New Year's Eve Ball with "2022" below it
One Times Square

For over a century, the Times Square Ball has lit up and slowly dropped each New Year’s Eve in New York City, marking the end of the year with an impressive LED display. Now there’s an official “Metaverse” experience.

Jamestown LP, the real estate conglomerate that owns the One Times Square building and the ball on top, released a “virtual experience” of the ball drop at the end of 2020. It was primarily marketed as a safe way to enjoy the festivities — the in-person New Year’s Eve party in 2020 was drastically scaled down to prevent the spread of COVID-19. It offered a livestream of the event, as well as a virtual environment to explore before that with some mini-games and unlockable content.

The game has stuck around since then, and Jamestown LP is promoting it again ahead of New Year’s Eve. This time, however, it’s branded as “the Times Square Metaverse” — keeping in tune with the current trend of calling any virtual environment the “metaverse.”

images of VNYE game
Corbin Davenport / How-To Geek

VNYE, short for Virtual New Year’s Eve, is available for Windows, Android, iPhone, and iPad. It’s still just a series of mini-games integrated with a livestream of the event (when that starts). There’s no VR support, it’s pretty laggy, even on my fourth-gen iPad Air. The game also requires an email address for some reason.

There’s not much of a reason to try out the game, but the VNYE website will broadcast a livestream of the real-life event on New Year’s Eve, if you can’t catch it on TV.

Via: Google Play

Profile Photo for Corbin Davenport Corbin Davenport
Corbin Davenport is the News Editor at How-To Geek, an independent software developer, and a podcaster. He previously worked at Android Police, PC Gamer, and XDA Developers.
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