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What’s next for the Web3 world? Bitcoin was the starting gun for Web3 excitement, NFTs were the golden geese of 2022, and AI seems to be the hot topic for 2023. What will be the next emergent technology to rock the digital landscape? 

In this week’s newsletter, we take a speculative dive into the future of Web3 technology by looking at two possible contenders for the next landmark application. 

Augmented/ Virtual reality headsets. 

Whilst AR/VR technology isn’t new, at least by the standards of Web3, known for its breakneck speed of advancement, VR headsets are still in their infancy. This is set to change in the coming months as major players in the sector unveil the next generation of headsets. 

Most notably, Apple’s Vision Pro is likely to be released early next year, which is expected to sell around 1.5 million units in its first year in the market. As Apple steps into the VR headset market, public reception surrounding the technology is certain to improve. 

The Apple Vision Pro, like all of Apple’s current line-up, is built entirely in house.The Vision Pro will use the custom Apple M2 processor chip, as well as the brand new R1 chip to process data from 12 cameras, 5 sensors and six microphones. The R1 chip processes and streams the input from the cameras, microphones and sensors to the user display in 12 milliseconds. 

The Vision Pro will run on VisionOS, a new operating system that, from what we’ve seen so far will feel very familiar to anyone within the Apple ecosystem. As with all other Apple devices, the Vision Pro will be able to interact with other Apple devices for seamless transitions from one workspace to another. 

Why hasn’t virtual reality had a breakthrough yet? 

The main limitation that is holding the mass adoption of virtual reality headsets back are battery limitations. Despite the impressive hardware of the current generation of virtual reality headsets, the battery capacity is often disappointing, with most only being able to support around 2 hours of use before needing to be plugged in. 

Whilst some headsets, such as the aforementioned Vision Pro and Meta Quest series are able to support all day use when plugged in, the stationary nature of the hardware will deter some potential customers. 

Web3 based gaming/ online entertainment. 

‘Web3 gaming’ is a term that is often thrown about with little to no explanation. This is largely because of the scope of possible technology that the term ‘web3’ can apply to. Typically, Web3 based gaming refers to entertainment that uses software such as blockchain technology to provide a live-service gameplay experience. 

‘Live service’ is a model of entertainment that is always online, requiring users to always have an internet connection to play the game or otherwise interact with its services. There is a lot of debate between fans and developers alike regarding the effectiveness and efficacy of live service games in comparison to traditional, disc based content. Video game preservationists for example argue that an ever-evolving, online only game will cease to exist once the company hosting it decides to end support or is unable to support the game. 

On the other hand, the ‘games as a service’ model allows developers to add new content frequently, patch and balance the game to ensure better experiences and support the development of future games through microtransactions. 

In an earlier issue of TWIW3, we discussed Sony’s recent patent of a form of NFT technology that it plans to incorporate into its Playstation lineup of consoles in the coming years. This move by Sony follows in the footsteps of other tech giants such as Microsoft who have already begun to shift into a subscription based model for their range of Xbox consoles. 

Is the new era of gaming already here?

Digital sales of games surpassed physical sales in the early 2010’s. Since then, the percentage of digital games sold compared to physical copies has only grown. In 2022, 90% of all video game purchases were digital. 

The current generation of consoles feature digital only versions for around half the price of their disc-drive equipped counterparts. As well as this, the Xbox Game Pass, Playstation Plus subscription and the Nintendo Online membership provide access to a library of digital games for subscribers to enjoy the price of their subscription. It seems inevitable that most companies in the Video gaming space will have to adapt to this digital only, subscription based system if they wish to remain viable. 

The last hurdles that Microsoft, Sony and other video game companies have to get over are the limitations of consumer internet speeds and the lack of appeal that digital games have to avid collectors. 

Despite major infrastructure upgrades in the United Kingdom, US and other western countries, there are many rural areas that are unable to support the bandwidth necessary to stream or download digital games. 

The bottom line. 

It is likely that the ‘next big thing’ for Web3 is already here. AI, LLMs, virtual reality and live service entertainment are parts of a larger framework that is slowly being woven together. Time will tell when or how these technologies begin to merge, and that time is closer than you may think. 

As early adopters of Web3 technology and pioneers of the next chapter of the digital world, Maximist is amongst the leading voices of Web3 marketing. If you would like to future proof your company, or ready it for the leap into the new era of the Internet, call us today on 08000 590116. Alternatively, you can contact us via our form here.