Moon Rider, Firefox and WebVR

A while back in the late summer of 2019, I saw an article over at Road to VR that talked about Firefox’s new VR browser launch. Honestly, I didn’t read much of the article because I didn’t understand what this news suggested about the potential future of new realities. Firefox waxed lyrical about the “seamless transition from 2D to 3D immersive modes”. That to me was an assumption that perhaps the VR viewing mode in YouTube loaded a bit quicker.

“WebVR with Firefox!” – Personally that didn’t mean anything to me at the time.

Of course I was wrong, it wouldn’t be a particularly good post if I was right would it now.

Steam VR, I believed, did a more than substantial job in giving us a virtual reality experience of our desktop. On top of that, there were countless VR video players to satisfy our craving to binge 360 online videos (*cough* most of which had no 360 audio *cough*). But, like I tend to, I was completely missing the point.

Moon Rider is what I was missing, and it suddenly clicked in my head what WebVR could be. Not just a novelty way of surfing the internet, which I still do actually find quite a novelty (the virtual keyboard and voice control seal it for me), but a host for experiences that don’t require a 7GB download every time you want to jump in. This grant so much more explorative power to the user if the content is there, so let’s hope Moon Rider is a start.

What is Moon Rider? Simply put, a completely browser-based free knock-off version of Beat Saber! In a good way! Moon Rider streams songs and visuals directly from the internet, which is pretty incredible considering how much has to be received from your browser. Broadband speed permitting, the tracking speed, haptic feedback and animation is quite a feat. It also really adds appeal to the standalone Oculus Quest, and perhaps the Oculus Go if support is proved for it.

A bit more akin to the arcade dance machines, but mostly the same as Beat Saber.

To try it, just type in moonrider.xyz to a VR supported browser and ready your headset.

Let’s hope the carpet is now rolled out for a wave of new WebVR games, experiences and tools. This development could be a new way of enticing curious gamers and experience-seeker to join the world of new realities and increase the growing popularity of VR/AR and MR. We’ll see!

If anyone knows of any WebVR experiences that should be checked out, let us know!

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