PlayStation inventor says he ‘can’t see the point’ of the metaverse and headsets are ‘annoying’

‘You would rather be a polished avatar instead of your real self? That’s essentially no different from anonymous messageboard sites’, Ken Kutaragi said

Adam Smith
Friday 21 January 2022 12:29

The inventor of the PlayStation has said he “can’t see the point” of the metaverse.

“Being in the real world is very important, but the metaverse is about making quasi-real in the virtual world, and I can’t see the point of doing it,” Ken Kutaragi told Bloomberg News.

“You would rather be a polished avatar instead of your real self? That’s essentially no different from anonymous messageboard sites.”

Mr Kutaragi is currently the head of Ascent Robotics, an artificial intelligence startup that aims to build robots for use in retail and logistics. It is also developing a system to transform real-world objects into data that can be read by a computer.

“Current robots do not have software and sensors that can match humans in understanding the real world and reacting to things they see for the first time, and our short-term goal is to offer a solution to that,” he said. “Because you want robots to be able to create a variety of things, not just countless units of the same thing.”

Mr Kutaragi is hoping that this future will come via a fusion of cyberspace and the real world, but one that is not hampered by gadgets. Bloomberg News uses the holograms in the Star Wars franchise as an example of this future.

“Headsets would isolate you from the real world, and I can’t agree with that,” he said. “Headsets are simply annoying.”

Many technology companies are developing virtual reality headsets and attempting to pivot into the metaverse in some way. Facebook, which has now renamed itself Meta, is the most conspicuous, but Apple and Google also reportedly have their own devices in the work.

Sony has its own virtual reality headset designed to work exclusively with the PS5, called the PlayStation VR2. It is likely to be released in Autumn 2022.

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