With two big hardware launches, it was unclear quite what Oculus had in store for this week’s Oculus Connect 6 (OC6) event in San Jose. Needless to say, it really didn’t disappoint, with a new hand tracking feature coming next year for Oculus Quest as well as Oculus Link. On the software side, there were a few arrivals, with the most unexpected being social virtual reality (VR) world Facebook Horizon.
Supporting both Oculus Rift and Oculus Quest platforms, Facebook Horizon is the future replacement of Facebook Spaces and Oculus Rooms, with both being closed down on 25th October 2019.
Facebook Horizon is much grander in scale, moving towards the likes of Sansar, Somnium Space and other big social worlds. Designed as an ever-expanding world where people can connect and play together, the centre of this new world will be a town square to meet and mingle. From here it seems there could be no limit, where you can explore; play games like Wing Strikers, a multiplayer aerial experience and eventually create your own experiences.
Just like with most social worlds, you’ll be able to create your own avatar with an array of clothing and body options to suit your own style. After sorting out your avatar it’s time to jump in one of the many telepods (a sort of portal) to whisk you around the world. But there’s not just one Horizon world. Using the World Builder you’ll be able to create your own, from scratch. From a tropical paradise to an interactive action arena, supposedly anything is possible with the easy-to-use creator tools.
If this sounds exactly what you want to dive into using Oculus Rift or Quest then you’ll have to wait as Facebook Horizon isn’t due to launch until 2020. A beta is due to start in early 2020 – which you can sign up to here – so a full launch may happen at next year’s Oculus Connect.
VRFocus will continue its coverage of Facebook Horizon as further updates are released, or take a look at the other news from OC6 like Respawn Entertainment’s first VR title Medal of Honor: Above and Beyond.