Affiliate Disclosure
If you buy through our links, we may get a commission. Read our ethics policy.

Meta needs other companies & developers to challenge Apple Vision Pro

Meta Quest 3

Apple's Vision Pro headset is gaining traction, so Meta has opened up its VR operating system to other manufacturers to maintain its lead in a market it previously dominated.

As a newcomer in the virtual reality space, Apple's Vision Pro brings with it the formidable reputation of its creator. Established companies like Meta have been on high alert to compete with Apple.

The latest move from Meta is the Monday announcement of Meta Horizon OS. It's an attempt to open the Meta Quest platform to third-party hardware makers.

In that announcement, Meta made it clear that it has teamed up with major tech players like ASUS, Lenovo, and Xbox to bolster its hardware offerings. These collaborations are set to produce a range of devices tailored to different user needs, from gaming to productivity and entertainment.

A person wearing VR glasses crouches, interacting with virtual objects in a futuristic room with sky and cloud views.

For instance, ASUS's Republic of Gamers is crafting a performance gaming headset. Lenovo will leverage its expertise to create mixed-reality devices.

Microsoft is expected to release a Xbox-branded headset through the program as well.

Moreover, Qualcomm Technologies plays a crucial role in this ecosystem, providing the Snapdragon processors that power the Meta Quest devices. These processors are integral to delivering the high performance necessary for the sophisticated VR experiences that users demand.

Meta is also changing its app ecosystem to support the hardware expansion. Integrating the Meta Horizon Store and App Lab allows developers more freedom to market their apps and reach a broader audience.

Apple Vision Pro represents a significant challenge for Meta, even though Mark Zuckerberg doesn't seem to think so. With the Vision Pro, Apple not only enters the VR space but does so with the potential to capture a substantial market share quickly, given its brand cachet and name recognition.

Some of the images that Meta included in its announcement are a call back to the Apple Vision Pro announcement. They feature multiple VR screens for productivity and immersive gaming experiences.

A person wearing AR glasses at a desk with holographic displays, interacting with a virtual meeting and 3D architectural model.

"Along with a more open app store, Meta Horizon OS will continue to give people more choice in how to access apps," the announcement says.

The release also takes a dig at Apple's App Store, and points out that popular gaming services like Xbox Game Pass Ultimate and Steam Link are usable. It also notes that the company's own Air Link works for wirelessly streaming PC software to headsets.

While not Microsoft's Game Pass or Steam Link, third parties are working now on SteamVR streaming to Apple Vision Pro. And, a Mac's main screen streams to Apple Vision Pro just fine.

One thing Meta has not done in the interest of openness, though, is open its bootloader.