Contrary to the expectations of most people, the metaverse keeps growing relentlessly as new platforms spring up and older ones keep expanding their frontiers. While some techies are limiting their involvement in the virtual world, giants like Sandbox and Nvidia keep unveiling new things. Here are a few that might interest you.
The Sandbox Opens Up Voxel Madness: A Web3 Gaming Virtual Neighborhood
For a time now, The Sandbox has been the leading gaming metaverse and it just announced a new neighborhood dubbed Voxel Madness. In the announcement, it was noted that from February 14th, the virtual space will feature popular brands like Cut the Rope, Invincible, Dungeon Siege, Habbo, and more. This is the first sales of LAND since 2023 started. This LAND sales will give users a chance to become virtual neighbors to popular entertainment, Web3, and video game brands.
The Sandbox is arguably one of the most sought-after metaverse projects in the industry. Interestingly, the metaverse’s LAND sale has historically performed well. Now that traditional gaming companies are in the conversation, all eyes are on The Sandbox again. Voxel Madness is a gaming and entertainment neighborhood in the metaverse that will serve as the virtual local arcade for visitors. The digital space will house experiences developed by famous game creators, studios, and entertainment brands and its location says it all, being situate at the East of Ubisoft LAND. In the words of Sebastien Borget, COO and Co-Founder of The Sandbox,
“This new neighborhood allows brands, creators, and fans to build the future of digital entertainment, a future based on true ownership. On top of being a great place to play, the Voxel Madness neighborhood will also be a hub to champion a brand new form of interactive entertainment.”
Users’ registration started on the 14th of February and registered users can indulge in many experiences the brands have to offer after the official LAND sale on February 20th. The LAND sale will host both standard and premium LANDs, including larger ESTATEs, which The Sandbox will auction on OpenSea. Eligibility involves a KYC account verification and having at least 1,011 SAND on the Polygon Network in the accounts. The Sandbox will run two raffles per wave. One raffle is for users who want regular LANDs, and the other is for those who wish to purchase Premium LAND.
Pacsun Launches First-ever Branded ‘Building Tycoon’ on Roblox
Pacsun, in collaboration with The Gang, has launched its second Roblox activation. The building tycoon, the most popular format on Roblox, is the first ever to come from a fashion brand. The launch signals a move away from gaming launches centered on shopping, and instead into world-building. The Pacsun Los Angeles Tycoon experience allows gamers to build their own map of SoCal, including initial building opportunities in Downtown L.A., Santa Monica and Hollywood, with future expansions to come later in the year. In the words of Pacsun co-CEO, Brieane Olson:
“We aim to explore and activate right alongside the consumer. This translates to meeting consumers at the intersection of not only fashion, but also gaming, music, sports and art. As we continue to cater to a fully digital generation, we need to find new ways to connect with them in order to further our strong emotional resonance as a brand. The game world is one of these connections.”
Each region is completed by a single user, and a dedicated piece of a Pacsun store in the specific zone will be unlocked, representing a prize. Users can then access the store and are able to buy community-created merchandise. In the words of Tyler MacDonald, Pacsun Senior Manager of Influencers and Social Media:
“We have seen positive ROI, in terms of our continuously increasing engagement within Roblox. The brand’s involvement on Roblox provides another touchpoint and way of connecting directly to our target social audience and consumers. It also presents ample opportunity for positive digital exposure of the latest Pacsun launches.”
Users can invite friends to engage with their designs in each city. Twenty of the featured digital fashion items available to purchase were inspired by Pacsun’s spring 2023 collection of physical apparel. A wearable accessory called “the aura,” featuring sun and water elements, is available to win. After completing an autograph-seeking quest in the Hollywood-inspired area of the map near the end of the game, users are awarded the Pacsun Aura.
Nvidia and Intel Support Workstations Fit For Metaverse, AI Apps
Nvidia, in partnership with Intel, is working for a better support for virtual world-builders. Nvidia has been one of the most vocal believers in the potential value of metaverse applications, but all the virtual world-building involved in creating these applications requires workhorse workstations. The funny thing about this partnership is that Nvidia and Intel have not always agreed with each other. They are major competitors in some markets and occasionally partners in others. The partnership is aimed at launching new workstation processor architectures employing the W-Series (“W” for workstation) of Intel’s newest Xeon processors launched last month, working with Nvidia RTX 6000 Ada generation GPUs, as well as Nvidia ConnectX-6 SmartNICs. The W-Series includes the W-3400 Expert Workstation processor and the W-2400 Mainstream Workstation processor. In the words of Roger Chandler, Vice President and General Manager of Creator and Workstation Solutions in the Client Computing Group at Intel:
“Designed for professional creators, engineers and data scientists, this platform includes industrial-grade features for the most demanding users… to accelerate deep learning and AI algorithms. Combining our new Intel Xeon workstation processors with the latest Nvidia GPUs will unleash the innovation and creativity of professional creators, artists, engineers, designers, data scientists and power users across the world.”
The new W-Series of processor address projects with such massive scale, as well as others that involve AI-augmented workflows, extended reality applications and more, with performance derived from up to 56 cores in a single socket, and a redesigned memory controller and larger L3 cache, delivering up to 28% more single-threaded and 120% more multi-threaded performance over the previous-generation Xeon W processors. Workstations using the new processors are already available for pre-order from BOXX as the Apexx W Class, and in the HP Z8 Fury, with more coming soon from other workstation system integrators.