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Facebook Rebrands as Meta and Announces Grand Theft Auto in VR

Mark Zuckerberg is shifting his focus to building a multi-billion augmented reality known as the metaverse

Grand Theft Auto VR
Grand Theft Auto in VR, photo via VR Scout
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    As Mark Zuckerberg looks to obfuscate responsibility for the real-life damage caused by Facebook, he’s turning his attention to augmented reality with the goal of building a multi-billion dollar metaverse over the next decade. And as part of that shift in focus, Facebook’s corporate company has been rebranded as Meta.

    Zuckerberg announced the name change at the end of an hour-long presentation demonstrating his vision for the metaverse. He said the Meta brand reflects “who we are and what we hope to build…  in our DNA, we are a company that builds technology to connect people. And the metaverse is the next frontier just like social networking was when we got started.” (To be clear, the name change is for Facebook’s corporate entity; Facebook will remain the name of the company’s social network.)

    “In the metaverse, you’ll be able to do almost anything you can imagine — get together with friends and family, work, learn, play, shop, create — as well as completely new experiences that don’t really fit how we think about computers or phones today,” Zuckerberg said.

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    “In this future, you will be able to teleport instantly as a hologram to be at the office without a commute, at a concert with friends, or in your parents’ living room to catch up. This will open up more opportunity no matter where you live. You’ll be able to spend more time on what matters to you, cut down time in traffic, and reduce your carbon footprint.”

    “You’ll move across these experiences on different devices — augmented reality glasses to stay present in the physical world, virtual reality to be fully immersed, and phones and computers to jump in from existing platforms. This isn’t about spending more time on screens; it’s about making the time we already spend better.”

    Though it will takes years before the metaverse is fully realized, certain features will arrive in the near future. Among them is a virtual reality edition of Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas, which will be exclusive to Oculus Quest 2.

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    Zuckerberg said this version of GTA will “offer players an entirely new way to experience this iconic open world in virtual reality” — shooting hookers, sniper-rifling civilians, running over cars with tanks, and all.

    Rockstar Games, the developer of Grand Theft Auto, also recently announced enhanced versions of GTA III, GTA Vice City, and GTA San Andreas to be released for all modern gaming platforms, including Xbox Series X, Xbox One, PlayStation 5, PlayStation 4, Nintendo Switch, and Windows PC.

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