Who is suffocating the Metaverse?

How far are we from Ready Player One?

In the past 2021, whether it was the official listing of the Metaverse concept stock Roblox on the New York Stock Exchange, or the renaming of Facebook to Meta, there were signs of the arrival of the wind.

And the Metaverse, a concept that originated in the novel “Avalanche”, has re-entered the public eye after 30 years.

In layman’s terms, the so-called Metaverse is the virtual world that maps the virtual avatars of human beings. But in the current context, the Metaverse seems to be endowed with multiple meanings.

According to Shen Yang, executive director of the New Media Research Center of Tsinghua University, the Metaverse is a new type of Internet application and social form that integrates a variety of new technologies. And Tesla CEO Elon Musk put it bluntly: “The Metaverse is more of a popular marketing term.”

All parties have different opinions, but the outbreak of the Metaverse concept is obvious to all.

ByteDance moves frequently on the VR track; Ali established Yuanjingshengsheng and entered the Metaverse; Tencent exposed the Metaverse project Z PLAN and planned to acquire Black Shark Technology to turn to VR equipment; Baidu hurriedly launched the Xirong App, intending to bite the Metaverse crab.

At the top of the trend, the players who jumped into the track are obviously not only the keen Internet veterans, but also a group of game, smart device, social, and technology companies vying to rely on Xiangyuan Universe, and set off a carnival in the capital market with the help of concept catalysis.

Under the heat, where did the so-called Metaverse go?

content black hole

At the moment, the virtual space carried by the Metaverse is undoubtedly barren.

At the end of 2021, Meta of All In Metaverse will hold three Metaverse concerts on its VR platform Horizon Venues, which are open to OculusVR users for free.

To this end, Meta spared no expense and invited Young Thug, DJ David Guetta and The Chainsmokers. Behind the luxurious lineup, it seems that Meta’s Sima Zhao’s heart has been exposed.

Obviously, Meta’s move is intended to replicate the grand occasion of Travis Scott’s concert in “Fortnite” in 2020. The latter, as the pinnacle of the virtual concert, attracted a total of over 10 million players to watch in the game, and the opening song “THE SCOTTS” directly topped the Spotify global chart.

Who is suffocating the Metaverse?

However, this re-enactment of Meta did not bring a perfect ending to the first year of the Metaverse as expected. Instead, it was a question mark in the public eye.

According to Oculus’ official website, the Metaverse concert was the hottest, with only 18,000 viewers.

Compared with the bizarre visual effects in “Fortress Night”, the concert content shown by Meta is simple and bland. Not only that, David Guetta’s concert uses 2D live video instead of 3D scenes, and no one cares about it. nature.

Who is suffocating the Metaverse?

Although there may be many reasons behind the carnival and the cold, such as hardware constraints and user accumulation, the gap at the sensory level is obviously the most intuitive reason for its difficulty in raising the voice.

In fact, the same story was also staged in the subsequent Baidu’s Xiyang.

In mid-November 2021, Baidu launched the “Xi Rong” social app, and on December 21, “Xi Rong” opened for internal testing.

In Baidu’s words, “Xi Rong” will create a multi-person interactive virtual world with identity, spanning virtual and reality, and permanent existence.

However, the user feedback is very different from the official definition – rough modeling and stuck-on molds have become mainstream evaluations. Even Ma Jie, the person in charge of Xiyang, also said that it is only a negative 6.0 version of the Metaverse product at this stage.

Domestic and foreign giants have been smashed one after another, exposing the black hole at the content level of the Metaverse.

Looking around, apart from the concept itself, few companies in the Metaverse Track can come up with convincing products and content. Instead, Epic, the maker of “Fortnite”, blurred the distinction between virtual and reality with its own engine Unreal 5. boundary.

It is true that it has been less than a year since the concept of the Metaverse was detonated. It is a bit harsh to expect high-quality products to be born in such a short period of time, but even if you take a long-term view, it is still difficult to see the opportunity for the Metaverse to move from concept to implementation. .

The “2020-2021 Metaverse Development Research Report” released by the New Media Research Center of Tsinghua University pointed out that the conceptual layout of the Metaverse is still concentrated in the field of XR and game social networking. There is still a long process of “de-foaming” between vision and reality.

It can be seen that the Metaverse concept bubble is just at the time, but the core is still in its infancy, and there is still a long gap from the final form in the mouth of “speculators”.

Taking a ten thousand steps back, can the XR and game social fields that various people deploy one after another really penetrate the content black hole of the Metaverse?

Hardware and software constraints

Generally speaking, XR covers VR and AR, and refers to the combination of real and virtual through computers to create a virtual environment that can be interacted with by humans and machines.

