The metaverse isn’t what you think it is, because we don’t know what it is
Anyone who tells you what the metaverse will be is either guessing or kidding themselves. “The topic lately fills me with frustration,” says CNET’s Scott Stein, our resident expert on virtual worlds. “It’s not just about VR and AR headsets.” The metaverse will be much more nuanced than the technical platforms it’s superficially associated with. Even the term “the metaverse” is simplistic: A number of metaverses will emerge along the lines of social media platforms, with a handful becoming dominant and largely incompatible. “Everyone’s promising interoperability but history suggests it will be multiplatform, semicompatible and half-broken,” Stein predicts, though he’s intrigued by the “cross-border portability” envisioned by Meta, formerly Facebook.