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PlayStation creator snubs Metaverse, warns headsets will isolate from real world

PlayStation creator snubs Metaverse, warns headsets will isolate from real world
Photo Credit: 123RF.com
21 Jan, 2022
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Sony PlayStation creator Ken Kutaragi has joined the list of people who are not fazed by the hype around Metaverse and have warned people from falling head over heels over it. 

In an interview with Bloomberg, Kutaragi said, "Being in the real world is very important, but the metaverse is about making quasi-real in the virtual world, and I can’t see the point of doing it."  

“You would rather be a polished avatar instead of your real self? That’s essentially no different from anonymous message board sites," he added. He also called headsets annoying and said they isolate people from the real world. 

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Kutaragi is currently the CEO of Ascent Robotics, a Tokyo based artificial intelligence (AI) company. He was the founder and CEO of Sony's video game division, Sony Interactive Entertainment, and oversaw the development of the original PlayStation and its successors the PlayStation 2 and PlayStation 3. He left the company in 2007. 

Last year, Niantic CEO John Hanke had also warned against rushing near-future vision of a virtual world to life and had called metaverse a “dystopian nightmare”.

"A lot of people these days seem very interested in bringing this, including some of the biggest names in technology and gaming. But in fact, these (sci-fi) novels served as warnings about a dystopian future of technology gone wrong," Hanke said in a blog post

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Also read: Global Metaverse industry to touch $42 bn in 2026

Metaverse is a virtual world where users can interact with their peers, items, and real estate using digital avatars and buy and sell merchandise and property as non-fungible tokens (NFTs). Though Metaverse has existed in platforms such as Second Life on PCs, companies such as Meta Platforms and Microsoft will leverage augmented reality (AR), virtual reality (VR) and mixed reality (MR) for their metaverse platforms. 

Despite scepticism around the point of the metaverse, people are eager to leverage metaverse and digital avatars. 

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Several celebrities including actor and singer Paris Hilton and Indian actor-turned-politician Kamal Haasan have already created a metaverse to connect with their fans. Hilton’s metaverse, built on Roblox, allows fans a peek into a digital replica of her Beverly Hills estate in Los Angeles, while Haasan Metaverse lets fans interact with his digital avatar. More recently, an Indian startup TardiVerse has created a metaverse for a wedding reception for a Chennai couple, who wanted to avoid a gathering amid growing cases of Covid-19. In the metaverse, they have invited over 2,500 people. Guests can log in with a blockchain wallet, choose their digital avatar based on gender and appearance and move around freely in the virtual reception space. 

According to a recent report by Brandessence Market Research, the metaverse market in 2020 was valued at $44.69 billion. With growing awareness and interest, it is expected to reach $596.47 billion by 2027. Facebook parent company Meta Platforms has said it will spend $10 billion to build its Metaverse.