Virtual or Augmented Reality, Metaverse: The Battle Is On

Virtual or Augmented Reality, Metaverse: The Battle Is On

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Will the end of the Covid-19 pandemic improve the popularity of the concept of the metaverse, an expression designating the future of the Internet, where users will be immersed in a virtual world for all kinds of activity (work, play, etc.). Play) ? In any case, this is the conviction of John Hanke, the boss of the American studio Niantic: “I think it was a by-product of the lockdown, but life has returned to normal since then. We prefer to go back to office to meet directly instead of going to office [l’application de visioconférence] Zoom in. It was a wrong vision to think that we are going to spend our time in 3D world. ,

The collapse of the share price of Meta (Facebook’s parent company), which dreams of championing the Metaverse, is emblematic of this disillusionment: the action has lost more than 50% of its value in 2022, and its virtual universe has lost more than 50% of its value. Frequency, Horizon Worlds, recorded 200,000 users in October, well below Mark Zuckerberg’s forecasts, against what was initially expected to be 500,000 in late 2022.

However, many players are still showing their interest in virtual reality. “This is clearly the future of video gamesestimated Charles-Louis Planade, financial analyst at Midcap Partners. Although it remains a niche market, it is growing strongly. , In 2023, we expect Sony and Apple to each introduce a new virtual reality headset.

savings plan

However, for Mr. Hanke, “The future belongs more to augmented reality”, which allows virtual elements to appear in real space through a device (smartphone, glasses). Niantic has had the greatest success with mobile gaming based on this technology. pokemon go, In 2016, seven years after its launch, it crossed $6 billion. revenue (5.5 billion euros). A success that the company has not been able to replicate with its other games. Now he hopes that success will smile on him more with his new title, launched in January. nba all worldWhich will try to entice basketball fans.

In Mr. Hanke’s view, while augmented reality is making its way into the mainstream, it still lacks a truly compelling model of augmented reality glasses. Niantic is also collaborating with electronics giant Qualcomm to lay the groundwork for this new product that other manufacturers could seize upon.

Meanwhile, the company isn’t immune to the turmoil the video game sector is going through. In July 2022, it unveiled a savings plan involving the dismissal of 8% of its workforce and the termination of several gaming projects. On Friday, January 20, Microsoft in turn announced the impending closure of AltspaceVR, its social virtual reality platform.