Last week, it launched Meta’s attempt to build the Metaverse Horizon Worlds platform. What does the American press say?
Horizon Worlds has been open since December 9 to all citizens of the USA and Canada aged 18 or over who own a Meta Quest 2 (Test) or Oculus Rift (S). Support for Meta Quest 1 will end on January 13, 2022.
The Metaverse platform has been in development for a long time and is still in beta after its North American launch. More than two years after the announcement, it was finally time to open the gates to a wider audience and possibly win over new world makers.
The last time Meta Horizon Worlds was shown to the US press was in August 2020 and so were the impressions. What has been improved in the meantime and is the platform compelling now?
UploadVR: “Rec room and now?”
Ian Hamilton can’t help but compare Horizon Worlds to the rival Metaverse Rick’s room to compare. The biggest difference is that users must log in with a Facebook account and be 18 or older and that there is no 2D version for computers, consoles, and smartphones. “Horizon Worlds is more or less a recreation room, but without the kids running around,” Hamilton wrote.
The tools you use (as in Rec Room) to build your own worlds are powerful. You can use other people’s work, but there is no market yet. Instead, Meta holds contests in which designers are rewarded with cash prizes.
Horizon worlds approaching Refinement and complexity Competitors such as Rec Room and VRChat. It is unclear how things will proceed and what the platform will be able to do next.
The road to virtual reality: great tools, little incentive
Ben Lang calls the current Horizon Worlds a “rounder experience” that offers “excellent tools.” The basis has remained the same, but the systems have been improved and the experience improved.
Last time there could have been only eight users in the world, now there are 20 – depending on the complexity of the scene. Another feature is the new, more realistic avatars.
Universal building kit Totally collaborative in nature: Up to four friends can work on a project at the same time and what they’re doing will sync in real time. “It gives a really strong sense of shared design,” writes Lang.
Horizon Worlds already offers a “Great All-Inclusive Package”. Success depends on the quality of user-generated content and how easy it is to share and discover. Meta needs to create more financial incentives for talented creators who would otherwise prefer to stay with competitors like Rec Room or Roblox.
CNET: Metaverse with many questions
Horizon Worlds is a familiar mix of Rec Room, AltspaceVR, and VRChat, but the tools and coding features can set the Meta platform apart from the competition, Scott Stein wrote.
It remains to be seen how well the company can moderate in larger groups and avoid toxic behavior in virtual reality. “Meta will have to show that these new public spaces are It can be better controlled From other VR social apps – and Facebook itself.”
The VR app is for adults, but they often lend their VR glasses to their kids. It’s unclear how Meta will enforce age restrictions.
The company relies on designers who share resources and develop new ideas together, but how this collaborative creativity is not defined with concepts such as property and trade match.
Horizon Worlds looks charming and familiar, but is also a bit buggy and cartoonish. It’s unclear how it will stand out from the Metaverse crowd.
In Worlds, you can teleport from one world to another, but there is still work to be done before Horizon Worlds can feel that the social world is “around the corner”.
Techradar: “Ready Player Meh”
Lance Ulanoff is disappointed in the early “Meh-taverse” meta. The avatar editor offers a lot of customization options, but it’s not enough to create a digital likeness like it.
Ulanoff also found the worlds themselves boring: “While some parts of Horizon Worlds are impressive, such as spatially identifiable sound, most environments are small and sparsely populated,” Ulanoff wrote. Experiments are slow to load and none of them are “transformative”.
“The games I tried seemed to be user-developed, and this is what happened It looks incredibly raw and the primitive functions He explained, “Ulanov writes. Only in the center developed by Meta, The Plaza, did he see the potential in the form of better graphics, more people and more fun activities.
“I wouldn’t call Horizon Worlds inspiring or impressive. The platform is sparsely populated, visually brilliant, and painfully small at the moment. It’s unlikely to convince anyone that the Metaverse is about to take off,” concludes Ulanov.
But with Horizon Worlds open to millions of users, the Meta first needs to prove it can keep things safe on a social platform like this.
What do VR fans say?
And what do old VR fans say about Horizon Worlds? The Meta platform has been met with little enthusiasm in the VR community, at least when looking at the Reddit forums.
Reddit user lman777 thinks Horizon Worlds has it above all a Problem: The worlds are not visually attractive enough. Designs should be given more design freedom and need to import 3D models, similar to VRChat.
Problem: Virtual reality worlds must run smoothly on a mobile phone chip and be able to view multiple users at the same time. Technically, this is quite a challenge And the reason why Meta Quest 1 won’t be supported soon. The chip installed in it is old and relatively slow. With the improvement of Quest 2, worlds can become more complex, larger and more beautiful.
According to The Verge, in the future it will be possible to program on a desktop computer instead of just VR, which could lead to better game interactions and mechanics. Also, Meta plans to create a library of 3D models for Horizon Worlds, which will make it easier to decorate environments with virtual items.
Meta’s upcoming VR glasses bring more realistic social interaction
Reddit user Dougwm1337 thinks it’s not the environments that make Horizon Worlds unattractive, the social interactions and the avatars just not realistic enough. Reddit user Dougwm1337 wrote: “While the current avatars are cool, it’s still like trying to socialize with others in a wetsuit.”
Meta’s VR glasses named Cambria should help, since they Eye and face tracking supports. So far, AI has interpreted facial expressions based on body movements and microphone inputs.
“If the face-to-face interactions are realistic enough, you don’t even need interesting environments. People are infinitely interesting on their own,” says Dogum 1337.
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