SXSW kicked off this weekend, and former Nintendo of America President Reggie Fils-Aimé was in attendance at the show to talk to Bloomberg's Emily Chang about disruption in the entertainment and leisure markets.
During the interview, Reggie — now non-executive director for Spin Master Inc. and Brunswick Corp. — was asked about his thoughts on the metaverse, the ephemeral 'network' of 3D worlds touted to link us all digitally and socially in fascinating new ways... maybe. Or perhaps it'll be more like Second Life but the Batman and Spider-Man chilling the beans together. Yes, in the future IP lawyers will surely run everything.
For his part, Reggie believes that elements of the metaverse already exist in games like Fortnite and Roblox, as we have performers, artists, and people interacting in a digital space. But when quizzed on Facebook's approach to the metaverse, he was more skeptical.
"I'm not a buyer of that idea. I don't think that their current definition is going to be successful."
Reggie then goes on to say that Facebook is not an "innovative company", stating that the reason why is because “they have either acquired interesting things like Oculus, like Instagram, or they’ve been a fast follower of people’s ideas.” Bold words from the Reggienator, there.
Last year, Mark Zuckerburg announced that The Facebook Company would be changing its name to Meta Platforms, which signifies its shifting interest in the medium. There's a sense that the concept is very much just a business buzzword, though, with many obstacles — technical and legal — that would make a 'metaverse' hugely impractical to realise in an interesting, engaging way. Indeed, many gaming companies have been pushing back against the idea of the metaverse.
Reggie believes, however, that smaller companies will be the pioneers of the digital future, as they are the ones that are "really innovating". He also praises Epic Games and what they've achieved with Fortnite over the last four years, and says that Microsoft's purchase of Activision Blizzard was "fantastic".
Current Nintendo president Shuntaro Furukawa has spoken about the metaverse in a recent Q&A at their financial briefing earlier this year, and has said that while they are interested, "there is no easy way to define specifically what kinds of surprises and enjoyment the metaverse can deliver to our consumers."
Do you agree with Reggie's comments on the metaverse? Let us know what you think in the comments!
[source bloomberg.com, via tweaktown.com]
3D failed to go mainstream because no one wanted to wear tiny glasses...
VR failed to go mainstream because no one wanted to wear a big helmet...
Now we're supposed to believe that people will live in a helmet all day? That's crazy.
Does anybody think much of it?
true i doubt meta verse will be successful anytime soon. I remember an old Aerosmith videoclip with Alicia Silverstone Amazing with the old Virtual Reality concept in it. Seems more ancient than Arceus.
I stopped using Facebook. I thought it was a way to contact old friends but it was something else. Zuckerberg is an alien too.
Yeah, there doesn't seem to be much to it as it stands. Just kind of like a multiplayer game without the game.
I hear a lot of talk about being able to buy clothes or items (weapons etc) and being able to take them from one game to another...anyone who thinks that will happen doesn't understand game development or business...
What even is this 'facebook' thing anymore? It reminds me of something that happened in school when a particularly unkind teacher way back in school wrote a two page note to my mom in my school diary, when 'facepalm' means hitting one's face with the palm of a hand.
The principal actually supported my reaction given the reasoning and circumstances.
But metaverse means even less to me and whatever it does or doesn't do, they can keep it, and won't be getting me on board.
@GamerDad66 Its all a cycle. It will come back round and be bigger and different until we are living in a world like that movie Surrogates...
In my opinion VR is cumbersome to use but adds inmersion and fun in certain kind of niche videogames. But I don't understand why anyone would need this kind of inmersion to have a meeting with your boss or hanging out with a distant friend when we can just have a video call. This is going to fail so hard...
Facebook was never innovative imo. The only achievement Facebook ever did was knock MySpace off the top.
Plus, they never even put effort into making VR mainstream. And now they're not even pushing this whole "Meta" thing further. All these things are meaningless. Like a luxury gimmick to escape real life...
Correct me if I do get something wrong.
Good, same here
@DanijoEX yep... People so want to escape the world rather than find ways to make it better... Metaverse worlds or whatever will further seperate people from one another as people get more and more awkward, isolated and lose how to interact socially in person...you already see it in a lot of people especially the younger generation
Meta will never be the innovators they dream themselves to be.
The "metaverse" doesn't solve any problems, isn't accessible enough to be a replacement for something else, and lacks a "fun" factor to get people into it.
Someone else will pioneer the portal into the "metaverse", and Meta themselves will ape that and muscle their way onto the scene.
