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‘People have lost interest in the metaverse’

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Technology companies such as Facebook’s parent meta (FB) And Microsoft (MSFT) Is investing in the planning of Metaverse, a 3D virtual world that tech executives are crazy about. But so far, the experience users have is far from Silicon Valley’s promise of seamless interaction between surreal avatars and the real world. And it has the potential to turn off consumers.

“People are losing interest in the Metaverse because the characters look like legless cartoons,” Marc Petit, VP of Epic Games and general manager of Unreal Engine, told Yahoo Finance. “That is, who wants to be that? This is not attractive.”

Petit’s critique is not such a thinly obscured reference to Meta’s “Horizon World” platform. The company’s main metaverse experience, “Holizon Worlds,” features legless and graphic-free avatars that are far from those found in modern big-budget video games.

And exceeding such expectations can alienate users in the long run.

We are years away from the promised Metaverse

The concept of the Metaverse was first introduced by Neil Stevenson’s 1992 novel “Snow Crash.” But tech companies have pursued the idea that 3D virtual worlds could come even longer.

It will take years for the Metaverse to reach that potential. (Photo by SERGIO FLORES / AFP via Getty Images)

Meta has been renamed to show that it’s focused on the Metaverse, but Microsoft is looking for ways to use the Metaverse for both entertainment and work. Google is also interested in the concept, with Apple reportedly working on its own augmented reality headset, which may debut later this year.

But so far, the way Metaverse has been sold to consumers has been vague and full of far-flung technologies. In an October presentation, MetaCEO Mark Zuckerberg talked to his friends’ realistic projections through augmented reality glasses, showing off a world where they can play games with their friends in a “ReadyPlayerOne” style world.

But what we have now is far from that. Rather than an endless online world, Meta’s “Horizon Worlds” are a small gathering place for early adopters.

Moreover, there are signs that even young people have a vague understanding of the Metaverse.According to Piper Sandler’s latest work Acquired shares in a survey of teens, 26% of teens have some kind of VR device, 5% use it daily and 17% use it weekly. In addition, 50% of teens are not confident in the Metaverse or are not willing to buy a VR device.

The Fortnite logo will be seen at the Paris Games Week (PGW), a video game trade fair in Paris, France, on October 25, 2018.  REUTERS / Benoit Tessier

Epic Games’ Fortnite gives you an early glimpse into the potential of the Metaverse without the need for a headset or anything. Reuters / Benoit Tessier

Of course, Epic Games makes the very popular game “Fortnite”. This is itself an early form of the Metaverse. Gamers can take part in the game “Battle Royale”, watch Ariana Grande concerts, and see discussions about racing with Killer Mike and Yemelhill.

“Fortnite” is considered a sort of path to the Metaverse, but Epic doesn’t have an overall outlook for its future.

In order for the overall consumer to reach the level of falling in love with the Metaverse, companies need to provide photo-realistic graphics and make sure their experience is worth the dive.

“The Metaverse needs to be about where and what content consumers want to consume,” Petit said. “It shouldn’t look like the graphics of the 1980s, like many of the things we see today.”

If Metaverse pans out the way Silicon Valley companies want, it will take years of continuous development and invention to reach the level of photorealism.

“We have to go at our own pace,” Petit said. “Something like a pandemic has forced us to be aware of the Metaverse, their social experiences, but it has already taken 30 years to get to where we are … in my opinion. , I haven’t seen anything about the Metaverse yet. “

For companies like Meta, the wait time may be too long. Social media companies will spend $ 10.2 billion on Metaverse’s vision in 2021 alone, including building virtual and augmented reality headsets, and software users will need access to the virtual world. According to Zuckerberg, it won’t be rewarded for another 15 years.

That spending also occurs when the company is experiencing a slowdown in ad sales related to inflation, the war in Ukraine, and changes in Apple’s iOS privacy.

When it comes to petits, his Metaverse vision isn’t just about headsets. According to VP, the Metaverse will allow consumers to view all content and information, from eyeglasses to car windshields.

This is a concept shared by others in the field that Metaverse is more about extracting data and information from the real world, not about the virtual world you step into.

For now, consumers like you and me have to settle down and wait for the Metaverse to continue to take shape. But there is one thing for sure. It means I haven’t seen anything yet.

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