WWDC 2022 & the ‘Meta’verse

This year’s WWDC was not a game changing one, it was a rather iterative update on all things Apple, and probably the way Apple likes it. Post the M1 in-house customer silicon and the upgrades of M1 Pro and M1 Max, they did come up with the M2 which is more powerful and helps a battery last longer – can’t wait for the time my MacBook Pro gets old and I can upgrade to the latest at the time; kinda sad that I got the most powerful 13″ of the intel generation with all the bells and whistles just before they switched to M1 – that is what I would call unfortunate timing. Still love all my Apple gadgets.

Source: Apple.com

All of this only gets me thinking of what’s the next big step, is the update only iterative or is it a piece of a bigger puzzle that we do not yet see. Think about it, all that power in a little chip with the efficiency & battery life in that small form factor – could it be to power some other experience apart from just being an efficient video & photo editor. And that brings us to the next big thing on the horizon, the Metaverse – Virtual and Augmented worlds of the future which will be the next iteration of Social Media and bring it to a whole new digital level.

The way I see it the overall journey is a long way away –

  • first the world builds virtual worlds, as that is a lot easier first step as I understand it
  • then we get better at building those worlds in terms of resolution, quality and our interaction with the virtual world
  • all this buys us some time to develop the augmented tech that would better understand how to place digital objects in real life i.e. are we projecting into the world or into our eyes so we see it in the world or is there a 3rd option we haven’t even thought of? The answer is very unclear as we have a lot more to develop in order to get there
  • next with augmented tech comes new challenges to overcome such as interaction, how to better understand depth perception, interaction of the digital with the real
Source: Facebook.com

Such exciting things to look forward to and some people betting their companies on the promise of such a massive business case that the risk is worth the reward to be the first mover in this technology and industry. And the industry that makes the first foray successfully ends up defining the market. And that really bothers me some days, our entire virtual worlds formed and defined by a company that makes money currently via social media and selling our personal information – shudder at the thought. Talking about Facebook (now Meta) incase you are still left wondering. They are a software company that are making the biggest push in hardware ever in a ‘bet the company’ moment their CEO is having.

On the other hand we also have a contender in Apple, that says it is all about privacy which ensures some scrutiny on them ensuring they follow that path. It is a company that builds good technology and believes in privacy, if these two are my only choices then I of course choose the latter. However, it still feels the world is quite helpless that we have only the big juggernauts that can take a crack at this problem and even if smaller disruptors enter the market with an actual feasible challenge, they most probably get bought up and absorbed by the big players. It’ll of course be unbearably expensive, but any product that Apple makes in the Virtual or Augmented reality space will be an amazing contender based on their track record of hardware, software and their integration.

As my first foray into testing this technology out I am looking forward to the Playstation VR2, a new and improved version of the Playstation VR that promises a higher resolution, eye tracking and better interaction capabilities via new design of controllers. Might seem like a small insignificant step in gaming but it is the best use case as of today for Virtual Reality and its success propels the success of the industry.

As glued as we are to our screens, this technology will probably have the biggest impact on our lives as this will be the next screen we use to meet friends, watch movies, play games, work and experience new places and things. Looking forward to what happens next!

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So Much Hype @ Playstation Showcase Sep 2021

After all the XBox acquisition announcements over the past year it was quite certain that the Microsoft Console had an amazing future ahead of it and that it would give Sony Console a worthy competition. That followed by a rather lackluster Playstation 5 Game lineup put in question the Dominance post the PS4’s reign. But the showcase last week ensured the future is bright for PS5 and still a worth competitor in its own right!

What was announced?

  • Insomniac Games pretty much carried the bulk of the weight in terms of heavy weight announcements with:
    • Marvel’s Spiderman 2 as a PS5 exclusive in 2023 – a followup to the critically acclaimed Spiderman and Spiderman Miles Morales where you get to play as both and now have a new villain in Venom and we are sure others
    • Marvel’s Wolverine as a PS5 exclusive with no release date and no details, though this has gotten all Marvel fans and playstation gamers very excited
  • Developer Santa Monica Studios put up an exciting showcase with the God Of War: Ragnarok first look and the followup to the amazing God Of War Saga surely has many excited for the continuation of the storyline of Kratos and Loki in 2022.
  • Square Enix announced an original IP in Forspoken which is an interesting take on magical powers and taking bands due to release in Spring 2022.
Forspoken courtesy Square Enix
  • Next up are the PS5 remakes of old with:
    • Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic (KOTOR) by Aspyr for PS5 with no release date confirmed
    • Uncharted 4: A Thief’s End and Lost Legacy by Naughty Dog for PS5 in early 2022
    • GTA 5 & GTA Online for PS5 by Rockstar Games in March 2022
  • Other games announced in the showcase:
    • Project Eve sometime between 2022 and 2023
    • Tiny Tina’s Wonderlands on March 25, 2022
    • Alan Wake Remastered on October 5, 2021
    • Gran Turismo 7 on March 22, 2022
  • Other announcements in the showcase:
    • Tom Clancy’s Rainbow Six Extraction gameplay that releases on September 16, 2021
    • New Ghostwire: Tokyo Trailer and it looks rad
    • Another Marvel’s Guardians of the Galaxy Trailer
    • Another Deathloop Trailer
    • Vampire: The Masquerade – Bloodhunt coming to the PS5

And some others that I’m not as excited to mention. What do you think about the showcase and if you don’t have a PS5 yet does, this make it a good ..

.. Time to get a PS5?

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