I guess this means we’re in the future now. Today, at the Oculus Connect 6 event in San Jose, social media juggernaut Facebook announced Facebook Horizon, a virtual reality massively-multiplayer social world coming to Oculus Quest and Oculus Rift.
The trailer for the game experience shows users doing activities like painting, exploring islands, interacting with friends, flying planes, and playing laser tag on the moon. As the company writes in a blog post on the official Oculus website,
VR is already a great place to hang out with friends, play games, and watch movies. It’s also a fantastic way to learn new skills and explore our world. Human curiosity and connection are central to each of these experiences, and they’re also at the heart of Horizon. Starting with a bustling town square where people will meet and mingle, the Horizon experience then expands to an interconnected world where people can explore new places, play games, build communities, and even create their own new experiences.
According to the same post, Facebook Horizon will include numerous activities and games designed by Facebook, but will also allow users to create their own worlds, experiences, and games using Horizon’s included tools, no coding necessary. The company also promised to include unspecified safety tools to ensure a welcoming environment for everyone, as well as human guides within the world to provide assistance to users.
Facebook Horizon is set to launch sometime in 2020. To focus on its development, however, Facebook is already shutting down Facebook Spaces and Oculus Rooms effective October 25th, 2019, making it clear that Facebook Horizon is meant to be the company’s next and finest iteration of the social VR spaces. In the meantime, Oculus Quest and Oculus Rift users can sign up for the Facebook Horizon Beta which is planned for early next year.
I’m torn between ending this article on a joke about The Matrix, Sword Art Online, or racist uncles clogging my Facebook feed, so I’ll just leave that up to your imagination.