Skip to main content

Reggie Fils-Aimé doesn’t believe in Meta’s verse

Reggie Fils-Aimé sitting on stage at South by Southwest with journalist Emily Chang.
“Facebook itself is not an innovative company,” said the former Nintendo boss. | Image: Bloomberg

Reggie Fils-Aimé (who led Nintendo of America before Bowser took over) isn’t impressed with the company formerly known as Facebook, or its idea of the metaverse. He lobbed a few fireballs in Mark Zuckerberg’s direction during an interview with Bloomberg’s Emily Chang at South by Southwest over the weekend, saying that Meta isn’t innovative and that it bought or copied almost all of its interesting ideas.

Just so we’re all on the same page when discussing this concept, Fils-Amié defines the metaverse as “a digital space where you interact with your friends in a social and gaming type of environment” during his interview. (You can also read our great explainer on the idea here if you want to go deeper.) In general, Fils-Amié doesn’t seem terribly down on it — he says that Roblox is an example of something where elements of the metaverse already exist.

When it comes to the idea that Mark Zuckerberg’s trying to sell us all on, though, he’s not convinced. “I’m not a buyer of that idea. I don’t think that their current definition is going to be successful. I say that because, first... and I don’t know if anyone from Facebook is here, but you have to admit that Facebook itself is not an innovative company. They’re not.”

After the crowd was finished applauding Fils-Amié for his dunk — yes, really — he continued, saying that Meta has “either acquired really interesting things, like Oculus, like Instagram, or they’ve been a fast follower of other people’s ideas.” (He does credit the company with “the very original social platform that was created many years ago,” but who wants to be known for that these days?) Returning to the company’s plans for the metaverse, he commented “that’s why I look at the vision that’s been to date articulated, and I’m not a believer.”

When Chang asked if he thought people would spend all day in a virtual reality headset made by anyone, not just Meta, he said no. He said that even though he’s tried “just about every VR device, and just about every VR experience, I don’t think [VR]’s ready for prime time yet. Doesn’t mean it’s not going to get there, but I don’t believe that it’s going to be an experience that you’re doing 100 percent of your time, or even 100 percent of your entertainment time.”

Instead, he sees people using augmented reality throughout the day to interact with their digital worlds and friends, while still being present in the physical world — perhaps like the massively successful Pokémon Go, which he cites as a shining example of AR during the interview.

Part of Fils-Amié’s doubts for VR also comes down to sales volume — he noted that, the last he heard, the all-time sales numbers for VR devices were around 20 million in total. He then proceeded to absolutely flex on the VR industry by saying that, under his watch, that would’ve made a good single year of hardware sales at Nintendo. (Ouch.)

So what does Fils-Amié think the future looks like? Fortnite, apparently, but with more AR elements. “I think the types of experiences are going to continue to innovate and be new and different. The example I use is Fortnite. This type of battle royale experience has only been in the marketplace four years, and we take it for granted. Four years ago that didn’t exist.” In the next four years, he thinks we’ll see new, “incredibly compelling” game experiences, and a lot more blending of the physical and digital world — he just doesn’t think that digital world will come from Meta.

Source: The Verge

Popular posts from this blog

FCC approves broadband 'nutrition labels' to help you shop for internet

The FCC is pushing nutrition labels for internet providers. What you need to know The FCC has voted to move forward with new rules for ISPs to display nutrition labels. The proposed rulemaking would mandate ISPs to display relevant speed and pricing information to consumers. This should make it easier for consumers to make an informed decision on their broadband. The FCC voted unanimously on a plan that would allow consumers to make better decisions about their broadband internet. The proposal will require internet service providers (ISPs) - including many of the best wireless carriers in the U.S. — to display "nutrition labels" that display relevant service information for consumers at point-of-sale. This includes internet speeds, allowances, and clear information on rates. "If you walk into any grocery store and pull boxes of cereal from the shelves, you can easily compare calories and carbohydrates," FCC Chair Jessica Rosenworcel said in a statemen

Slack’s new integration deal with AWS could also be about tweaking Microsoft

Slack and Amazon announced a big integration late yesterday afternoon. As part of the deal, Slack will use Amazon Chime for its call feature, while reiterating its commitment to use AWS as its preferred cloud provider to run its infrastructure. At the same time, AWS has agreed to use Slack for internal communications. Make no mistake, this is a big deal as the SaaS communications tool increases its ties with AWS, but this agreement could also be about slighting Microsoft and its rival Teams product by making a deal with a cloud rival. In the past Slack CEO Stewart Butterfield has had choice words for Microsoft saying the Redmond technology giant sees his company as an “existential threat.” Whether that’s true or not — Teams is but one piece of a huge technology company — it’s impossible not to look at the deal in this context. Aligning more deeply with AWS sends a message to Microsoft, whose Azure infrastructure services compete with AWS. Butterfield didn’t say that of course

Yandex spins out self-driving car unit from its Uber JV, invests $150M into newco

Self-driving cars are still many years away from becoming a ubiquitous reality, but today one of the bigger efforts to build and develop them is taking a significant step out as part of its strategy to be at the forefront for when they do. Yandex — the publicly-traded Russian tech giant that started as a search engine but has expanded into a number of other, related areas (similar to US counterpart Google) — today announced that it is spinning out its self-driving car unit from MLU BV — a ride-hailing and food delivery joint venture it operates in partnership with Uber. The move comes amid reports that Yandex and Uber were eyeing up an IPO for MLU  last year. At the time, the JV was estimated to be valued at around $7.7 billion. It’s not clear how those plans will have been impacted in recent months, with COVID-19 putting huge pressure on ride-hailing and food-delivery businesses globally, and IPOs generally down compared to a year ago. In that context, spinning out the unit could

Elon Musk sends yet another notice trying to terminate the Twitter deal

Kristen Radtke / The Verge; Getty Images Elon Musk has sent a third letter to Twitter attempting to terminate his $44 billion acquisition of the company . Musk’s legal team cited Twitter’s multimillion dollar severance payment to former security chief and whistleblower Peiter Zatko as a violation of the merger agreement and a reason to end the deal. The letter, dated September 9th, was sent to Twitter’s chief legal officer Vijaya Gadde, and was included in a filing Twitter made with the SEC on Friday (which you can read at the bottom of this article). Last month, Zatko made headlines by accusing Twitter of misleading investors about the number of bots on the service, failing to delete users’ data, and having poor security practices, among other things. Musk jumped on the accusations, citing them in his second termination letter and subpoenaing Zatko to testify in the lawsuit. Zatko was set to be deposed on Friday. Elon Musk sent his first letter of termination in July , say