Immersive iGaming: Introducing Virtual Reality Table Games
Photo by UTKnightCenter, CC BY 2.0
Unless you’ve been living on a desert island, you’re likely aware of the wave of excitement surrounding virtual reality (VR) technology. The accelerating proliferation of VR devices and headsets around the world has seen virtual environments and immersive experiences reach households in all four corners of the globe, creating an industry that was forecast to be worth $7 billion at the end of 2017. Making sense of VR and its capabilities are critical, especially when you consider how quickly this wearable technology is adopted. THE Sports Techie community blog reminds you to only gamble with money you can afford to lose.
The VR headsets and head-mounted displays offer a multisensory experience, fostering 100 percent immersion and leading to users to believe that what they are seeing is an entirely different world. VR headsets and displays allow users to measure the depth of their new 3D environment and navigate their way around it in 360 degrees. Simply put, within a matter of seconds, VR can replace your existing reality and view of the world with an entirely new simulated world.
With the ability to venture to new virtual environments that can be interacted with using items inside that world, it’s no surprise that the iGaming industry has sought to challenge land-based casino floors once and for all by giving players the chance to play their favorite table games from the comfort of their living room.
By the end of 2016, more than 13 million VR headsets were sold.
With more consumers buying into the technology last year, it’s safe to say that the iGaming industry knew that the market was there for immersive VR table games, just like there’s an increasing market for sports. Thanks to some of the pioneers of iGaming software, gamers are now discovering what the future holds for VR casinos. This article delves a little deeper into how some of the oldest-established casino games are given a state-of-the-art virtual facelift.
VR slot machine games take slot gaming to a whole new level. With the chance to step into the game and play for real money jackpots. NetEnt was one of the first adopters of VR technology for their online casino games with their inaugural offering Jack and the Beanstalk, capturing the imagination with refined visuals and 3D soundscapes taking you into “Jack’s World.” Several other top slot titles have been developed into VR spin-offs, notably Starburst and Miss Midas, creating all-action slots that make you feel part of the action.
Live dealer roulette was also taken a step further by Microgaming, who has blown people away with a virtual reality roulette game that transports players to a virtual casino floor. Their VR roulette technology scooped the Digital Gaming Innovation award at the 2015 Global Gaming Awards and delivered successful demonstrations of its capabilities at the ICE Totally Gaming 2016 expo. Visitors to the expo were invited to don their VR headsets and transport themselves into a futuristic lab, greeted by a friendly robotic roulette dealer. The robot manages the table and the roulette wheel just like any human dealer would, with the bonus of a stunning backdrop of outer space and Earth to boot! Microgaming’s VR roulette software has not been released on any iGaming site to date, but it must be a matter of time.
Another innovative brand has sought to revolutionize the online poker industry by creating VR experiences, simulating playing in a brick-and-mortar poker room. PKR attempted to bring online poker to life with 3D animated tables, but VR poker brings a whole new layer of immersive to the gaming experience. Poker VR, which is a new free-to-play multiplayer experience that provides unrivaled levels of social engagement, is available to Oculus Rift and Samsung Gear VR owners. With 500 million options to personalize your playing avatar, which reproduces body and lip movements as you move and talk, you can bring your poker personality to life in the virtual world.
Is VR capable of matching and outperforming real-life casino gaming? Without a doubt, there is that the convenience, accessibility and social engagement of VR iGaming that has the potential to rival brick-and-mortar casino experiences. Already, there are VR-exclusive casinos such as SlotsMillion, which create dynamic casino environments that stir the senses as much as walking on a smoky old-school casino floor. It would be sad to see VR lead to the demise of land-based casino resorts, but industries such as iGaming must move with the times and give the people what they want.
Sports Techie, technologies mature faster than you can lay down a bet inside an actual casino sometimes. Having the table, dealer and fellow gamblers with you inside a virtual environment is not quite the real thing or is it. The payout is the same online as it is in Las Vegas or Hong Kong. Playing table games using VR tech provides an immersive experience at times equal to or better than the real thing, sport included as in esports.
Please bet responsibly and only wager with money you can afford to lose whether in the virtual or real world.
See ya later sportstechie in Seattle, Atlanta and around the world!
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