After a rocky introduction in the nineties, it was another two decades before VR would begin to show its true potential. Despite finally being able to measure up to the promise, however, the adoption of VR devices has been slow. As is the case with many new technologies, speculators have suggested that all VR could need is a true killer app.
Looking at this idea through the lens of mobile virtual and augmented reality opportunities, we want to make a case for why mobile VR casinos could be a stepping stone to success. All the pieces are already nearly in place, so what final moves could consolidate these technologies into a totality greater than the sum of its parts?
The Mobile Solution
Among the primary issues that users have with the current state of VR is the cost. For a dedicated unit such as FuLov or LEFXCAM, costs can easily reach over the £1,000 mark. Given the limited library of games on these devices, this isn’t an investment that many are willing to make.
There is a cheaper alternative, however, in specially designed enclosures for smartphones. These adapt modern smartphones into VR-type systems. While not offering quite as in-depth an experience as more specialised models, their relatively lower costs of well under £100 make the choice an easy one for many.
The one major problematic factor with these mobile devices is one that counterintuitively plays perfectly with the idea of casino game AR or VR. This issue is one of processing power. Most up-market VR solutions rely on powerful computers in order to calculate the rendering of large and open worlds. This is because running a game in VR requires pushing at least 90 frames per second (FPS) in order to avoid giving the user motion sickness. This is a challenging task, to the point where most standard console video games operate at only 30 FPS as standard.
Casino games see an advantage here in that they don’t rely on vast open worlds or flashy effects to generate an enjoyable experience. The fun of these games has always been the central gameplay, and this gameplay can be accurately represented at high frame-rates without requiring top of the line hardware.
Online Casino Success
The current state of online casinos is one of immense breadth and scope. This is illustrated by any of the top online casinos that exist today. From the game selection to the welcome bonuses, to how easily they run on mobile devices, the promise of this industry has long been fulfilled. With millions of fans and an overall size which is growing daily, this market is prime for continual exploration.
Contributing to the size of online casinos is the flexibility on which many of the games lean. Essentially, as long as the core components remain constant, developers have enormous freedom with the surrounding themes and bonuses that casino games employ. This is what led to an adoption of themes from television, movies, music, video games, and more, and it is also what could help digital casino integration with VR and AR.
With Your Powers Combined
Combining all of the components together reveals a situation where casino gaming, entirely accidentally, has become a perfect fit for mobile augmented and virtual reality. As for who will rise to first take advantage of this potential to the utmost degree, this is a question that only time will answer. Unfortunately, most VR developers have moved away from the mobile space, as it was sadly underutilised during the first wave of new systems.
That said, development for VR and AR is easier today than it has ever been, owing to powerful tools in engines like Unity, Sumerian, and Unreal Engine. With online casinos growing larger by the day, it could just be a matter of time before the first fully online virtual casino becomes a literal reality. The first killer app is coming, we just don’t know when.