’s an unexpected change from the company, whose Meta Quest headsets are the class leader in the U.S. market (via CNBC).

Meta says that the VR and mixed-reality market growth means there’s a place for “specialized hardware” designed for specific use cases like gaming, entertainment, or productivity.

Now, it’s partnering with trusted manufacturers to do just that, giving them access to the rebranded Meta Horizon OS that powers the Quest line of mixed-reality headsets.

Companies using Meta Horizon OS include Xbox, Lenovo, and Asus

Man playing virtual reality shooter game.
Image: Meta

Some of the biggest names in consumer hardware are already on board. Asus is working on a “performance gaming” headset. Lenovo is working on mixed reality headsets for “productivity, learning, and entertainment.”

And Microsoft is also on board, with its Xbox division creating a “limited-edition Meta Quest, inspired by Xbox.” It’s not quite the answer to Sony’s PSVR, but it’s a start.

Details were scarce, but we imagine it will carry Xbox branding and make it easy to play Xbox Cloud Gaming in mixed reality, possibly bundled with an Xbox controller.

With Meta opening up its operating system to other manufacturers, it creates a similar situation to Microsoft’s licensing of Windows on the PC market.

That’s clearly the end game here, as the first operating system to gain widespread adoption with manufacturers often becomes the dominant force in the industry.

Other minor changes include the Meta Quest Store being renamed to the Meta Horizon Store, and the App Lab for experimental games being folded into the main store.

Also, Meta offered an invitation to Google and the Google Play Store, saying it could come to Meta Horizon OS with “the same economic model it does on other platforms.”

The metaverse as envisioned by Meta is no longer constrained to its own hardware. The only question left is will it ever gain mass adoption by consumers.

Will the best Meta Quest headset come from another manufacturer? Is the metaverse expanding? Drop us a line in the comments below, or carry the discussion to our Twitter or Facebook.

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Maker, meme-r, and unabashed geek with nearly half a decade of blogging experience at KnowTechie, SlashGear and XDA Developers. If it runs on electricity (or even if it doesn't), Joe probably has one around his office somewhere, with particular focus in gadgetry and handheld gaming. Shoot him an email at joe@knowtechie.com.

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