Photo: YouTube E3/2017
Former Nintendo US President (2006 to 2019) Reggie Fils-Aime sees the Metaverse in the making — but he doesn’t trust Meta to make a big move. The company lacks the spirit of innovation.
Fils-Aime writes on Twitter that he is “optimistic” about the concept of the Metaverse, as developed in Roblox or Fortnite. However, the longtime president of Nintendo compares the current hype of the Metaverse with the hype of the cloud and the Internet five and 20 years ago, respectively, as each company tries to position itself in the context of technology.
A digital space for social networking and gaming
To the myriad of definitions of the Metaverse, Fils-Aime adds his own: He sees the Metaverse as a digital space where you meet friends, especially for games, and people who might become friends.
In the context of Fortnite and Roblox, Fils-Aime says the Metaverse already exists: “Big cultural events, artists interact with their fans,” says Fils-Aime. “It brought together many different digital experiences through a single coin. That is what is really happening today.”
Can the meta create?
On the other hand, Fils-Aime cannot gain anything from the completely open Meta, due to the wording of the metaverse definition ambiguously. Obviously, this is not so much about the concept as about the company behind it: “Facebook is not an innovative company,” says Fils-Aime.
Meta either bought other companies or quickly copied other people’s ideas. Fils-Aime credits the company’s original Facebook platform as an innovation.
To innovate, you have to think of customers first. However, from a Fils-Aimes perspective, Meta thinks about ad revenue first. Innovative companies also have a culture of innovation where new ideas are rewarded – again, Fils-Aimes has reservations about Meta.
According to Fils-Aimes, VR is still not mature enough
Meta’s pursuit of hardware and current VR hardware doesn’t impress previous Nintendo bosses either. As far as he knows, about 20 million VR goggles sold across the industry have had a “good year” for Nintendo.
He has tested almost every VR goggle on the market and none of them convinced him that VR is ready for the mass market. He’s more convinced of augmented reality and cites Pokemon Go as a successful example – but he doesn’t mention that Niantic’s megabytes have so far been a flash in the gamut of AR games and that AR glasses have far more technical challenges than VR glasses.
The Fils-Aime rating fits with Nintendo’s position in recent years that AR is the most attractive gaming technology than VR. Aside from experiences like the kids game Labo VR and the Super Mario Kart VR machine, the gaming giant hasn’t shown any big ambitions when it comes to virtual reality.
This also applies to AR: until now there was only a Mario Kart gimmick for the home and Super Nintendo World theme park. There will likely be more Pokémon Go-style augmented reality games in the works at Nintendo.
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