Is online casino VR/AR the next big thing?
The world of online casinos has been one of constant growth ever since it first appeared. Far from the basic, clunky, and hideous early efforts, modern online casinos stand among some of the highest production-valued and professionally made gaming products of all digital media.
As online casinos are, by their nature, a very competitive environment (targeted for the adult market of course -ed), it makes sense that the developers of the online games that are carried on these websites do their very best to get as much out of their hardware as they possibly can. As the digital world finally enters a time of viable and consumer-level VR, the questions remain as to how long it will be before online casinos really get in on the action. What have we seen so far, and what might we expect in the future?
Setting the digital stage
The modern online casino offers a range of games which, in many cases, far exceed those of traditional casinos. This has become possible because of the reliance online casinos have on software, whereas traditional casinos tend to depend on hardware.
While the tactile pleasure of playing with physical slots and cards is undeniable, the flexibility afforded by software systems allows a much easier way for developers to branch out into new experiments or products. A look at any of the major online slot app providers, for example, will leave users with the choice between a huge quantity of services with bonuses and offers, and many hundreds of individual slots.
Online casinos have combined a sense of what you can expect in a real-life casino environment, with that of the convenience of at-home play, in the comfort of your own home. While we have already seen a degree of this with live-dealer games, the next step could easily include AR or VR.
So, what could virtual or augmented reality bring to the virtual or augmented table which we haven't seen before? The general idea is the use of these devices to create either a full or partially virtual casino. While creating and displaying a full casino of patrons might prove a bit too difficult for common hardware, individual rooms or tables could still be effectively virtualised into what could end up as an amazing, authentic experience. With virtual reality, users could experience the casinos of a bygone era, or even gamble within the likes of Star Wars’ Cloud City.
Augmented reality, on the other hand, might be better suited to more personal experiences. Not only would this prove less demanding than the creation of a complete environment, it could allow for the use of lighter and less uncomfortable devices, at least until the next generations work to reduce these issues.
"2017 VR for Change Summit Arcade" (CC BY-ND 2.0) by Games for Change
We don’t yet know the natural end-point of this technology, because we still have so much potential space left to explore. While online casinos are already dipping their toes into the pool of VR entertainment with the likes of VR roulette or slot games like Gonzo’s Quest VR, we are yet to see the full adaption which the most modern technology allows. We expect that, within a decade, we should see at least a few major efforts to push into this new world, with further drops in the price of VR and AR devices. It might just be a matter of time, but as with any exciting new tech, that doesn't make the wait any easier.