Meta Affirms it Will Continue Making Quest Headsets Even as it Offers OS to (select) Third Parties

Meta says that even though third-parties will be making headsets with Quest OS (now called Horizon OS) the company will continue to develop its line of Quest headsets.

Meta made a huge announcement today, saying that the Quest operating system, rebranded to Meta Horizon OS, would be the software basis of new headsets built by third parties like Asus and Lenovo.

With that news came two big questions:

Will Meta continue making its own Quest headsets?
Will Horizon OS be open to anyone, or only select partners?

Meta tells Road to VR that it will indeed continue building its own hardware, even as third-party Horizon OS headsets come to market.

“Meta will continue to push the boundaries of mixed reality device capabilities through our own Quest portfolio,” a Meta spokesperson said.

That aligns with the branding decisions the company has made around this announcement. The Quest OS is becoming Horizon OS and the Quest Store is becoming the Horizon Store. Otherwise it would be strange for the Quest OS to run on Quest headsets and other headsets.

Indeed, Quest is being positioned as Meta’s line of headsets, while ‘Horizon’ is being positioned as the software platform overall. Previously ‘Quest’ was essentially used for both the headsets and the platform.

But won’t that mean Meta will be competing with its own hardware partners? Well, yes… but for now it seems the company imagines there’s enough room for specialized headsets from its partners—like different headsets for gaming, exercise, or work—without too much overlap.

Meta also confirmed to Road to VR that Meta Horizon OS is only being made available to select partners, at least for now. That means only those who get specific permission from Meta can use the OS.

Although Meta has said it wants to be the ‘Android of XR’, the decision to make Horizon OS available only to select partners flies in the face of the Android Open Source Project, which is truly open source and available for anyone to use, for free (though it doesn’t include some of Google’s key services like the Play Store). This is ironic, of course, because Meta’s Horizon OS itself is based on the open source version of Android.

The post Meta Affirms it Will Continue Making Quest Headsets Even as it Offers OS to (select) Third Parties appeared first on Road to VR.