Question: what's the overall aim of VR? Answer: to make something that's not real, feel real. However, if that was its only aim, then we might as well just do the real thing, right? In essence, we love VR because it allows us to escape to new worlds, experience things we've never experienced and do things we enjoy without leaving the house. Basically, VR is about immediacy, access, and convenience.
One area of development and innovation that highlights this extremely well is casino gaming. For anyone of legal age, visiting a local casino and placing a bet on a game like roulette isn't that difficult compared to something like wing walking or deep sea diving. However, as easy as it is to visit a local casino and play, millions of people prefer to play online. In fact, in 2016, Internet betting was worth $41.77 billion.
iGaming Made Casino Entertainment Instant
One of the main reasons iGaming has become so popular is because it provides an accessible, affordable form of entertainment for everyone. Even though it's relatively easy for most people to visit a local casino, there are reasons why they won't. Whether it's because they're novices and slightly intimidated or it's the fact the stakes are too high, some people would rather stay at home. This is where online casinos have come into the mix and, more importantly, where VR can help.
Picking up on the earlier assertion that VR takes a novel, virtual experience and makes it accessible and real, we're now seeing software developers turn to new technology for inspiration. Put simply, players love playing casino games from home, but they now want a greater sense of immersion and reality. This is where VR comes in with its powers of transportation and transformation.
To show you what we mean, let's take a look at the game of roulette and how it's evolved over the years. Since the modern game was first invented by French mathematician Blaise Pascal in 1655, it's become an international gaming favorite. Today, when you look at the iGaming industry, operators of all shapes and sizes now offer several forms of virtual roulette. Whether it's Multi Wheel or Premier Diamond Edition, there are plenty of ways with 32Red roulette games to spin the wheel and play!
Live Games Signal a Move Towards Realism
However, what you'll also notice if you were to look through the roulette lobby at the aforementioned 32Red is that there are some non-virtual games. Otherwise known as live dealer tables, these roulette options are powered by a combination of RFID chips, webcams and clever software that links them all together. So what makes these games different? Well, let's compare American roulette at 777 casino with 32Red's Immersive Roulette. When you play the latter, you'll be connected to a real dealer who is not only there to control the game, but talk to you and provide some entertainment.
When you play virtual American roulette, you won't see a real person. Instead, the game will be controlled by a piece of software known as a random number generator (RNG). Similarly, if you played Monopoly Tycoon Roulette at Mr. Smith, you'd be playing alongside an RNG at a table where you'll have just one angle on the action. In contrast, Immersive Roulette offers multiple camera angles that zoom in on different parts of the game as it plays out.
Now, what's important to note here is that virtual roulette isn't a bad game. In fact, playing these types of games has a lot of benefits such as speed, efficiency, and fairness. However, players who want a more realistic experience gravitate towards to live dealer games such as Immersive Roulette. As these games have become more popular, developers have moved to take things to the next level by harnessing the power of VR.
Going to the Next Level of Roulette Realism
Going back to our initial idea that VR can make the unreal real, Microgaming has already previewed the future of online roulette with its Oculus Rift-compatible product. Known as VR Roulette and using Oculus Rift and Leap Motion 3D controllers, this software has already been named the Digital Product of the Year at the Global Gaming Awards. Although it's still some way from becoming a mainstream product, VR Roulette allows players to move around a virtual table, riffle chips and play as though they were inside a real casino.
Of course, the iGaming industry isn't unique when it comes to innovation and the utilization of VR technology. However, there is a clear pattern of evolution when you look at a game like roulette. Virtual games have gradually given way to live action options as players call for a more authentic online experience. From this, developers have started to respond with the only technology that's capable of taking players to a place that feels real.
With Greenlight Insights projecting that VR will be worth $7.1 billion in 2017 and $75 billion by 2021, there's clearly a place for VR roulette and other casino games in the market. Indeed, soon we might find that visiting a virtual casino is just as engaging, entertaining and realistic as the real thing.
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