Despite Meta’s best efforts to make the metaverse cool, the whole thing still feels a little clunky. It doesn’t help that the company’s visuals have a certain PS1 quality to them so far — and while this week’s updates look a little better, they’re still being somewhat redeemed by the internet.
The big announcement from yesterday’s Meta Connect keynote was the introduction of legs. Yes, you read that right. Avatars now have legs in Meta’s Horizon Worlds VR platform — and apparently that’s a cause for celebration. (Think the idea has legs? Check out the best Meta Quest deals available now to experience the Horizon world for yourself).
Legs coming soon! are you excited? pic.twitter.com/SB6qSepKm411 October 2022
In one apparently bizarre scene (above), Zuckerberg’s avatar walked onto a wood-paneled stage (probably part of his terrifying wooden VR home office) and jumped up and down. Meanwhile, the old-fashioned avatar (without legs) clapped, clapped and cheered in the virtual audience. What is the time to live
But when the legs were announced headline, viewers couldn’t help but notice that the new Virtual Zak looks a lot more detailed than the old Virtual Zak — a terrifyingly plain piece of pre-1995 3D imagery that haunts many. Became, many memes this summer. And it looks like everyone on Twitter is having the same joke.
The first observation is that Horizon World’s graphics appear to have evolved from the PS1 standard to the Xbox 360 level. Indeed, with more elaborate textures and some Real Lighting Effects, it’s safe to say that character modeling graduated from 1995 to 2005.
Congratulations to Mark Zuckerberg for upgrading his Metaverse avatar to the Xbox360 default avatar like a creepy PS1 era model pic.twitter.com/FDb54DkxOm11 October 2022
And then there’s the second joke. Better graphics mean better expressions – indicate the inevitable pinch that Zuckerberg’s new avatar looks more human than Zuckerberg himself. One user tweeted, ‘Interesting that Zuckerberg’s digital avatar displays more human facial expressions than his. While another says, “Let’s all put the working 3D artist at Meta, who has the design brief to ‘make a Mark Zuckerberg VR model look like a human’, into our thoughts this weekend. For them Must be a very tough time.” In fact, the idea of a Zuckerberg avatar that is more human than the man himself is, to some extent, er, meta.
Just can’t figure out how Zuckerberg’s VR avatar somehow looks more human than the real thing pic.twitter.com/JHyXDNcukQOctober 29, 2021
Why does Zuckerberg’s avatar look more human than him? pic.twitter.com/oVP5rFYjUt11 October 2022
Who knows, in a few months’ time, maybe Zuckerberg’s avatar will achieve PS4’s level of graphical fidelity? Still, at least it’s a lot less terrifying than the ones from Gran Turismo 7. If you need a VR primer, check out our what’s on the Metaverse guide.