Virtual Reality is a big business these days. It is a main conversation topic in multiple branches. From healthcare to education, major industries are exploring and testing the potential of VR. This technology already has a major impact on the gaming industry with devices like Oculus Rift and PlayStation.
These VR headsets provide a new gaming experience to players. The technology in the online casino industry has started to grow over the last decade of the 20th century. With the advancements of the internet, casino games have gone online. It is considered that VR will make the next big step forward in the online casino industry.
Software developers have been experimenting with VR technology, but the truth is this whole aspect of the industry is still in its infancy. NetEnt, one of the leading casino software developing companies, was between the first to integrate VR in casino games.
Back in 2016 they released a VR version of their popular slot game Jack and the Beanstalk, called Jack’s VR world. This game completely transformed the way slot games have been played. In this VR slot game you can handle objects, climb, teleport and even plant beans!
Players are not just clicking to spin reels, but they are transferred into a virtual 3D gaming environment. Imagine the thrill of collecting exotic fruits and being able to pop different colourful bubbles in the popular Double Bubble slot game from Gamesys. We definitely want to see more slot games in a futuristic and playful VR setup.
SlotsMillion was one of the first casinos to embrace VR technology and offered VR experience to their customers. Over 40 slots have been adapted for this VR casino, including the famous Starbust slot from NetEnt. You can experience this setup if you have an Oculus headset. It is not the most advanced form of VR gaming, but currently this represents the most advanced VR casino available online.
Other games have also been a subject to VR innovation and transformation. Microgaming, a major software developer has launched a virtual reality version of the famous roulette game called VR roulette. This game however is not quite available and integrated yet, since there are a lot of gaps between the player and the system waiting to be overcome.
VR is also making an impact on the technology behind land-based casinos. Game developers like ITG have built virtual casino floor zones at one Las Vegas casino. This zone which uses HTC VR headsets allows players to compete against each other in archery-based VR games in order to win slot credits. However, this isn’t exactly VR gaming, but more of an example of the different ways VR is impacting the land-based casinos.
The main characteristic of VR is that it provides a more immersive gaming experience. This technology reduces the gap between online and land-based casinos. NetEnt’s virtual casino represents a good starting point, but in the future, it has the potential to go even further. Players could actually move around the casino venue, play at different tables and even handle virtual chips, cards and dice.
Virtual Reality has the power to attract players in any kind of environment, whether that is a glamorous casino in Vegas or behind the reels of a slot game. This is another great benefit because games like blackjack and poker can be played in a virtual online setting.
Imagine an online craps game where you can throw the dice cheered by your online companions? Or placing a bet on a sports event and then being able to virtually attend the match? There is so much potential, and casino game developers are pushing current tech limits to make this come true.
According to the Global VR Gambling Market report 2018/2022, this technology is estimated to see an annual growth rate of almost 55% by 2022. The real challenge is whether the players will show interest to make VR casinos a long-term alternative place. The early signs are looking good, but it’s difficult to say whether this type of gaming will be a success.
While the high-end headsets are able to produce stunning VR scenarios, the majority of online players are using smartphones in order to play online. This presents an excellent opportunity for improving the integration between VR and smartphones. All in all, VR casino games are still a novel phenomenon, but sooner or later this scenario will be part of the gaming landscape.