Meta will allow Xbox, Lenovo, and Asus manufacture new Quest metaverse gear.

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    Meta has announced that it will “open” the operating system that drives its Quest mixed-reality devices to third-party hardware and software development.

    The makeover includes a new name, “Meta Horizon OS,” and a rebranding of the Quest Store as the “Meta Horizon Store.” It also brings together three high-profile partners: Asus, Lenovo, and Microsoft’s Xbox brand.

    According to a blog post by Meta, each of the partners will collaborate with the brand to create their own mixed/virtual reality devices.

    Asus’s Republic of Gamers is developing a “performance gaming headset,” however specifics are still unknown. This might signal that it will prioritize high-fidelity images and audio, as well as multiplayer networking.

    Lenovo is also planning to create its own Horizon OS devices. Before Facebook bought Meta and the Oculus vertical was renamed as Quest, the Chinese tech giant collaborated with it to produce the company’s Oculus Rift S headsets.

    Microsoft’s Xbox brand is also collaborating with Meta to create a limited edition Xbox-themed Quest headset. There is no sign that Xbox will release its own VR devices to compete with PlayStation VR. According to the blog post, this will be a continuation of the two firms’ earlier Quest headgear relationship, which allowed users to play Xbox games on a flat, 2D screen placed within a virtual reality environment.

    Meta has also announced the opening of a “App Lab” to publish games created by smaller developers. According to the blog post, this will be similar to the “arcade” or independent developer offers seen at many game stores, which feature lower-priced and lesser-known titles:

    “We’re beginning the process of removing the barriers between the Meta Horizon Store and App Lab, which lets any developer who meets basic technical and content requirements release software on the platform. App Lab titles will soon be featured in a dedicated section of the store on all our devices, making them easy for larger audiences to discover.”

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