Zuckerberg Says Horizon Worlds Will Look Better Than Selfie the Internet Is Roasting Him For
If you didn't think the idea of Meta running a metaverse platform, where it would have access and control over all kinds of sensitive data, was off-putting enough, maybe the bad graphics will.
Meta CEO Mark Zuckerberg last week celebrated the launch of Horizon Worlds, the company's social virtual reality (VR) experience, in France and Spain by posting a selfie he took from within the platform. The selfie immediately caught the internet's attention, with many mocking it over how "soulless" the tech executive's avatar looks. Some even went as far as to ridicule the platform's graphics, which they said were comparable to, if not worse, than graphics you'd see from decades-old game consoles.
The poor response to the selfie, of course, doesn't do Meta any favours. The tech giant is banking on the success of the platform as sort of an early precursor to its grander metaverse vision of the future. Horizon Worlds is supposed to help make VR technology and platforms more ubiquitous in daily life. But, at least right now, that's not how it seems to be turning out, which is bad news for Zuckerberg, who has already poured over US$10 billion into Meta's metaverse division, Reality Labs.
Then again, the social media chief isn't likely to give up his long-term plans just because of a single public relations disaster. In fact, he's aware of the backlash he got from the selfie and decided to post another one – this time with updated graphics.
"Also, I know the photo I posted earlier this week was pretty basic –it was taken very quickly to celebrate a launch. The graphics in Horizon are capable of much more – even on headsets – and Horizon is improving very quickly," wrote Zuckerberg on Instagram, seemingly acknowledging the not-so-good comments he received from the internet.
Zuckerberg’s new avatar, from a graphical standpoint, looks a lot better, replacing the robot-like dead expression with a rendering that's more lifelike and detailed. The billionaire in the same post also included an image of what looks to be digital renders of ancient ruins, which he claims more accurately represent how his metaverse should look. He promised to share updates to Horizon Worlds and its avatar graphics at Meta's next Connect conference.
Because the metaverse is still a broad concept in the minds of many, Meta should perhaps be extra careful in how it represents its vision. There's still probably a lot of consumers who are either sceptical or don't care about the idea at all, and Meta's goal should be to change their perception. However, how can they expect to do that if they showcase screenshots that look nowhere close to how modern video games look? Add to that how there are now a lot of innovative VR experiences that Horizon Worlds has to compete with.
If this is how Meta's vision of the metaverse is shaping up, the company could have a lot more work to do to truly sell the concept as the next frontier of the internet. But, as previously mentioned, Zuckerberg has been unwavering with his ambitions and likely won't let anything stop him from pursuing this. So maybe right now, only time will tell how the metaverse will eventually turn out. Meta has to work on the aesthetic appeal of its platform though unless it once again wants to be the subject of internet memes.
Apart from France and Spain, Horizon Worlds is available for free in Canada, the UK and the U.S.
Meta CEO Mark Zuckerberg last week celebrated the launch of Horizon Worlds, the company's social virtual reality (VR) experience, in France and Spain by posting a selfie he took from within the platform.
The selfie immediately caught the internet's attention, with many mocking it over how "soulless" the tech executive's avatar looks.
He later posted an updated avatar that looked more detailed and realistic, seemingly as a response to the backlash.
The billionaire promised the graphics of Horizon Worlds will be improved and he'll share more about it at the next Connect conference.