Who is Winning – High Fidelity or Sansar?

Second Life™ people are interested in Sansar™ and High Fidelity. We just can’t tell how many and how intently. The VR hype is dying down. The realization that Sansar is NOT going to be the social app that Second Life is has started to set in. I’m realizing just how far Sansar has to go to get to a comparable fun state as Second Life. But, High Fidelity? I’ve found it… less than I expected.

So, while many of us are sort of keeping an eye on Sansar it isn’t a daily thing. But, every so often I look beyond just the headlines appearing here and there. I pay less attention to High Fidelity (HF).

Bad Hair Day - KEF

Bad Hair Day – KEF

Drax has an interesting podcast on the War of the Social Worlds… sounds familiar. This podcast contains a comparison between High Fidelity and Sansar. I find that interesting. I used to run an OpenSim server. That has left me with a sense of dread when I think of High Fidelity. But, how are things stacking up between the two big VR-Virtual Worlds?

Fortunately, Sansar News has summarized the highlights of the podcast: Galen Compares High Fidelity and Sansar.

My summary of the summary is now High Fidelity is ahead. One can do more in HF than in Sansar. But, Galen doubts both can survive in the future. He is putting his money on Sansar. He explains why and I’ll come back to that. I think Sansar and HF will be like Second Life and OpenSim (OS). 

Another difference is ‘polish’. Most of HF looks cartoony. Most of Sansar looks AAA professional game quality. Many are commenting on Sansar being a visual wonder. I agree it is pretty awesome.

Galen expects fashion to be the deciding factor in the popularity race. The big money in SL is in fashion, avatar appearance. He points out that people in SL will sacrifice almost everything, tech-wise, to look good. So, as the fashion market opens up in Sansar its popularity should outpace HF’s. Sansar is already ahead in this area.

Galen makes a point of comparing the personalities of those using HF and Sansar. This is where he and I agree Sansar is the one to put our money on. The keyword is money.

The greatest engine for freedom and human advancement is the free market. Any government or business system that provided a framework for people to benefit from their labor has done extremely well. An example is Apple versus Android, 2015 market share: Apple 14.6% share and Android 86.2% share. (Reference) Apple’s marketplace is way more restrictive financially and rules-wise.

Both Google and Microsoft gave developers a freedom that Apple restricts. I think Google is/has adopting/ed Microsoft’s strategy of freeing the developer.

If HF is way more open source than Sansar, where is the free market freedom in Sansar?

It is most likely to be in the people participating. The HF crowd is more like the OpenSim crowd and everything should be free entitlement crowd. Things are done as a hobby, fun, for free. Much more along the lines of a Socialist ideology.

The Sansar creatives want to profit from their work, to reap the benefits of their labor. The Lab is acutely aware of IP ownership issues in SL and the appearance and visible evidence are they are striving to protect the ownership rights of creative-developer types. This is more like the ideology of the free market that dominated America for 200 years and freed millions to climb the economic ladder as never before.

I and I think Galen also see this as comparable to OpenSim versus Second Life. It has been over a year since I logged into an OpenSim world. But, last time, SL was looking way better than OS and my choices and available goods in SL were way better than in OS.

So, some of us are betting on Sansar …and many of us are going for the sure thing Second Life. It is easier to keep customers than capture them. SL/The Lab seems to be working toward keeping SL users happy.

So, place your bets…

9 thoughts on “Who is Winning – High Fidelity or Sansar?

  1. Sansar will not get any ground without adult activities and support for all OS platforms (not just Windoze). Period.

    As for IP rights, their somewhat deficient/fuzzy implementation in SL, never was an impairment to the growth of the SL market. What impairs SL growth is LL’s greed and the resulting costs (in particular land/sim renting/owning costs) for maintaining a presence in SL and keeping a business rentable.

    If, instead of creating Sansar, LL had focused on reinvesting all the money (which they took from SLers) into SL and into the reduction of virtual land owning/renting costs, then my bet is that SL would have grown to levels Sansar never will.

    • I disagree. Only time will tell which of us is right.

      I see it more and more as a WordPress-like platform. So, content is not the Lab’s goal.

