Playstation Creator Dismisses Metaverse, Says VR Headsets are ‘Simply Annoying’
03:46 GMT 21.01.2022 (Updated: 15:44 GMT 30.01.2022)
© AP Photo / Kevork DjansezianKen Kutaragi, president and CEO of Sony Computer Entertainment Inc., holds up a prototype of the new Playsation 3 computer entertainment system during a news conference in Culver City, Calif., Monday, May 16, 2005.
© AP Photo / Kevork Djansezian
Last year, Niantic CEO John Hanke caused a stir after branding the “metaverse,” a network of 3D virtual worlds, a dystopian nightmare that may replace reality and real life interactions. Hanke emphasized that Niantic, the developer of Pokémon Go, supports gameplay that augments reality and encourages people to move around and connect with others.
It is safe to say that Ken Kutaragi, former chairman and CEO of Sony Interactive Entertainment, is not a fan of the so-called metaverse, following a recent Bloomberg interview in which the ex-Sony executive raised questions about the utility and attraction of the supposed upcoming interactive online universe.
"You would rather be a polished avatar instead of your real self?" questioned Kutaragi, comparing the metaverse to anonymous forums and online message boards.
Kutaragi, often referred to as the 'Father of the Playstation' departed Sony's video game division in 2007, after overseeing the development of the company's original console, as well as its successors, up to the Play Station 3.
Despite growing corporate interest in the metaverse by companies such as Meta, formerly Facebook, the 71-year-old believes that both virtual reality and augmented reality headsets leave much to be desired when it comes to the gaming experience.
"Headsets would isolate you from the real world, and I can't agree with that," the former Sony executive said.
Furthermore, "headsets are simply annoying," Kutaragi proclaimed.
The metaverse, as well as the associated non-fungible token (NFT), has taken off in recent months, with several companies filing trademark applications to sell virtually-branded goods and commercialized online experiences.
21 October 2021, 14:50 GMT
One of the most recent corporate giants to jump onto the metaverse wagon is Walmart, which plans to develop and sell virtual goods such as electronics, home furnishings, toys, and sporting goods, according to a December 30, 2021, filing with the US Patent and Trademark Office.