Posted in Casino Reviews, Guides, Industry June 19, 2017
NetEnt & Microgaming Take the Lead in Developing VR-Enabled Casino Games
In recent years, the casino and internet gambling industry has been buzzing with talks about new trends and technologies that are set to revolutionize the way customers and players experience casino entertainment. After the success of mobile gambling and live casino games, the focus has now shifted to virtual reality (VR) and augmented reality (AR). The belief among insiders is that these technologies will reshape the online casino industry and redefine the way customers enjoy casino games.
Last year, we saw the emergence of games that leverage AR, such as the hugely popular ‘Pokemon Go’. This free smartphone game topped the most downloaded charts in 2016 and changed the way casual players and enthusiasts engage with apps. Instead of sitting in one place, players were out and about, hunting for virtual Pokemon monsters. However, AR is not the only technology changing the gaming landscape. Virtual reality is also being tested and integrated into online casino games and entertainment.
What Makes VR Different from Other Casino Technologies?
Both AR and VR have the ability to change a player’s perception of their surroundings. However, there is a difference between the two technologies.
VR creates a simulation of another world that players can enter and become a part of. To enjoy VR technology and games, players must use a VR-approved helmet, which is now available in the market. Once the helmet is worn, players can immerse themselves in a virtual playing experience. Today, VR technology, including the helmet, is readily available in the market, and software providers like Microgaming and NetEnt are taking the lead in offering VR-enabled casino games.
Virtual Reality in Casinos – Roulette for Microgaming, Slots for NetEnt
Microgaming was one of the first developers to tap into VR technology and has incorporated it into its roulette game. The technology and game were showcased at the ICE Totally Gaming 2016 event, allowing the general public and critics to experience it. To play the VR Roulette, players need to wear a headset, such as the Oculus Rift DK 2 headset, which comes with the Leap Motion 3D Controller to monitor hand movements and project them in 3D. In the VR environment, players can see their hands as they place bets and interact with a robot croupier.
NetEnt, on the other hand, has invested in a new-generation slot game called Gonzo’s Quest. This title has been around for some time but has been tweaked by NetEnt to incorporate VR technology. Released in the first quarter of 2017, Gonzo’s Quest became one of the first VR-enabled slot games. Players can accompany the famous explorer on a journey to discover the Amazon Jungles. NetEnt’s VR slot game comes with its Web VR plug-in, allowing the content to be viewed on web browsers without the need for downloaded applications. The CEO of NetEnt, Per Eriksson, believes that virtual reality is the future of casino gambling and views this accomplishment as not only a milestone for the company but also for the industry as a whole.
With the commercial release of VR headsets and the announcements from Microgaming and NetEnt, we can expect to see more VR-enabled casino games in the coming months. This technology will make casino play and entertainment more immersive, enjoyable, and memorable.
For more information about virtual casinos, check out our article on the advantages and disadvantages of virtual casinos!