At present, although VR equipment is subject to hardware technology, it is still unable to achieve “de-graining”, but with the iterative update of technology, the product level has faded from the immaturity of the early years, the resolution and refresh rate have steadily improved, and the user experience is also tending to be improve.

Who is suffocating the Metaverse?

With the deployment of VR/AR tracks by various companies, the price of related hardware has gradually become more affordable to ordinary people.

According to chip supplier Qualcomm, the VR device Oculus Quest 2 has sold 10 million units, far exceeding market expectations. According to IDC’s forecast, from 2020 to 2024, the compound annual growth rate of the global spending scale of the AR/VR market will reach 54.0%, and the growth trend is obvious.

Conceptually, the XR track is undoubtedly coupled with the Metaverse concept of immersive experience and mirrored reality. But in fact, even if VR/AR hardware is the entrance to the Metaverse, the fact that the hardware carrier is heading towards the sun does not mean that the Metaverse is ripe.

Instead, the VR track may be heading down a very different path to the same Metaverse.

An industry insider pointed out that it is not realistic to experience the realistic scene of 3A-level games simply through VR equipment, and such games still need to use PC to render pictures and provide computing power. Taking the famous “Half-Life: Alyx” in the VR field as an example, the performance of the VR all-in-one machine is difficult to support its operation.

The weak performance of VR equipment limits the imagination space at the content level, and the Metaverse that relies on VR as a lock and key wants to achieve immersive reality, either by connecting an external PC, or reducing the picture quality, or using cloud games, streaming and other technologies to realize the picture map.

But for now, the above path does not seem to be smooth.

First of all, an external PC can solve the performance problem of VR devices, and at the same time, it also limits the scope of use at the physical level of users, so that the entrance to the Metaverse shifts from VR devices to PCs, while VR only exists as a peripheral device.

Not to mention how many people will pay for high-performance PCs, just starting from the scene, players who lay out the Metaverse obviously do not want to create the “oasis” in “Ready Player One”, but try to build social relationships in virtual space, mobile , Portability is almost a must, and fixed terminal equipment is unlikely to have a future.

In order to make the VR device in the user’s hand “move”, the Metaverse application can only reduce the picture quality to adapt to the performance, which is also the path chosen by Meta, and based on the Oculus concert, the picture performance naturally lags behind that of the PC side. Fortnite.

Once the Metaverse application chooses this path, the so-called immersion will be reduced to a bubble, and the level of the application screen will be degraded instead.

Take the Oculus Quest 2 star work “Resident Evil 4 VR Edition” as an example. Its base “Resident Evil 4” was released as early as June 2004. Even if the production team has polished it in high-definition, the first-class works in the same industry are still not enough. gap that is crossed.

An industry insider pointed out that the current VR games are still relatively light games, similar to the difference between PC games and mobile games. And the Metaverse application relies on the lightweight portal, it is likely to repeat the mistakes of Xi Rong and make many users return in disappointment.

The obstacle of content quality is the first, and cloud games are the only way out for Metaverse applications.

Cloud gaming, that is, running the game in the cloud, and the service provider compresses the rendered game screen and transmits it to the user through the network. The user only needs the network and the display device.

However, due to network transmission limitations and physical delays, it will still take time for the cloud gaming mode to go through completely. In comparison, the combination of cloud gaming + Metaverse seems to take longer.

Therefore, in addition to the Meta All In Metaverse, the giants’ layout of XR equipment seems to have another purpose. Compared with the empty concept of the Metaverse, it seems more pragmatic to cut into the hardware ecology.

The lack of content in the Metaverse has not been eliminated by the excitement of the VR/AR track, but has been deepened by the generational differences under hardware constraints.

Under the predicament, who is paying for the content black hole of the Metaverse?

Hot Concepts and Cold Thinking

If the Metaverse landed, the first batch of users should cheer for the game eggs in “Ready Player One”.

In addition to the emotional exchange of the concept of the same Metaverse, because the current stories around VR often exist in the fields of games and audio and video, it cannot replicate the old way of using mobile phones to cover the public with communication functions, and the user base is single.

Who is suffocating the Metaverse?

In this context, the player group, as the main purchaser of VR equipment, has always been extremely demanding on the quality of product content. Taking “Cyberpunk 2077”, which was popular last year, as an example, no matter how good the early announcement is, once the content is flawed, such as bugs and unsatisfactory expectations, it will become a semi-finished product that is rejected by thousands of people from a possible phenomenon-level game.

Therefore, it may be difficult to impress players with Metaverse applications that are inherently “stale”.

On the other hand, the player group even scoffs at NFT (Non-Fungible Token), an important component of the Metaverse story.

