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 thus far have had a certain PS1 quality to them – and while this week's updates look a little better, they're still getting somewhat roasted by the internet.
The big announcement from yesterday's Meta Connect keynote was the introduction of legs. Yes, you read that right. Avatars in Meta's Horizon Worlds VR platform now feature legs – and apparently that's a cause for celebration. (Think the idea has legs? Check out the best Meta Quest deals available now to experience Horizon Worlds for yourself).
Legs are coming soon! Are you excited? 🎉 pic.twitter.com/SB6qSepKm4October 11, 2022
In a frankly bizarre scene (above), Zuckerberg's avatar walked onto a wood-panelled stage (perhaps part of his terrifying wooden VR home office?) and jumped up and down. Meanwhile, old-style avatars (sans legs) clapped, whooped and cheered in the virtual audience. What a time to be alive.
But while the legs announcement was the headline, viewers couldn't help but notice that the new virtual Zuck looks a lot more detailed than the old virtual Zuck – a terrifyingly plain piece of pre-1995 3D imagery which became the victim of many, many memes this summer. And it seems everyone on Twitter is making the same joke(s).
The first observation is that Horizon World's graphics appear to evolved from PS1 standard to Xbox 360 level. Indeed, with more detailed textures and some actual lighting effects, it's safe to say the character modelling has graduated from 1995 to 2005.
Congratulations to Mark Zuckerberg for upgrading his Metaverse avatar from looking like a creepy PS1 era model to an Xbox360 default avatar pic.twitter.com/FDb54DkxOmOctober 11, 2022
And then there's the other joke. Better graphics means better expressions – cue the inevitable quips that Zuckerberg's new avatar looks more human than Zuckerberg himself. "Interesting that the digital avatar of Zuckerberg displays more human facial expressions than he does," one user tweets. while another adds, "Let’s all keep the 3D artist working at Meta who has the design brief to ‘make the Mark Zuckerberg VR model look more like a human’ in our thoughts this weekend. Must be a very tough time for them." Indeed, the idea of a Zuckerberg avatar that's more human than the man himself is somewhat, er, meta.
simply cannot get over 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 he does? pic.twitter.com/oVP5rFYjUtOctober 11, 2022
Who knows, in a few months' time, perhaps Zuckerberg's avatar will achieve PS4 levels of graphical fidelity? Still, at least it's a lot less terrifying than the people in Gran Turismo 7. If you're in need of a VR primer, check out our what is the metaverse guide.