Are you eager to work remotely using a VR headset over your face full-time? Probably not. Even if you got the new $1,500 Oculus headset for free, you would probably use it for a few days, until the novelty wore off.
There has been a lot of news coverage around Meta Connect Keynote 2022, specifically noting that Meta’s Horizon Worlds adoption is falling short of Meta’s internal performance expectations. Mark Zuckerberg seems to have a hard time attracting sympathy from the media:
No girls at the Hot Girl Summer Rooftop Pool Party, and no one to murder in Murder Village — that really says it all.
The reality is, we don’t know exactly what the metaverse is yet. Even if you read all of Matthew Ball’s articles on the metaverse, you’ll just get the idea that there is a lot to figure out about what the metaverse is, and what it entails. It will probably take years to figure it out. It’s not just about spending loads of money. The metaverse is the realm of the “unknown unknowns”. You can only get through by trial en error, by testing possible solutions and learning from failures.
Meta’s recent partnership with Microsoft is a good thing… especially for Microsoft. If Meta manages to get traction in Horizon Worlds, Microsoft wants to be present there. But I don’t think it will lead to massive adoption of Meta’s platform or its Oculus headset.
There is an industry, however, where some kind of metaverse is already happening: it’s gaming. Just watch any kid play Roblox, Minecraft, or PKXD. Or Fortnite… The first company that can deliver an immersive enough experience with cheap enough hardware–or more probably, not cheap but subsidized hardware–will have a significant advantage in the metaverse. Have some kind of gaming headset and a killer game that every kid will drive their parents mad until they get it for Christmas.
Related: Don’t miss Stratechery’s Ben Thompson great interview with Microsoft’s Satya Nadella and Meta’s Mark Zuckerberg about the recent partnership.