Meta has updated Horizon Worlds, its main virtual reality / “metaverse” app, to make it easier to report bugs. If you see something going wrong while using the app, you can now press and hold the A, B, X, and Y buttons on your controllers to bring up the “report a problem” window, where you can also attach a screenshot showing what went wrong.
If the experience seems familiar, it may be because it’s been in testing for a while; according to Meta spokesperson Kelsi Horn, there were early tests available to “a subset of creators” as far back as April 2021. Since then, according to Horn, Meta has improved the UI and is now rolling it out to everyone. Horn added that “bugs reported through this tool are individually triaged by members of the Horizon Worlds team,” so it seems like Meta’s definitely trying to pay attention to the reports.
That’s not necessarily a surprise. In the blog post announcing the update, Meta admits that a competition it ran in the app couldn’t be fairly judged because “the platform was unstable and had too many bugs near the end of the competition.” A recent report from my colleague Alex Heath reveals that Horizon’s bugginess has been a sore spot within the company; the team behind it is in a “quality lockdown” for the rest of 2022 to iron out the bugs before more people start using the app (early this year, Alex reported that it had around 300,000 monthly users). In a memo, Meta’s VP of metaverse, Vishal Shah, told employees: “feedback from our creators, users, playtesters, and many of us on the team is that the aggregate weight of papercuts, stability issues, and bugs is making it too hard for our community to experience the magic of Horizon.”
Meta is also making it a priority for its employees to actually start using Horizon — “everyone in this organization should make it their mission to fall in love with Horizon Worlds,” Shah wrote, questioning why the team who built the app doesn’t spend more time in it themselves.
Meta CEO Mark Zuckerberg, whose vision has largely driven the company’s metaverse efforts, has promised to share details about “major updates to Horizon and avatar graphics” at the company’s Connect conference on October 11th. The company’s also set to announce its next-gen headset, the Quest Pro, which seemingly leaked in spectacular fashion last month. Of course, new graphics and new hardware could mean a host of new bugs as well, so this upgrade to the reporting system is well-timed.