VR is no longer a gimmick, that’s not what this is really about. For me, I just really really really don’t need meta being in charge of the everything VR. It hasn’t happened yet due to the fact that facebook is failing to create digital content that can compete with things that already exist. “Horizons” was supposed to be a landmark in VR content but it just ends up being a worse rec room and VR chat. The only problem is that meta has cornered the market with hardware sales. And even worse they have a ridiculous amount of power and influence due to the rest of their company. This desire to control the entirety of the VR space is explicitly monopolistic behavior from meta and it will be extremely bad for the world of VR.
I ain't never been on facebook, and I never will.
I fully expect Google to do something similar as they run out of new things to sell to advertisers. Revenue can only go up, up forever! Infinite growth!
This industry is heading toward only 2 or 3 companies having ridiculous amount of power and influence due to endless acquisitions in order to create a monopolistic grip centered around forcing gaming into subscription services over individual purchases and then cloud streaming over physical hardware so what’s happening with VR isn’t surprising, this era is all about consolidation of power.
Honestly I hope Meta is neutered. It’s a terrifying corporation.
Sorry but I'd just find it baffling if people are willing to join their Meta thingy. To me it feels like nowadays it is known how ***** of a company Facebook is. So why would you subject yourself to them even more, in a more all-encompassing way than ever before?
People below like 30-40 surely know about Facebook's reputation and people above don't mess with that newfangled technic shenanigans. I hope it fails, this seems like a huge step towards a corporate dystopia 😅.
The only tech I was interested in was the SNES mega drive wars, where basically everyone wins anyway. Never been on facewad or Twatter , or instatwat or tiktacks and I never bloody will! Xxxxx YouTube is cool though for one reason, and that is the genius that is Love Sofia xxxxx
I feel like this is the point where I cross from tech literate to tech illiterate. I have no idea what Meta is and I don't care. It's the "new tech thing" is all I got. Something do with the NFTs? It's on Facebook so it's probably just racist boomer memes.
Meta is gonna have the same fate as the Google glasses, a funny gimmick that few will enjoy and suddenly will disappear.
I just want to put a controller in my hand and own the game I play. Is that really too much to ask anymore?
And the kicker of asses and taker of names is absolutely right. Metaverse is just a scam designed to fool gullible investors and distract everyone from Frances Haugen's disclosures about what went on inside The Company Formerly Known as Facebook. The sad fact is that it's succeeded in that, given that all people are talking about is metaverse rather than what Haugen exposed.
There isn't a product. There aren't any ideas. It's all just theoretical vaporware. "Love us and give us money! We'll build something totally cool! Promise!"
I admit, as a 40 year old gamer, I’ve waited 39 years of wishing for something resembling an oculus quest 2. And while I have had many hours of enjoyment playing vr games, watching a few Netflix shows, my switch still gets 90% of my gaming time.
Beat saber would be better if it had more music. That’s what made guitar hero games so much fun, the amount of songs over all the games. Super hot vr is insane! Both walking dead and re4 vr are as scary and blood pumping as you’d expect. Even my 11 year old who plays it, plays rec room only. But maybe about the same switch>vr .
I miss Reggie.
I'd agree with Reggie I think Meta/Facebook is just another in the long list of companies who think that because they had yesterdays big idea...that their next idea's success is a forgone conclusion. It's just not the case.
I always think of the Nintendo DS going from being called a "third pillar" in 2003 to Nintendo's biggest hardware success ever. These things aren't set in stone, nobody will know for certain what exactly the next big thing will be and who will create it.
I hate Facebook but I'm afraid to wish ill on them. If they fail, and they scuttle the company, some even sketchier monster will buy up all that data.
You know that article a few weeks back about some army general saying this generation was soft. Yeah the meta verse is only strengthening this argument. I mean are we really getting to the point where instead of going outside you should just sit on your couch with a very headset instead. I certainly hope not.
Reggie was absolutely brutal in his take on Facebook in that interview. It's worth watching the whole thing.
Reggie is our guy. Incredibly based.
@MarioBrickLayer Yeah... I feel like a lot of the metaverse stuff is just old people in suits going "The kids'll love it!" They don't understand video games, they just understand that gaming is big right now and they can make a bunch of money off of it.
@GamerDad66 I disagree. VR is pretty mainstream now. I also feel 3D failed becuz it wasn't exciting popping out effects that og 3D was known for.
I completely agree with everything you said.
I love that the VR they depict in old 90s shows and movies was presented as more realistic (and with less headgear) than today
I haven't even watched Zuckerberg's presentation of their metaverse and I still feel as if I can tell they won't succeed with it. So I'm with Reggie on this one.
And I do see my 10-year-old nephew spend A LOT of time in Roblox.
