Here are the possible ways to get into Metaverse today
Representatives of big tech suggest Metaverse is the future of the Internet. Analytics also believe the new Web3 concept has a huge market potential. There’s a vague understanding on how this virtual space will develop eventually, but getting into Metaverse seems only a matter of time. We suggest you start early and get acquainted with the immersive reality before it becomes mainstream.
Because of the emphasis on 3D virtual reality, video games offer the closest metaverse experience available at this point of time. Over a dozen gaming platforms offer their players the chance to co-create and populate their separate metaverses. Some are even selling virtual real estate for players to build their personal game experiences on and monetise their creations. Currently, the “Big Four” of the Metaverse gaming are Sandbox, Decentraland, Cryptovoxels and Somnium. Roblox, Axie Infinity and Fortnite are also among the public’s favourites. To enter one of the Metaverse-related games, you need a few things to do.
- Go to the official website of the game. Look for the options to download or purchase the game of your choice. Some of them are available as mobile apps as well, although mobile versions may not have the full functionality. Install the game and create an account. Some games like Decentraland, for example, offer a possibility to explore the game as a “guest” without logging in. However, the guest mode is very limited, and allows you to only test the gaming waters.
- Get a cryptocurrency wallet. Most Metaverse games are functioning on top of a blockchain. Therefore, cryptocurrencies are needed to buy in-game items and interact with the blockchain. The wallet will also be used for getting your profit off the play-to-earn opportunities. MetaMask is the common wallet for Ethereum-based games. It’s easy to install and free to use.
- Purchase VR/AR equipment (if needed). You can get a glimpse inside a virtual world with the help of your smartphone. However, in order to get the fully immersive experience, you’ll need special equipment. Each game provides a list of compatible devices. Choosing a VR headset over AR smart glasses lets you achieve a real sense of presence. Oculus Quest 2 is the newest and most sought-after headset on the market. It costs $300, although the hardware is self-contained and doesn’t require a PC or game console to use. Other popular choices are Playstation VR, Valve Index, HTC Vive, Windows Mixed Reality, etc. Those work with PCs or a PlayStation 4/5.
- Explore the Metaverse world. Some games like Axie Infinity require an upfront investment for the ability to play, others have both free gameplay options and added-value items to buy. Anyway, once you fulfil all the initial requirements, you are welcome to explore the lands, quests, activities, and marketplaces available in the chosen game.
Facebook’s parent company Meta is already developing a few parts of the metaverse. For starters, there’s Horizon Workrooms, a workplace app that lets Oculus-wearing workers enter virtual offices and hold meetings. The beta version is available for testing now. You can download it and explore with the help of Meta’s Oculus Quest VR headset.
Horizon Worlds is now available for free to everyone 18 years of age or older in the US and Canada. It is a social VR experience where you can create and explore the game world together with your friends. Some activities are team-played, while others are available for individual performances.
Horizon Venues is a digital entertainment experience allowing customers to visit concerts, shows, sport events, or conferences without leaving their homes. The app is now available for beta-testing in some regions. You need the Oculus VR set and a Facebook profile to try it out.
Horizon Home is another integral part of this Metaverse. Users can select from a variety of unique environments, from a cosy cabin to a new-age cyberpunk apartment, invite friends to hang out, watch immersive videos, or jump into multiplayer games together. The feature will soon be available in a Quest update. Meta is also planning to integrate its popular social apps like Facebook and Instagram into the Oculus store as part of the Home experience.
Meanwhile, Microsoft is working on the Mesh platform that enables people to connect with a holographic presence, share across space, and collaborate from anywhere in the world. This mixed-reality experience is aimed at companies, as it facilitates virtual collaboration, training, design, and work-related meet-ups. While the work is still in progress, you can complete the Register Interest form to stay up-to-date with Mesh news and announcements, try the Mesh app on the Microsoft proprietary holographic device HoloLens 2, and request access to Mesh-enabled AltspaceVR.
Mesh mixed reality is filled with 3D avatars representing people in a shared space. Proximity and spatial audio let people know where they are relative to one another. Users can visualise and work on some content together in a shared 3D space. Mesh also integrates with Microsoft 365, so connections, calendars, content, and workflows can be seamlessly shared with virtual teammates.
Mesh for Microsoft teams that is supposed to roll out in the first half of 2022 will allow coworkers to join a standard Teams meeting as customised avatars instead of a static picture or real-life video. Organisations will also be able to build immersive spaces – metaverses – within Teams.