2016 Aug 1
After what seems like an eternity of waiting, the future is almost here: virtual reality is set to go mainstream and change the world in so many ways. The online casino industry has always been right at the forefront of huge developments in technology, so it stands to reason that there are big plans to implicate VR settings in this booming sector as soon as possible.
The flexibility of casino games
Casino games are some of the most adaptable in the world. The evolution of the slot machine is a prime example of this. What started as a simplistic machine with three reels and a handle at the side has become an intricate set of features, side games, and high-tech visuals. Log on to any online casino and you will find hundreds of different slot games, all striving to be at the frontline of current technology. Even old classics like roulette and blackjack have undergone some significant changes in recent years to please the online casino audience who likes to play these cutting-edge games.
Microgaming is one of the top developers for games used in online casinos, and it succeeds by thinking years into the future and realising the potential of certain products and software. Only recently the team at Microgaming won the Digital Product of the Year award for their Jurassic Park slot machine. The game, which is available to play at http://www.32red.com/jp/, is the first ever slot to use Parallax Scrolling effects, and when playing it on 32Red, new customers receive a £10 no deposit bonus. Because the game is so popular, many online casinos house it, so they must offer enticing promotions like this one to attract new players. And it is by releasing quality products like animated dinosaurs that Microgaming remains at the top of its game.
But Microgaming hasn’t always been at the top. The main rival to Microgaming is Playtech, another huge software developer that provides games for online casinos. Playtech won the award for Best Slot Provider at the EGR B2B awards in 2013, when they released a variety of top-tier branded slots including one based on John Wayne, which is available to play at Vegas Slots. These slots also included the innovative concept of “Everybody’s Jackpot”, which allowed everybody the chance to become a winner. The rivalry between the two developers helps push gaming forward, as they both strive to take the lead with the most innovative designs. At the moment it seems as though Microgaming is in pole position again with its plans for VR.
At this year’s International Gaming Awards, Microgaming won the Innovator of the Year award for its VR roulette, which could be the start of yet another shift in the online casino industry and the way games are played. Many online casinos try to create an immersive experience with links to live tables and engaging games, but as it stands the user is still an outsider looking in. VR is set to rectify this, though, and put the user into the game, as Microgaming has shown with its futuristic idea. The player puts on the VR headset and actually stands at a virtual roulette wheel, with a betting area on which they can place virtual chips. The user can even interact with other objects in the virtual environment, such as rocks in the space setting. Users who tested it at this year’s ICE convention said it felt as though they had been transported to another place.
Vegas Slots Online already has a virtual roulette wheel that players can bet money on, but imagine if online casino operators also started incorporating the VR roulette game. This could lead to more astonishing developments in the industry, such as virtual blackjack, craps, and slots as well.
There may also be an opportunity for more social interaction with the introduction of VR. Mark Zuckerberg, the founder of Facebook, has already set a team of engineers the task of creating virtual chat rooms in which people from all over the world can meet. An online casino could be the perfect setting for such social interactions.
With VR just around the corner, these are exciting times for the online casino industry. The online casino could soon be a fully immersive experience, with the added bonus of social interactions. So get that headset on and lay down those virtual chips, it’s time for a new era.