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Friday, December 8, 2023

Meta really added a helpful characteristic to Horizon Worlds — and a few goofy ones

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Meta’s latest replace to Horizon Worlds, its 3D social community, provides some helpful adjustments, however whereas studying the v133 patch notes, I chuckled greater than as soon as due to issues Meta most likely didn’t intend to be humorous.

Arguably the largest addition is a brand new “time spent” characteristic. The dashboard reveals you the way a lot time you’ve put into Horizon Worlds over seven days and the way that point is split between enjoying in VR and on net / cell.

A screenshot of Horizon Worlds’ “time spent” dashboard — however I don’t know anybody who performs for 4 hours per week.
Picture: Meta

We needs to be cognizant of how a lot time we’re spending watching screens. However given Meta has been struggling to keep Horizon Worlds users, how many individuals will probably be making the most of the time spent tracker? Possibly Meta needs to be spending slightly extra time getting extra folks to truly spend time within the app as a substitute of displaying them how little time they’re at the moment in it.

Meta has one other change that’s extra immediately associated to low participant counts: once you’re shopping “worlds” within the app (Meta’s terminology for experiences you’ll be able to go to) and a world has no concurrent gamers, Meta gained’t present the participant rely on the cardboard for that world. I get why Meta is doing this; if I do know an expertise doesn’t have anybody in it, why would I wish to play it? However not seeing a quantity isn’t precisely encouraging, both.

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One other new characteristic would possibly genuinely be helpful, but it surely’s largely as a result of it fixes the sometimes-poor etiquette of different gamers. When exploring experiences in Horizon Worlds, it’s not unusual to listen to different folks’s microphones choose up ambient sounds round them, which could be distracting and annoying. Fortunately, you’ll be able to mute different gamers, however to assist notably noisy folks get the trace — which, based mostly on my time with Horizon Worlds, a lot of individuals might have — Meta is testing a notification that tells you if numerous different folks have muted you.

Different metaverse platforms like Roblox and Fortnite are nonetheless dramatically extra well-liked than Horizon Worlds, however the incremental enhancements to Horizon Worlds are good all the identical.

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