Today during the Oculus Connect 6 keynote, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg announced Facebook Horizon, a new social VR conencted experience built on the foundation of customizable worlds, expressive avatars, and user-created fun. It’s coming in 2020 for both Quest and Rift with a Closed Beta in early 2020.
In many ways, this looks like the officially branded Oculus response to VR experiences like Rec Room, VRChat, and even the pie in the sky dreams of experiences like The Oasis from Ready Player One. Zuckerberg specifically teased as much earlier this morning before the keynote began.
Here is the video they showed during the keynote:
Zuckerberg described it as welcoming and inclusive from day one, which has often been a struggle for many social VR experiences. Blocking and moderation tools will be included, as well as a detailed avatar customization system.
It seems like a lot of Horizon will be built by users directly, similar to worlds in VRChat, games in Roblox, or custom rooms in Rec Room. According to Zuckerberg, you won’t need to know how to code either. They showed off some in-VR creation tools that let you build things in real time. However, knowing how to code will help make more advanced things.
In the video we see players flying planes in a game made by Facebook called Wing Strikers, exploring massive worlds, and hanging out together. Joining new worlds is as simple as going through a portal, basically just like VRChat.
Apparently this is what Facebook was working on and is likely the reason why apps like Oculus Home, Facebook Spaces, and Rooms aren’t available on Quest at all. It’s unclear how these existing experiences will connect to Horizons, if at all.
There is no firm date set for Horizon, but it is slated for both Rift and Quest, presumably with full crossplay, in 2020 with a Closed Beta in early 2020.
Update: This story was updated after publication with additional details revealed during the keynote presentation at OC6.