Capital is flying ahead and technology is chasing behind. Is the Metaverse a bubble or the future?

Burning money is not enough, can the Metaverse work?

On Tuesday, Zuckerberg posted a selfie of himself in Horizon Worlds on Facebook, and said excitedly that the platform will soon launch in France and Spain.

Capital is flying ahead and technology is chasing behind. Is the Metaverse a bubble or the future?

However, unlike the joy in Zuckerberg’s words, netizens paid more attention to the rough picture released by Zuckerberg, and immediately launched a lot of ridicule. In Zuckerberg’s screenshots, his avatar has big, abrupt eyes and looks very stiff, with shadows of the Eiffel Tower and Barcelona’s Sagrada Familia looming in the rough graphics behind him.

Some netizens compared the screenshots of Horizon Worlds released by Zuckerberg with the “Second Life” screen, and the Horizon Worlds launched in 2021 is not even as refined as the “Second Life” screen launched in 2003.

To honor his respect, on Friday, Zuckerberg uploaded two slightly more refined screenshots, and said that Horizon Worlds and avatar graphics are about to undergo major updates, promising, “I’m sure, Horizon Worlds The graphics are very powerful, and the picture quality on the VR headset is also very good.”

Capital is flying ahead and technology is chasing behind. Is the Metaverse a bubble or the future?

However, netizens obviously don’t buy the following article. You must know that, according to Zuckerberg, Meta’s investment in the Metaverse project alone is as high as $10 billion, but the real money is only handed over. Unfinished semi-finished products.

In addition to ridicule, public opinion also began to sing about Meta’s Metaverse. Many netizens believe that Meta’s Metaverse is just a gimmick, and even assert that the Metaverse itself is a capital scam.

Indeed, neither the screenshot selfies that Zuckerberg posted nor the experience of Horizon Worlds itself were ideal. Meta has been renamed for nearly a year, and Zuckerberg has only handed over such a transcript. Is Meta’s dream of the Metaverse out of play? Meta collapses, can the Metaverse still be the outlet of the future?

Horizon Worlds – an important part of Zuckerberg’s Metaverse

Zuckerberg, who started as a social platform, has obviously bigger ambitions in the Metaverse.Zuckerberg said on the second-quarter 2022 earnings call that “the virtual world is becoming more and more important in all aspects of life, and social platforms, entertainment, work, education, business, etc. are all changing.” Zhong Cheng, COO of Beijing Yizhong Times, said that from the perspective of Zuckerberg’s Metaverse layout, he is indeed building a Facebook in the Metaverse era.

The Horizon Metaverse platform created by Meta involves entertainment, office, social and other scenarios. Initially, Horizon includes: Horizon Worlds (Metaverse social platform), Horizon Venues (VR event application: users can participate in live events online through VR devices such as Oculus, such as competitive games, concerts and dinner parties), Horizon Workrooms (virtual Office Platform: An enterprise-centric virtual collaboration platform that allows users to work online, hold work meetings, and collaborate among employees in a VR environment, and Horizon Home (virtual home: in Horizon Home, users can customize the appearance of their space) interior, allowing users to invite friends to visit their own space or play VR games together), and in May, Meta announced the integration of Horizon Venues into Horizon Worlds.

The predecessor of Horizon Worlds is Facebook Horizon. In fact, Zuckerberg has paid attention to the virtual social track long before the concept of the Metaverse exploded. At Oculus Connect 6 in September 2019, Facebook introduced Facebook Horizon.

However, for nearly a year, the app has been in closed beta testing. It was not until August 2020 that Facebook released a little more wind, saying that it would invite more users to test. With Facebook officially changing its name to Meta, the development of this app has also entered a “big step” stage. On December 9, 2021, Horizon Worlds was officially released to people aged 18 and over in the United States and Canada.

Capital is flying ahead and technology is chasing behind. Is the Metaverse a bubble or the future?

Source: Horizon Worlds official website

After the official launch, the controversy about Horizon Worlds has not stopped, including violations in virtual social networking, rough avatar image design, social delay and other issues. The public opinion on Horizon Worlds is mostly negative.

The Meta side is also working hard to change the negative image in public perception. Currently, Horizon Worlds can only be accessed through VR headsets, and the cost threshold has discouraged some users. So in April, Meta said it was working on a web version, and Zuckerberg also revealed that the mobile version of Horizon Worlds would be available later in 2022.

At the same time, Meta is also working to iterate on product features, adding voice chat controls, a 4-foot security limit, and more. Thanks to Meta’s efforts, Horizon Worlds finally has good news. In February of this year, Meta data showed that Horizon Worlds’ monthly active users exceeded 300,000.

And just when Horizon Worlds was finally ready to move forward steadily, a rough selfie by Zuckerberg sent Horizon Worlds into a whirlpool of public opinion.

Horizon Worlds’ underperforming ills appear

This time, netizens’ complaints about Horizon Worlds focused on its rough picture and low cartoon style.

In Horizon Worlds, all virtual avatars have only the upper body, which European and American netizens jokingly call “legless ghosts”. VR player Winky was very impressed with the virtual avatar of Horizon Worlds, because “I pinched the image of the whole body during the pinching session. I thought it was an upgrade of Horizon Worlds, but when I actually started playing, I found that my legs were gone, and only the left It’s kind of weird to be floating in the air.”

