Meta today announced it’s opening its operating system to third-parties, and has named three heavy weights that have pledged support for its newly renamed Meta Horizon OS: Asus, Lenovo, and Microsoft’s Xbox.

In a blog post, Meta says it’s tapped ASUS’s Republic of Gamers to develop an “all-new performance gaming headset,” Lenovo to “develop mixed reality devices for productivity, learning, and entertainment,” and Xbox to create its own limited-edition Quest, “inspired by Xbox.”

The company hasn’t shown any of the headsets as such, but this symbolizes a monolithic shift in how the company is controlling its hardware-software stack, likening it to a more Android-style approach as opposed to Apple’s walled garden approach with iOS and Apple Vision Pro.

Admittedly, Meta doesn’t appear to be opening its OS up to just anyone, as all of the devices announced above will likely run on Qualcomm’s Snapdragon SoCs, built specifically for XR. Meta CEO Mark Zuckerberg has however said they’re working with “more” OEMs, so that list may be expanding fairly soon.

“All of these devices will benefit from our long-term collaboration with Qualcomm Technologies, Inc., which builds the Snapdragon processors that are tightly integrated with our software and hardware stacks,” Meta says in the announcement, noting that companies building hardware for this new ecosystem can also “leverage the benefits of these chipsets and custom software enhancements.”

There’s plenty of room for speculation at this point since the announcement is so sparse with details. Xbox’s pledge to create the limited-edition Quest will be interesting to watch. Although it could be just a simple branding deal, it may also be an opportunity for Xbox to use it as a nucleation site for eventually integrating XR headsets into the Xbox ecosystem—or beyond Meta’s previously added support for Xbox Cloud Gaming on Quest, which lets players play 2D virtual screen in mixed and virtual reality.

What’s more, all of the OEMs working with Meta have built VR headsets before, the most notable of which were the fleet of Windows Mixed Reality PC VR headsets released in 2017, which included manufacturers Lenovo, Asus, Samsung, Acer, HP, and Dell. Microsoft subsequently shut down the Windows Mixed Reality platform in late 2023.

Meta says it’s bringing the “Horizon social layer currently powering Meta Quest devices” to to the third-party hardware in its new Horizon OS ecosystem, which comes part an parcel with the newly renamed ‘Meta Horizon’ app and Horizon Store (ex-Quest Store).

The post ASUS, Lenovo & Xbox Are All Making XR Headsets Running Meta’s New Third-party Friendly Operating System appeared first on Road to VR.