In December 2021, the game company Ubisoft launched three NFT game accessories in its game “Ghost Recon: Breakpoint”, which aroused criticism from the player group, and the sales of related NFT products were dismal after the launch, and the first day of the upper limit was reached. And no one pays.

In this regard, a core player told Photon Planet: “The so-called digital confirmation of NFT has no meaning except to raise the price of in-game goods. If the manufacturer puts the NFT coat on the game goods, the game will sooner or later become electronic. Colony, everyone will work in it.”

On the one hand, there is the black hole of content, and on the other hand, it is the vigilance of the player group. It is unable to attract established users, and it is difficult to develop a wider market. The seeds of commercialization around the Metaverse may be difficult to sow.

Taking Baidu as an example, Baidu Xiyang has reached a strategic cooperation with Blue Cursor. The two parties are trying to build a “Metaverse + marketing” scenario, but it is reported that Baidu’s game business department is in the midst of layoffs. Under this situation, Baidu Xiyang, which is still rough, is in a dilemma, or will fall into a cycle of “empty content – shortage of C-end traffic – weak marketing space”.

According to Gartner’s emerging technology maturity curve, public opinion will have huge expectations for emerging technologies, creating a bubble, and the bubble will eventually burst when the technology level does not meet expectations, and then reach a long recovery period and maturity period.

However, whether this curve is established depends on the true value geometry of the technology itself, and the Metaverse is only a concept, and there is no technological source to act as a pillar. Once the bubble bursts, the long-term value will become a false proposition.

Therefore, at this stage, if the Metaverse Circuit cannot find an exit to break the game, it is bound to lose the game. It’s just, do the speculators who are crowding around the concept of the Metaverse really care about the future of the Metaverse?

In an online course about the Metaverse, the speaker inserted technologies such as no-code, low-code, digital twin, privacy computing, blockchain, AI, cloud native, etc. It has exhausted the mainstream discourse of the technology media in recent years.

It is true that the technical context behind the concept of the Metaverse is complex, and the above-mentioned technologies can indeed be related to it, but some industries that have nothing to do with the Metaverse rely solely on the Metaverse, which is difficult to understand.

At the beginning of this year, at the 2021 Maotai Series Wine National Distributors’ Association, Li Jingren, general manager of Moutai Group, said that it is necessary to build a drunken “Metaverse” belonging to the Maotai series wine.Perhaps, Moutai is in the same Metaverse, separated by a Zhongqingbao’s “Master Brewmaster”.

If it is said that Maotai is hard, Baidu is testing the water, and Meta is All In, then Zhongqingbao, as a frequent visitor to regulatory inquiries, is undoubtedly the most advanced group of players in the Metaverse track.

In September 2021, Zhongqingbao announced that it would launch the Metaverse game “Brewer Master”. Since then, the company’s stock price has soared, with an annual increase of 252.7% in 2021. By this year, Zhongqingbao seems to have not stopped the pace of “laying out” the Metaverse.

On the evening of January 10, Zhongqingbao announced that its wholly-owned subsidiary Zhongqingbao Hong Kong planned to acquire its Baode Asset Management Hong Kong Co., Ltd. (planned to be renamed “Paul Lide Metaverse Digital Platform Co., Ltd.”) at HKD 0. 51% stake, and try to make it a “pioneer of the game UGC platform”.

Obviously, Zhongqingbao’s move is aimed at Roblox, a game UGC platform that turns the concept of Hongyuan Universe.The next day, the share price of Zhongqingbao rose sharply, which attracted the Shenzhen Stock Exchange to issue an inquiry letter, adding another “record”.

It is worth noting that in the same period of the “0 yuan purchase”, Zhongqingbao also issued an announcement that the shareholders intend to reduce their holdings. , the reduction does not exceed 3% of the company’s total shares…

This reminds me of what a student wrote in the evaluation column of a certain Metaverse course mentioned above: “Thanks to the teacher for sharing, I have a preliminary understanding of the Metaverse. A few months ago, the concept of the Metaverse was hyped in the stock market. Someone reminded me not to Knowing not to intervene, I ended up watching others make money.”

Obviously, not everyone caught in the madness of the Metaverse firmly believes in the Metaverse, but speculation is always the best way to make money.

The speculators who invested in the Metaverse became its most practical followers, making a lot of money in the mentality of “others laugh at me too crazy, I laugh at others and can’t see through”, while the groups that should love the Metaverse, But he scoffs at the Metaverse fever created by capital.

So, in the long road ahead of the Metaverse, who is working hard and who is revelling.

Posted by:CoinYuppie,Reprinted with attribution to:https://coinyuppie.com/who-is-suffocating-the-metaverse/
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