We’re getting closer and closer to a world where we might be able to punch Mark Zuckerberg… virtually, of course. That’s because a UFC-like experience is coming to the Meta Quest through a simulated stadium-side experience.
On Wednesday, Meta announced it’s “cooking up something special” for MMA fans in Horizon Worlds: a UFC-themed space inside the company’s flagship “metaverse.” This space will include a recreation of the octagon which could potentially include a VR view of live fights, as hinted by Meta Product Marketing Director Meaghan Fitzgerald.
It’s unclear if players will be able to actually get into the ring, but the company is promising some “interactive games” for them to play. Will this be mere trivia, or an actual chance to step into the ring with the jiu-jitsu blue belt Zuckerberg himself? Will players be able to digitally recreate the Elon Musk-Zuck showdown that’s looking very unlikely at this point? Will somebody finally give us a sequel to the Wii Sports boxing minigame? After all, Zuckerberg already showed off his fencing skills in a VR game last year. Why not boxing as well?
Those are the real questions that people care about, but in the meantime, Meta said folks with Quest headsets will be able to watch UFC live fights through the company’s Xtadium app. The camera is positioned just above the ring, so you and a couple of your friends’ floating torsos can sit just above the cage edge and gesture awkwardly at the two men beating each other up below you.
The fights are captured in 4K resolution with a 180-degree viewing angle of the ring, and users can switch up their viewing angle to be above or behind the cage during a fight. The system uses YBVR to automatically adjust video quality based on network speed. Users who want to watch live fights will need to have a $10-a-month UFC Fight Pass subscription and tune in for select live broadcasts, though they should have access to past fights as well through the Xtadium UI.
Zuckerberg has been posting thirst traps of himself online of his new, swol-ified form due to his new fixation with martial arts. Nothing wrong with the guy who tried to kill democracy living his best life, of course. His Instagram also includes him sparkling up his face and taking his children to a Taylor Swift Eras Tour concert. Though his fighting obsession may be getting out of hand. On Wednesday, he posted a screenshot of texts between him and his wife Priscilla Chan. He excitedly told her about the octagon he built for himself in their backyard, to which Chan responded “I have been working on that grass for two years.”
If we had to offer any advice to Mark, it would be to talk to his family first about any big changes to the home they share. Hell, you could even apply the same advice for those still holding out for Zuckerberg’s capital-M “Metaverse” project.
Years after launch, Horizon Worlds still feels like a beta. Avatars still don’t have legs despite multiple upgrades. The company launched a small first-person shooter game called Super Rumble last week with the tagline that it comes with seven weapons and six superpowers like “Super Jump.” According to Meta, the new game is just “the first of many Worlds experiences” that will showcase better graphics, better gameplay, and “quests and rewards.” How this relates to the UFC world is another question entirely. Considering how Horizon Worlds users only recently gained the ability to text each other, we probably shouldn’t be thinking of anything too revolutionary.