Metaverse Graphics Gets Backlash Despite $177 Bn in Investment

Updated: 18 hours ago

Not only Meta but also established Metaverse juggernauts like Decentraland and Sandbox are suffering from poor visuals.


Table of Contents:


What is Metaverse?

Why is Meta Heavily Invested in Metaverse?

Why Metaverse Cannot Keep Up its Graphic 1. To Ensure Users with Lower Hardware Can Access the Metaverse 2. Unlimited Freedom in Metaverse 3. Uncanny Valley Concept 4. Real-Time Metaverse Loading

Mark Zukerberg's Comment on this Issue

Metaverse Still has a Long Way To Be Immersive


It's almost amusing to look back at how our favorite games looked in 2000 because of how much video game graphics has changed in the last 20 years. Players have always been drawn to a better graphic game as it is more immersive and closely resembles our real world.

Meta, formerly known as Facebook, CEO Mark Zuckerberg recently shared multiple images of the progress of the upcoming Meta virtual reality — funded with $177 billion. It received backlash from social media and media outlets due to the terrible-looking graphics. Some even went as far as saying that it looks worse than video games from the nineties.

Not only Meta but also established Metaverse juggernauts like Decentraland and Sandbox are suffering from poor visuals. Users from these two Metaverses are not captivated by the visuals even at the highest graphics settings, and the main reason why users are still playing is because of the Play-to-Earn (P2E) component. Let's dive deeper into why Meta's virtual reality or other Metaverse suffers from bad graphics.

XanPool - Metaverse graphics still receive backlash

What is Metaverse?

The idea of the Metaverse is not new. It was first mentioned in the 1992 book Snow Crash. Later, several businesses created online communities based on the idea, most notably Second Life, which was introduced in 2003.

Users "live" in a digital universe using a combination of various technological elements, such as virtual reality, augmented reality, and video. Supporters of the Metaverse envision its users interacting with one another, working, having fun, and keeping in touch with friends through events like conferences and concerts, as well as virtual journeys around the globe.

Why is Meta Heavily Invested In The Metaverse?

Facebook is often associated with older users, and younger audiences prefer social media platforms like TikTok. This is evident from Facebook's Q4 earnings report citing the first decline in daily active user numbers. Immediately, Facebook's stock fell 20% during premarket trading when the report was released and has been in a downtrend ever since.

Zuckerberg foresees and acknowledges that Facebook is losing ground among younger users to other social media platforms. In October 2021, Zuckerberg decided to change its name from Facebook to Meta and rebrand the Company to focus on VR-centered Metaverse to hopefully win and attract young people to use their app.

Why Metaverse Cannot Keep Up its Graphic

There are numerous explanations for why this might be the case, with different platforms providing different justifications based on their graphical fidelity level.

1. To Ensure Users with Lower Hardware Can Access the Metaverse

Rendering graphics in real-time consumes a lot of processing power and superfast internet speeds, neither of which are always available to users, which is a significant problem for metaverses today. High-detail graphics cannot be displayed by metaverses at current broadband connection speeds or with current graphics cards.

2. Unlimited Freedom in Metaverse

Due to the nature of Metaverse, which is much more open-world by design, metaverses frequently have poorer graphics than MMO games. The Metaverse theoretically permits an infinite number of options that can't be pre-rendered and called upon when necessary, as opposed to simply allowing users to follow a pre-programmed list of commands, as games do.

3. Uncanny Valley Concept

There is a concept called the uncanny valley, where almost perfect graphics have one flaw that makes users uncomfortable. In a world like Metaverse, where users have almost limitless decision-making options and things are being rendered in real life, bugs or flaws are sure to happen, which might produce the Uncanny Valley effect on users.

4. Real-Time Metaverse Loading

This implies that as you get closer to the objects and environment in the metaverse, all of the images, scripts, environmental settings, sound effects, players, and more must load. Your graphics card processes them once they have first been transferred over your internet connection.

It is just not practical to employ improved visuals in real-time since they require additional loading and processing time.

Mark Zuckerberg's Comment on this Issue

Zuckerberg later posted on Instagram a newly rendered selfie of him to address the issue with the bad graphics. The graphics on the images Zuckerberg posted do not appear to be as bad as the ones he posted earlier, and netizens are relieved about it.

"Major updates to Horizon and avatar graphics coming soon. I'll share more at Connect. Also, I know the photo I posted earlier this week was pretty basic -- it was taken very quickly to celebrate a launch. The graphics in Horizon are capable of much more -- even on headsets -- and Horizon is improving very quickly." - Mark Zuckerberg

Metaverse Still has a Long Way To be Immersive

Due to users' hardware limitations, projects cannot advance in the graphic segment of their Metaverse. There are still years or decades to come before the majority get their hands on what we deem the best of today. When technology advances, diluting the price of our now best graphics card and broadband speed. This begs the question, will we choose to do things in the Metaverse than in real life or applications that have already been made available to us like google meets and skype?