Ever since Facebook discussed the Metaverse during their Connect 2021 conference, it’s become a hotly debated topic among tech enthusiasts. So, what exactly is this metaverse? Is it a brand-new word, coined by Mark Zuckerberg?

Well, no.

What is the Metaverse?

Neal Stephenson used the term ‘metaverse’ for the very first time in his 1992 novel – Snow Crash. It referred to a vast 3D virtual world that was populated by avatars of real people. You could walk in it, interact with others like you do in real life.

There’s really no clear, accepted definition of the metaverse. It’s basically a virtual space where you can interact with real people, create things, and explore even when not sharing the same physical space. However, this space will also allow users to interact with other spaces globally. Think of it like the ultimate successor to the internet and gaming.

As Mark Zuckerberg admitted, the metaverse isn’t a single product that a single company can just decide to build. An interconnected experience of that scale necessitates cooperation and contributions from the tech industry.

Although the idea of a metaverse first took shape in science fiction, we seem to be getting very close to living in a truly virtual world. The improvements in processing and graphics, as well as gear like VR, AR, and Mixed Reality devices are all critical steps to help us get there.

What is the Metavers

Do we Need the Metaverse? Wasn’t Second Life Already a Thing Decades Ago?

To answer the second question, yes. Second Life was a sensation in the early 2000s – a virtual world where people could create their avatars, who could then go on to become digital land barons. In fact, many such worlds pre-date even Second Life.

So, what’s this new buzz about?

It’s all about taking it to the next level. Graphics and processing technology has reached new heights since Second Life was launched in 2003. VR and AR glasses are now easily available. Today, you can find several choices when it comes to quality VR headsets, ranging from the Oculus to products from HTC and Valve. All these things, together, help us reach the next stage of what the metaverse could be.

As for whether we NEED the metaverse, well – it doesn’t matter. It’s coming.

You can’t stop the future by wishing hard enough. It is, as Thanos famously said, inevitable. That said, a metaverse can offer a huge boost to real life experiences, productivity, creativity, and entertainment. It’s not necessarily a dystopia that movies/books often make it out to be.

Imagine playing a game with your friends, getting tired, and then deciding to sit down and watch a few shows on Netflix with them even if they aren’t near you – without ever leaving the first world. Test driving that newly launched car on a real road instantly. We’re right on the brink of the metaverse today, with Zoom call meetings, NFTs (digital items you can truly and permanently own), and massive online multiplayer games.

Preparing for the Metaverse with High-Performance Computing

The Metaverse, as we imagine it, isn’t here yet. But it’s close. With recent advancements in Virtual Reality, Augmented Reality (AR), and Mixed Reality (MR), we’re getting there!

You could go extreme mountain biking without the physical risk but with all the thrill of doing it yourself or maybe fly a World-War era plane. If nothing else, you could pick up a gun and enjoy first-person shooters.

So, what exactly do you need to experience the current, primitive version of the Metaverse?

Powering the next leap in virtual experiences does require specialized hardware built for this specific purpose, in addition to substantial computing and graphics power.

Virtual Reality (VR) Devices

Virtual Reality headsets offer the most immersive way to experience virtual worlds today. Although other options like AR and MR do exist, they aren’t as mature or immersive as VR (yet).

You have access to a host of VR options in 2021 – allowing you to settle on the perfect headset. The following 4 (in no particular order) are the most recommended by users out there:

● HP Reverb G2

● HTC Vive Pro

● Valve Index

● Oculus Quest 2

Each headset has its own list of pros and cons, so make sure you do your research before settling on one!

Virtual Reality (VR) Devices

High-Performance Compute and Graphics

VR Headsets are only one part of the equation, though. Driving a decent experience on these headsets requires a processor that can churn out high frame rates, as well as a graphics card that can handle modern games at high resolutions.

Here’s a list of recommended requirements for one of the headsets above (Valve Index) that will help you understand what your PC needs to run VR:

● OS: Windows 10, SteamOS, Linux

● Memory: 8 GB RAM

● Processor: Quad Core+

● Graphics: Nvidia GeForce GTX 1070 or better

● Network: Broadband Internet connection

● Input Ports Required: Available DisplayPort (Version1.2) and USB 2+

● Additional Notes: Available USB (3.0+) Port required for Headset Pass-Through Camera

As games and applications become more demanding, you’ll see the CPU, RAM, and GPU requirements proportionally increase as well. Subpar VR experiences can make you disoriented or even give you motion sickness. So make sure you’re using the best possible PC hardware if you want to enjoy Virtual Reality experiences instead of regretting your foray into one.

High-Speed, Low-Latency Internet Connectivity

One aspect of a Metaverse experience that people often gloss over is internet connectivity.

Have you ever experienced lag in an online game? Your character jumps and glitches from point to point, and other players around you also appear to teleport.

Lag when gaming on a regular monitor is already awful enough, but VR makes it so much worse. High latencies and frequent packet drops are so much more jarring that it can make you sick. Literally.

To avoid facing such issues during a particularly immersive session, make sure your internet connection is on point. It should be able to consistently handle a steady stream of upstream and downstream data without dropping packets.

Grab the Best PC Gaming Hardware with MSI

We, at MSI, continue to do our part in making the true idea of a Metaverse a reality. We’re constantly challenging ourselves to make high-performance computing accessible to everyone worldwide with PC components, high-performance desktops and laptops, and so much more.

For example, MSI’s Aegis Ti5 Gaming Desktops now feature Intel’s latest 12th Generation processors and up to Nvidia RTX 3090 graphics cards. No matter what you throw at a system like this, it’ll be more than ready to handle the load. Bring it on.

Whether you’re rushing down a steep cliff at breakneck speeds or chucking a flashbang into a room before entering, the Aegis Ti5 Gaming Desktop can do it all. It’s built to deliver a stunning, fluid, and premium VR experience.
Grab the Best PC Gaming Hardware with MSI