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Virtual reality technology is evolving at pace and video games like Star Wars: Squadrons, Pistol Whip and Falcon Age already have VR support. Does that mean online slots are about to become obsolete, and do VR slots really have the clout to pull off a cross-casino coup?
Before we get into the prospect of a virtual reality fuelled gambling revolution, let’s delve into the concept itself. What is virtual reality? VR is defined as a computer-generated simulation of a 3D image or environment.
Now, doesn’t that sound remarkably similar to the online slots you can play right now at Springbok Casino?
In essence, all casino games available online are virtual simulations. The cards, dice, roulette wheel and reels are not real. They are animated graphics replicating the gambling paraphernalia used in brick-and-mortar casinos.
Where virtual reality differs from the online gambling platform is the ability of users to interact with the simulations in a physical way. Once you have donned the VR headset or head-mounted display, you are effectively transported into the VR environment – be it a video game, a casino or, technically, an online slot.
Rather than clicking or tapping tabs, buttons and controls, as we do at Springbok Casino, you will be able to ‘wander’ across to a virtual slot machine in a virtual casino. The gambling action is then typically activated via a touchpad or the sensors embedded in VR gloves.
In terms of usability, virtual reality requires more physical input from users. It is a more active iteration of gaming. Compare that to the minimal physical requirements associated with Springbok Casino online slots and gambling on a PC or smartphone is less PT and more fun.
We don’t doubt for a minute VR slots will be part of the future. That said, there are financial implications to transitioning from online to VR. Not only is a headset a key requirement, you will have to fork out for a 3D touchpad or motion capture gloves.
How much can you expect to pay for a full VR gambling kit? How about R11,4k for an Oculus Rift, around R7k for top of the range VR gloves and R2k plus for a 3D touchpad? That is a total outlay of R20,400 that you have to recoup from the ‘Springbok Casino of the future’ before you can even start realising a gambling profit!
It is not only players who will be expected to dig deep in their pockets to experience VR gambling. The game developers will have to rejig their casino game development tools, apps and skills… and at a significant cost to the companies and the shareholders keeping them afloat.
How feasible is the idea of immersive VR slots, in any event? It is not as if getting thrown head first into the game is going to be particularly appealing. By nature, online slots are not the most immersive games. Yes, they can be highly creative – but it is not as if there are multiple characters, open worlds, quests, tasks or missions as there are in video games.
How far can developers go when it comes to creating an immersive experience around slots? The second screen bonus games are one area that can be expanded upon. These bonus games are where casino game developers can break free from the confines of the reels and symbols to get really creative – and possibly implement a virtual reality experience.
That said, you’d be switching between regular gameplay with just your keyboard or touchscreen – and having to put on your expensive gear for a few minutes of virtual reality gaming. It doesn’t quite sound feasible, does it?
Right now, the only VR slots that are out there are pretty limited in terms of entertainment. They are created by small independent developers who are yet to make a splash in the vast and well-capitalised e-gaming sector.
What can you expect from the current crop of virtual reality slots? Well, you are essentially playing a conventional slot machine… in a VR casino. That is about it. What is more, no real money changes hands. The question is… what is the point of playing VR slots in their current form at all?
Even when the developers do come up with something truly amazing, it won’t necessarily delight the remote gambling regulators. Problem gambling is something that is taken very seriously. There are numerous organisations and protocols in place to mitigate the risks and the damage that it can inflict.
At Springbok Casino we support responsible gambling and we offer self-exclusion and deposit limits to help our players who find themselves in a tough spot. With VR, the experience might be all too real – an element that in itself can be dangerously addictive.
At this point in time, online slots offer the best in terms of real money gambling. The games are entertaining, they pay out lots of ZAR – and they offer the right amount of immersive and interactive gameplay. That’s not to say that technologies we have not even dreamt of will never tip them from their throne.
In fact, it is fascinating to try and imagine how VR, AR, AI and an entire alphabet of future tech is destined to transform gambling online – and it most likely will. That is a conversation for the future though…
In the meantime, we suggest you settle in at Springbok Casino for the long haul. There are literally hundreds of Real Time Gaming (RTG) developed online slots, table games and video poker variants available on our download, instant play and mobile platforms.
The RTG online slots offered at Springbok Casino provide rich and thematically interesting gambling sessions all around. Then, of course, there is that all important component that is missing in VR slots – and we are talking about the real money bets and the cash payouts they can unlock!
Are we on the cusp of virtual reality slots? Not quite. There is still lots of innovating and brainstorming required from online casino game developers. Regulators will also want proof that VR slots are not harmful to players’ health, happiness and well-being.
For the best online slots experience, sign up at Springbok Casino where our games, payouts and player safety and security are monitored and regulated with you as the number one priority.