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Mark Zuckerberg promises upgrades to Horizon’s graphics after his screenshot went viral

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Earlier this week, Mark Zuckerberg wrote posted a screenshot of his digital avatar standing in front of the Eiffel Tower and what I think should be the Sagrada Familia as a way of announcing that Horizon Worlds was launched in France and Spain. Unfortunately for him, the internet started more or less immediately to tow and meme-ifying the screenshot of the virtual reality platform – probably because the graphics were, as one Twitter user described itroughly similar to the Teletubbies game for the PlayStation One.

Zuckerberg has apparently seen the memes and wants to let you know that Meta is working on the graphics. On Friday he has some new screenshots posted to Facebook and Instagram, flaunting a significantly more lifelike version of itself and an old-looking square. “Major updates to Horizon and avatar images coming soon,” he said, promising to share more details at the upcoming Connect conference. (Meta didn’t immediately respond to The edge‘s request for comment on when that would be, but last year’s event was held in October.)

The original post that started this whole thing.
Image: Mark Zuckerberg

I admit this looks considerably better.
Image: Mark Zuckerberg

As for the original screenshot, he admits it’s not exactly flattering. “I know the photo I posted earlier this week was pretty simple – it was taken really quickly to celebrate a launch. The graphics in Horizon can do a lot more, even on headsets,” he said. Personally, though, I would, if my company had pumped billions into a digital world that a lot of people aren’t really sold on, probably avoid posting quick and dirty screenshots of it – especially if I’d just announced a $100 price hike to the Quest 2, making it significantly more expensive is to access the VR experience, but that’s just me.

Meta isn’t alone in promising better graphics in an effort to entice people to join his metaverse. Last month, Roblox announced that it was also updating its traditionally blocky and low-resolution graphics, and its product leader Josh Anon said its end goal was to “imitate the real world” in an interview with protocol.

But in the end, graphics are secondary to what you do with them. Even if Meta’s new update to Horizon upgrades the visuals to the level of, say, Fortnite, it doesn’t matter unless there’s something interesting to see in its virtual worlds. That point is perfectly illustrated by: this tweet dunking on Zuckerberg’s original post:


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