      While WP has millions of users, the Wp forum and coders areas are quite. The plugin people do a business and the WP programmers building custom sites do a business. But, the WP community of people interested in WP for WP is way smaller than SL’s community.

  2. I’m betting on SineSpace making a serious dent in growth of either Sansar or High Fidelity, or for that matter, OpenSim or SecondLife.

  3. The real question should be: Will either Sansar or HF pass SL in size? Is SL successful or a big failure? Most people have heard of VR, but almost none of the people that I have asked have heard of Second Life which has been around for a much longer time. The safe bet would be that both Sansar and HF together will fail to match Second Life which is a project that hasn’t done nearly as well as it should have. My bet is that the money invested in both Sansar and HF will not even return back the money invested (break even). It’s not about the tech, it about getting people to want to used the tech. Great tech isn’t going to be the key factor in people wanting to use it, and other companies seem to understand that better. Linden Labs seems to be focused on getting people to want to try Sansar, but they don’t seem to have any plans to keep people coming back. Sansar reminds me of the road side attractions that used to be popular in the US, until amusement parks were created, designed to get people to come back more than once.

    • I think you are right. But, you seem to ignore the point that Sansar was never to be like Second Life. It is planned to be the same as Second Life started out to be, which was a software platform for rapidly prototyping games. Sansar is to be a VR platform for anything that could benefit from VR.

      How much effort the Lab will put into gaining SL-like users is unknown. We do see them catering to content creators and game developers. If that continues, the content creators and game developers will be the ones striving to attract users, not the Lab.

      We also see the Lab providing better search engine access (think Google, Yahoo, and Bing) and other ways for developers to attract users.

      • I agree that Sansar is not trying to be a VR world, just a VR platform like Steam. I don’t understand why people are not comparing Sansar to Steam? And why are they not asking the question of why would someone develop for Sansar when 100% of the VR users can be found on Steam? On Steam people are used to paying money for VR content and on Sansar they are being trained to expect experiences to be free. Will Sansar become a place to test ideas before moving them over to Steam to make money?

        • I use and develop WordPress sites. So far, Ebbe’s WordPress analogy is the best analogy for what Sansar is striving to be. But, if one doesn’t develop WordPress sites and apps that analogy probably means very little.

          I expect Sansar to be more competition for Steam than a pre-Steam prototyping platform. So, to your last question, no (IMO). But, the probable use of Sansar is likely to be by businesses and marketing companies, not so much gamers. But, gamers are likely to be the first Sansar adopters.

          VR is not being adopted as fast as expected. The headsets are still way too varied and difficult to get working with any particular app/game. Until VR becomes more standardized and compatible, I don’t see mass adoption. Also, wearing a headset that messes up my hair and makeup… totally eliminates it from workplace use. That is why I agree/think HF and Sansar will fail to match SL in the near 3 to 5-year term.

        • I understood your question.

          People in general aren’t comparing the two because they aren’t similar. There are similarities. But, there are are significant outward facing differences. Steam is a fairly closed system. WordPress is a very open outward facing app. Google, Bing, Yahoo, and other search engines have excellent access to WordPress content. With Steam some guy developed an app to find Steam games and it made the news, it’s a newsworthy thing. Finding things inside a Steam game via general search engines is impossible. Sansar is designed to provide search engines access, similar to WordPress. There is a significant fundamental difference in planned marketing for content based on Sansar tech.

          I’ll suggest that you consider your thinking on the nature of Sansar and then notice how few people are voicing similar thoughts. It isn’t because the comparison hasn’t occurred to us. It is because we find the comparison lacking. That it works for you and not the majority should suggest a reevaluation of how you see Sansar. While everyone may be missing something you see, it’s possible, it is very unlikely.

          • I can’t figure out why anyone would want to search inside of Sansar with a search engine. What would they find, a chair, a hat, then why would they care? With WordPress you find information, with Sansar you find stuff that you don’t care about (crazy idea). It’s hard to know what the majority thinks when so few people are interested in talking about any subject. So WordPress is a platform for marketing experiences just like Sansar? I guess I there must be a different WordPress out there that I don’t know anything about. And will people make money in the same way on both platforms? Other than both platforms being designed to help people create content I don’t see much that is comparable. Really WordPress is more a publishing tool than a platform.

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