@WaveBoy maybe I am too old for this kind of stuff but wearing a PSVR2 in my head or anything similar feels weird to me. I am not saying that PSVR2 is not good, there are some nice improvements and I see it as an interesting way to break our gaming routine, but not something that will substitute a regular screen and a gamepad. It could get mainstream appeal inside the gaming community but I don't see it being successful at a work environment or at social interaction because we don't need that kind of inmersion at work or daily lives. I for example have a racing wheel to play Gran Turismo and I have a lot of fun with it but most of the time I would rather use my regular controller because it's much more practical. I feel the same way with VR, it's fun for a while but not practical.
@WaveBoy I am a bit older than you xD I don't see myself using VR, it's a matter of taste I guess. But if Nintendo makes an amazing Fzero VR game then we'll talk
@WaveBoy ps4..$400+ps vr at $500. Pc and vr about same. But quest 2 at $350 and it tracks you in your room and is a self contented headset. We are here on a Nintendo site, power doesn’t matter. Yes, it could look better, but my only real complain is I can’t sit down and play most games because I get motion sickness. After about 10 minutes playing a flying game, my stomach is ready to puke. But walking around playing a game, 0 motion sickness.
All Facebook knows how to do is make unconscionable amounts of money by amplifying and propagating negativity. It's literally written into their algorithms. Now I'm gonna spend time in whatever hellscape they think will enhance the reality they've demonstrably worsened? Yeah... no.
VR, mixed, AR is all going to go more mainstream, but there are technical hurdles to overcome over the next decade at least. There will be naturally emerging social playgrounds as the technology advances.
Facebook's metaverse was an important PR move to change the company name to meta because Facebook's brand is tanking.
@WaveBoy I got it at launch. Had a discount through so only paid $350. No need to extra battery and it’s comfy enough for the 45 min-hour i play at most on it. Head phones I already had but add $50. Then I’ve bought like 10 games, let’s say $200. And a carrying case. So I guess I’m all in for less then $700. And my son and I use it for prob 10% of our actual gaming. By comparison, we own 4 switches, and prob 200 games. I don’t feel sick at how much money I have given Nintendo over the years, but I hard time giving Zuckerberg what I have. As for getting a psvr, it’s just not worth the investment for a couple games, which is why I don’t have a ps4 anymore, sold it for the oculus. I play 2 games on our xbox 1, dark souls 3 and geometry wars retro evolved. I’ll probably get eldin ring at some point. But it’s used for movies more then gaming. That’s what our switches are for.
Reggie and me think the exact same thing
@WaveBoy actually I was a believer of VR when I owned the quest 1 for awhile before fb takeover, and a cool Dragonball like pov demo I tried at an event. I did try the psvr for a bit, all I can say there is that PlayStation has a great selection of vr games and cheap digital sales on them compared to others. However I found the headset itself for most games too blurry for me, and a bit too foggy. Along with tripping over the cord alot breaking immersion. Imo quest 2 is what actually brought VR mainstream, but if you tell me psvr did too, I won't argue. I know alot of ppl bought one and it's popularity. Both have made descent contributions. Vr is chugging full steam ahead becuz of both. Fb is asss* but they did bring VR to more consumers at an affordable cost. So I can't complain. And let's not look over what the areo has done. Sure it's not complete or affordable. But dam are the visuals not surreal asf. I can't wait till a headset brings those visuals at an affordable cost in a complete form. It has me drooling. I have heard great things about res 7 and astrobot. Quest also has alot of fun games now that aren't just expierences. Some may complain about the length of games HOWEVER, I think most are perfect. Having size limitations makes developers focus on fun rather than filler, imo is better than say 50gb+ games of today. I think the same could be said for retro games of the past. Not counting the RPGs that have hours of play lol, haven't fit those into the equation. But I've always been a variety man anyway. Haven't completed too many games except the first few series of Pokemon and like a few other games lol.
Side note, when the 3ds was first announced, I thought the games would all be shadowbox style visually. I was dissapointed slightly but also relieved. I actually thought starfox 64 was beautiful in 3D.
@WaveBoy there is that headstrap with magnetic swappable batteries for like $40-$60 now. Forgot what brand. Also I'm in the minority, but I prefer the quests og sound as to me increases immersion and has a surround sound like I'm actually there feel. So I'm good without headphones lol. And same! Can't wait to see what Cambria is all about and releases. I like the sound of psvr2s specs but, can't do with the cord. I trip always or feel it and it just pulls me out.
I really hope the VR train doesn't stop, at least until we get to SAO deep dive level. Haha. Thems the dreams. Hopefully in my lifetime. If it comes in time, retirement will be sick lol
I think he's wrong on meta being a success. He looks at it as a competitor to games, which leads him to rightly conclude it's not going to be that.
However, he fails to realize that meta is not a game, but a drug playing on the weakest in human souls, on status, recognition, on FOMO, etc. Everyone will hate their life in meta, buy few will manage to stay out.
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