Sandbox and Decentraland are always a part of the metaverse news. Several platforms already support the technology, including Somnium Space, Crypto Voxels, and Horizon Worlds by Meta. The metaverse and virtual reality (VR) are intertwined in the public’s imagination.
Despite claiming to be a “decentralized virtual reality platform” on its website, the browser-based 3D metaverse platform Decentraland currently lacks VR.
Sean Ong, founder of the extended reality experts XR Dev Studio, was a member of the team that developed the “alpha” version of the VR platform. While VR “has always been a component of Decentraland’s vision,” the Decentraland Foundation has prioritized the implementation of core functionality over VR.
“The team that’s primarily been responsible for developing Decentraland, they’ve been super busy implementing so many features, the core features, building it out, that VR just hasn’t made it very far on the priority list.”
Ong, a member of Decentraland’s DAO, and his team were honored for their contributions to the platform’s virtual reality capabilities.
He stated that the funds only allowed them to create an unreliable “VR port” referred to as the alpha version of the VR client.
According to Ong, Decentraland’s “basic incompatibility with VR” was the source of the challenges in delivering virtual reality to the region.
Ong notes that although VR porting means rewriting the original code to make it compatible with another platform, it might save time and effort in the beginning. However, the developer must still update the port anytime the primary project is updated.
Creating a specific VR client would require a lot more time, but in the long run, it would protect it from the main project and make it more resilient, he said.
Ong and his team submitted a proposal on December 14 requesting an additional $240,000 in funding to develop a specialized VR client, but the proposal was rejected by a vote of more than 75%.
The VR Playground?
Sébastien Borget, co-founder of the blockchain-based metaverse The Sandbox said about his take on virtual reality in the metaverse.
Despite the fact that metaverses will eventually exist in virtual reality, according to Borget, The Sandbox will prioritize mobile in 2023 and “has no plans for VR in the near or distant future.”
As a result, he remarked, “we focus on making the metaverse more mainstream and accessible to everyone” since “we believe VR technology is not sufficiently developed or pervasive.”
Ong stated, in reaction to recent criticism of Decentraland’s 8,000 daily active users, that the platform should be aiming for millions of users and that these numbers are still rather low.
Ong thinks that virtual reality capabilities for Decentraland will help the platform attract a great deal more users since “metaverse is now synonymous with VR” and “VR must be a significant component” of a really feature-rich metaverse.
The executive director of the Decentraland Foundation, Agustin Ferreira, replied via email that the DAO may someday take over platform development and that the foundation’s mission is to support community growth and “incentives for developers to add value to the entire ecosystem.”
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