Virtual Reality Slot Machines - The Future of the Gambling Industry

Virtual Reality Slot Machines - The Future of the Gambling Industry

VR, or ‘Virtual Reality’ has become a huge buzzword in the past few years. For those not in the know virtual reality (VR)  is a simulated experience that uses 3D displays close to the eyes and pose tracking to allow the user to interact with a navigate a virtual space realistically.

Thanks to advancements in VR technology, once-fantastical, fully immersive gaming experiences are now a reality. Virtual reality slots are leading the charge in this technological revolution in the online gambling industry, giving gamblers a new and immersive way to play their favourite casino games without ever leaving their house.

But what exactly are the key components of VR slots, how do they work, and are they truly indicative of the future of the gambling industry? Join Gambling Zone as we investigate.

What are Virtual Reality Slots and how does it work?

When players put on a VR headset, they are taken to a simulated casino where they can play VR slots. As they would in a real casino, they can choose from different slot machines and interact with them in this virtual casino. The sounds and sights of VR slot games are meant to make you feel like you are in a real casino, with flashing lights, background noise, and the chatter of other players.

Motion controllers let players pull the lever or press buttons while the virtual reels spin. This makes it feel like they are running a real slot machine. This mix of hearing, seeing, and touching feedback gives players a stronger sense of presence and connection, making them feel like they are really in front of a slot machine in a way that traditional online slots and even live online slot games cannot replicate.

Check out the Gambling Zone list of trusted slot sites where you can play VR slot games.

Recent Advances in VR Slot Games

Several top software companies in the gambling business, like Microgaming and NetEnt, were among the first to make VR slots.

NetEnt's "Gonzo's Quest VR" is one of the first VR slot games that can be played in full. The well-known slot game Gonzo's Quest has previously been turned into a live casino game but has now been turned into a 3D world where players can follow Gonzo, the game's main character, on a prize hunt like no other.

Technological and Creative Breakthroughs

Outside of general quality-of-life improvements and coding that boggle the brain, the biggest breakthrough that is powering the next generation of VR experiences is the incorporation of AI. Artificial Intelligence or ‘AI’ is all the rage nowadays and is being added to VR to create smarter, context-aware experiences. This connectivity may enable user-driven scenario adjustments, making VR more engaging and personalised.

Another innovation is the move toward ‘XR’ or ‘extended reality’ which combines elements of virtual reality (VR), augmented reality (AR), and mixed reality (MR), to elevate the potential of the platform.

In terms of the history of technology, while VR is no longer in its infancy, it is still certainly in its childhood, with plenty of growing pains and a need for technological improvement. One area where VR has come on in leaps and bounds is its communication software with systems such as VRChat and Facebook's Horizon Workrooms developing a strong fanbase that helped to refine and improve the software to suit the actual needs of its users. 

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Equipment Enhancements

Something which has held back the VR industry has been the unwieldy headsets, and copious wires required for play, all of course with a pretty high cost. In recent months and years, leading technology giants HTC, Sony, and Oculus have striven to improve VR headset weight and comfort for longer use. Ergonomics, weight distribution, and overall comfort have been greatly improved and continue to be streamlined.

Newer VR headsets include higher-resolution displays that lessen the ‘screen-door effect’ (the occurrence of a grid effect when a screen is closely peered at) and boost immersion. One of the highest per-eye resolutions is 2160 x 2160 seen in the HP Reverb G2.

As mentioned, one of the largest bugbears for VR fans has been the huge amount of wires to plug in and trip over, with wireless options often not able to maintain a charge for long periods. Improvements in wireless technology are eliminating the need for cords, making entertainment more immersive and trip-hazard-free. The potential for this has been exemplified by the standalone Oculus Quest 2 which does not need a PC or wires to produce high-quality VR.

Obstacles and Factors in VR Slot Technology

As alluded to earlier, VR is a technology that is in its awkward childhood stage, and therefore there are plenty of challenges faced by the software and its users. Two of the biggest factors that reduce VR’s potential player base are the cost of the equipment and the space required to play - as more and more of us are living in smaller apartments and have tighter purse strings.

Those with optical sensitivities or problems with balance have also struggled with safely interacting with VR technology. Early VR headsets could only really be worn by most of us for around 15 minutes at a time before a headache would start to loom. Similarly, those with motion sickness or coordination conditions such as dyspraxia and even physical disability would frequently find that VR gaming was not suited to their needs. While technological advancements have improved the degree of eye strain, there is still a long way to go to make the technology inclusive.

Lastly, being such a recent technology, the range of VR slot games currently available is very limited, so it may be some time before players can enjoy the huge array of titles they are used to when playing traditional online slots.

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Reasons Why Players May Choose the Virtual Reality Slot Games

Just as there are some feasible reasons why players can find virtual reality slot games inaccessible, there are plenty of reasons why players should give this upcoming entertainment medium a try. 

Firstly, the technology is becoming cheaper and more streamlined, meaning soon VR tech should fall into the budget of the everyday player. While still small, the library of VR slot games is rapidly expanding with more and more of the internet most foremost developers recreating their most popular slots in a VR form.

The biggest factors however are the hyper-immersion and the potential for social interaction. These two elements have already proved popular in live casino games, with real-time action and interactions with the host and other players mimicking a real-world casino experience more closely than ever before. 

With the creation of entire virtual worlds and the improvements in technology such as voice chat and advanced body tracking, in the future VR could offer players an almost identical experience to if they were playing slots at their favourite casino venue.

Final Thoughts

So, is VR the future of gambling? Yes and no. VR slots and other VR casino titles will increase in availability and accessibility in coming years, but I do not see online slot machines becoming redundant any time soon. Similar to how the same game is released on PC and console platforms, it is more likely that developers will simultaneously release a VR version and an online version of their latest release as common practice. 

Still, in the past few decades technology has advanced in ways we could not have even dreamed of, so who knows what the future of virtual reality in casino gameplay and VR slots could hold. We will just have to wait and see!


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