Meta Quest’s software is coming to new Asus ROG and Lenovo headsets

It’s a big day for Quest users. Meta has announced it’s giving third-party companies open access to its headsets' operating system to expand the technology. The tech giant wants developers to take the OS, expand into other frontiers, and accomplish two main goals: give consumers more choice in the virtual reality gaming market and give developers a chance to reach a wider audience.

Among this first batch of partners, some are already working on a Quest device. First off, ASUS’ ROG (Republic of Gamers) is said to be developing “an all-new performance gaming headset.” Lenovo’s on the list too and they’re seemingly working on three individual models: one for productivity, one for education, and one for entertainment. 

This past December, Xbox Cloud Gaming landed on Quest headsets as a beta bringing a wave of new games to the hardware. Microsoft is teaming up with Meta again “to create a limited-edition Meta Quest [headset], inspired by Xbox.” 

New philosophy

Meta is also making several name changes befitting their tech’s transformation. 

The operating system will now be known as Horizon OS. The company’s Meta Quest Store will be renamed the Horizon Store, and the mobile app will eventually be rebranded as the Horizon app. To aid with the transition, third-party devs are set to receive a spatial app framework to bring their software over to Horizon OS or help them create a new product.

With Horizon at the core of this ecosystem, Meta aims to introduce social features that dev teams “can integrate… into their [software]”. They aim to bridge multiple platforms together creating a network existing “across mixed reality, mobile, and desktop devices.” Users will be able to move their avatars, friend groups, and more onto other “virtual spaces”. 

This design philosophy was echoed by Meta CEO Mark Zuckerberg. In a recent Instagram video, Zuckerberg stated he wants Horizon OS to be an open playground where developers can come in and freely create software rather than a walled garden similar to iOS.  

Breaking down barriers

It’ll be a while until we see any of these headsets launch. Zuckerberg said in his post that “it’s probably going to take a couple of years for these” products to launch. At the moment, Meta is “removing the barriers” between its App Lab and digital storefront allowing devs to publish software on the platform as long as they meet “basic technical and content” guidelines. It’s unknown if there'll be any more limitations apart from requiring third-party companies to use Snapdragon processors.

No word if other tech brands will join in. Zuckerberg says he hopes to see the Horizon Store offer lots of software options from Steam, Xbox Cloud Gaming, and even apps from the Google Play Store – “if they’re up for it.” It seems Google isn’t on board with Horizon OS yet. 

Rumors have been circulating these past several months claiming Google and Samsung are working together on an XR/VR headset. Perhaps the two are ignoring Meta’s calls to focus on their “so-called Apple Vision Pro rival”.

Be sure to check out TechRadar's recommendations for the best VR headsets for 2024.

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