Some of tech’s biggest names aren’t happy with the current state of the metaverse, with one even refusing to acknowledge the word.
Speaking about the current state of the virtual reality world Facebook-founder Zuckerberg wants us all to live in (partially so he can scan our facial expressions to serve us ads), key executives at the major firms aren’t necessarily on board with the vision.
During the rather newsworthy WSJ Tech Live conference earlier this week, Apple VP Greg Joswiak was asked by erstwhile tech reporter Joanna Stern to complete the phrase “the metaverse is…” to which he replied “…a word I’ll never use.” (via 9to5Mac). Oooh!
Zuckerberg, of course, has hit out at prospective “walled garden” Apple may impose when it launches its mixed reality headset in 2023, believing the metaverse (a term he coined and expects everyone to adopt) should be open. So there’s some previous between the two firms here. You can see the interview with Greg and fellow Apple executive Craig Federghi in the YouTube video below:
The assessment on the current state of the metaverse from Xbox chief Phil Spencer was equally scathing. Speaking at the same event, he called it a “poorly built video game” in its existing form.
He said: “Today it’s a poorly built video game. Building a metaverse that’s like a living room is not how I want to spend my time. What I see in the metaverse world is that we’re at the early stage and this will evolve.”
Spencer’s comments are curious given Microsoft is actually a key partner for Meta and the metaverse. Earlier this month, the company announced Teams and Microsoft 365 apps are coming to Meta Quest headsets, and Xbox is also launching a cloud gaming app. So it’ll be interesting to see how the comments go over with CEO Satya Nadella and the rest of the executive team at Microsoft.
Rounding out the tech titans with something to say about the metaverse was Snap CEO Evan Spiegel whose Snapchat apps and services have been somewhat of a disrupter in recent years, including in the AR realm. “The metaverse is ‘living inside of a computer.’ The last thing I want to do when I get home from work during a long day is live inside of a computer,” he said. Fair enough.
As Yahoo Finance points out, Spiegel has previously said his company also refuses to use the word metaverse.