Capital is flying ahead and technology is chasing behind. Is the Metaverse a bubble or the future?

Source: Horizon Worlds official website

In addition to the controversial “legless ghost”, the image design of the Horizon Worlds avatar is also the hardest hit by many players. “The options provided are relatively few, obviously relatively rough, and there is still a big gap compared with “The Sims”. In addition, Horizon Worlds’ main social and gaming experience is not ideal. Phenomenons such as delay and freeze will make users feel a sense of separation between the virtual world and the real world. These questions show that Meta still needs to achieve breakthrough results at the technical level.

Horizon Worlds wants to achieve the same exquisite pictures as traditional game consoles, and puts forward great requirements on the real-time rendering capabilities of VR. Unlike a 2D screen, the amount of graphics computation required to render a virtual 3D space is very large, and the CPU performance requirements and network requirements are also very high. From this level, it is not fair to use “Second Life” to step on Horizon Worlds.

VRChat adopts the method of distributing information on demand to adjust the contradiction between the picture and performance: only users and pictures at a certain distance are rendered in the space. The pressure of real-time rendering.

In terms of social experience in virtual space, the underlying technical support is even more urgent.Zhong Cheng said that although VR brings a strong sense of immersion, it also amplifies our feelings, so small delays caused by technology will affect users’ VR experience. However, in order to achieve a smooth social experience, the technical level of GPU micro-architecture, graphics computing power, and synchronous sharing of server networks needs to be further improved.

However, the Horizon port is connected to the Quest 2 all-in-one machine, and the performance of the Quest 2 is only a little stronger than that of the Snapdragon 845, and slightly inferior to that of the Snapdragon 865. Based on the performance of Quest 2, Horizon Worlds can only make corresponding sacrifices in terms of picture quality and experience.

In addition to the technical barriers mentioned above, the biggest problem with Horizon Worlds is the imperfect operating rules. At the end of May this year, a female researcher was assaulted at Horizon Worlds. In fact, Meta launched a number of VR games last year, and the number of associated online sexual assault incidents has exceeded five. Public opinion has begun to realize that the virtual world, like the real world, needs clear rules and constraints, which puts forward higher requirements for Horizon Worlds, which was launched last year.

Meta is frustrated, is the Metaverse still an outlet?

After the Metaverse concept became popular in the capital circle last year, Zuckerberg eagerly renamed Facebook to Meta, making a high-profile bet on the Metaverse, and has been investing heavily since then. Zuckerberg has been radical in his exploration of the Metaverse.

However, what investors did not expect was that in just one year, Meta invested 10 billion US dollars in Metaverse-related projects. What is even more unacceptable is that under the heavy money, the results are not satisfactory. The former CTO of Oculus believes that Meta’s returns are far below expectations.

The “Metaverse” that was originally considered to be a capital self-rescue bubble is now also affected by Meta’s current decline. Public opinion began to wonder, is the Metaverse dying?

The Metaverse depicts a virtual space parallel to the real world. Zhong Cheng said that if the real world is virtualized and displayed to every user in a VR immersive scene, it actually requires huge computing power, and it must be a long process to achieve all this.

That is to say, the Metaverse cannot be achieved overnight, nor can it achieve major breakthroughs in a year. Public opinion is closely observing what new changes the so-called “window” of the Metaverse can bring. Investors are eagerly watching whether the tens of billions of dollars have been lost, while Zuckerberg wants to “save himself” through the Metaverse. , to save an “aging” Facebook.They all hope to see the implementation of the emerging concept of the Metaverse in the short term, but there is a huge gap between this expectation and the technical barriers. Therefore, Meta can only submit this “do your best and obey destiny” at present. answer sheet.

Of course, under financial pressure, Zuckerberg also had to slow down the Metaverse’s strategy.Meta is slowing hiring for VR jobs, according to workplace research firm Revelio Labs. Previous data from Revelio Labs showed that from April to June this year, job postings for jobs related to the industry’s “Metaverse” dropped by 81%. This is not unrelated to the current decline in the global economic situation, as companies seek to survive by reducing costs and increasing efficiency. As a “gold-absorbing black hole”, the initial investment of Metaverse is indeed huge.

Capital is flying ahead and technology is chasing behind. Is the Metaverse a bubble or the future?

Source: revelio labs

Capital is flying ahead and technology is chasing behind. Is the Metaverse a bubble or the future?

Source: revelio labs

Different from the negative judgments of the outside world, industry insiders said that the demand for talents in the Metaverse is still very high. While Meta has slowed hiring, other tech companies are scrambling to fill the vacancies.

And these big factories are also very generous. According to media reports, if ordinary freshmen meet the requirements of the Metaverse, the salary can reach about 400,000-500,000 yuan, and the salary of senior engineers with 10 years of experience is as high as 1 million-2 million yuan. For particularly outstanding talents, companies can also offer high salaries of 4 million to 5 million yuan.

Professor Rogers of the United States put forward the famous innovation diffusion theory. Logis believes that innovation is a concept, practice or thing that is regarded as novel, and people’s attitudes towards new things are significantly different. Every new field has a small number of pioneers and early adopters. Most people take a wait-and-see attitude in the early stage. As a new concept, in the process of becoming popular, the Metaverse will inevitably experience the process of being questioned, and as for its future direction, we can only give time to answer.

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