Anyone else getting pretty stumped by this whole "metaverse" thing?! Essentially, it's what Microsoft describes as "a new version – or a new vision – of the internet, one where people gather to communicate, collaborate, and share with a personal virtual presence on any device". You've probably heard about Meta's (Facebook's) vision of the metaverse as well, described as "the next evolution of social connection" by co-founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg.
Microsoft is intending to use the metaverse for things like creating a virtual version of Microsoft Teams to work with multiple VR and AR devices (and still be usable in 2D), as well as building "full 3D worlds" of Xbox games in the future — and to be honest, we're still very unsure what that is supposed to mean right now.
Head of Xbox Phil Spencer had a few words to say on the metaverse in a recent interview with Protocol, and the key takeaway is that he believes the focus needs to be on players and creators in order for it to be successful:
"Like, why is this metaverse that a lot of people are focusing on, why is it better for players? Why is it better for creators?"
"I think it's easy for a lot of tech companies to describe why the metaverse might be better for their company. But we've just learned that if we put the player at the center, to use my gaming vocabulary again, and try to build an ecosystem that works around their needs and creator needs, that the platform dynamic will take off."
Spencer used the interview to highlight Minecraft's recent achievement of hitting 1 trillion views on YouTube, stating that those staggering view numbers are primarily the result of Minecraft's passionate creators rather than Xbox and Mojang's official efforts, explaining that it "shows the power of a social and open creator platform."
Therefore, he says Microsoft plans to follow this player-focused route with its vision for the metaverse:
“We will go at this on the metaverse side with the same sensibilities that we've had in gaming, that people should be able to play the games they want, where they want to play them, with the people they want to play with. Because we've actually thought that in the end that opens up the largest experience for creators and for players."
“Because if it's not better for the players, and the creators, you'll lose. You have to start with that as a core principle.”
What do you make of Spencer's comments on the metaverse? Let us know down below.