Ken Kutaragi was the driving force behind Sony's entry into videogames, and led the teams that created the original PlayStation, as well as the PS2, PS3, and PSP. He left the PlayStation business in 2007, though stuck around in honorary roles at Sony for a few more years, and now runs a robotics outfit called Ascent.
Kutaragi spoke to Bloomberg news about his goals with Ascent, which is blending real-life and and the virtual world in a gadget-free way (the example cited is something akin to Star Wars holograms). Needless to say this focus seems to align with one of the tech industry's favourite buzzwords of the moment: But Kutaragi is no fan 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. You would rather be a polished avatar instead of your real self? That’s essentially no different from anonymous messageboard sites."
Finally someone said it! It's fun at the moment listening to executives try and sell an idea that they themselves don't seem to have fully grasped: Below you can see Bobby Kotick, for example, come up with the brilliant idea that people could play Call of Duty together while using other software such as Microsoft Teams to communicate. Wow, wish I'd thought of that.
Here's a cursed clip of Bobby Kotick explaining the metaverse and why it's the core concept of Microsoft's acquisition. pic.twitter.com/XT78ZzPQjUJanuary 19, 2022
Kutaragi was further asked about the hardware element of these metaverse ideas: Facebook's big push is linked for now with the Quest 2, while it's an open secret that Apple is betting big on its own future headset, and his former employer is now working on PSVR2.
"Headsets would isolate you from the real world, and I can’t agree with that," said Kutaragi. "Headsets are simply annoying."
Refreshing stuff, particularly at a time when it feels like Facebook is dedicated to making the metaverse as creepy as possible.