As a technology long in the making, virtual reality (VR) has finally started to find its feet. While science fiction has been touting the potential of VR for decades, actual early systems like the Nintendo Virtual Boy were limited and crude. A case of reach surpassing grasp, we’ve finally joined an age where the tech can keep up, and now traditional video and online casino games have to find their own path.
The difficulty in this comes from the fact that virtual reality games are, by their nature, far more demanding than their traditional counterparts. Instead of a single image, VR has to render two, one for each eye. On top of this, the game must be quick to respond so that the player doesn’t feel disconnected from their virtual body. This can be difficult for animating full worlds, but it’s easier to achieve when creating an environment that revolves around playing slots or sitting at a virtual roulette table.
Quickness, in this regard, needs to come from a high framerate that operates without major dips or fluctuations. Tackling this depends on a variety of factors, with some developers finding it much easier to reach levels of high quality than others.
Take, for example, the popular slots game Gonzo’s Quest. The standard form of this is a regular slots game. This means reels, bonuses, and the potential for big wins, as a player would expect. As most online casino games do, this draws its appeal not through overly complicated systems, but rather from simple systems implemented effectively.
When the developer, Netent, decided to make a Gonzo’s Quest VR version, their barriers to entry were far lower than many other names in the gaming business. A simple base game made the conversion that much easier, making the end result more successful.
On the other hand, we have video game developments like Bethesda’s attempts. As one of the biggest names in gaming, Bethesda owns such legendary properties as The Elder Scrolls and Fallout. The issue here is that their games are notoriously complicated and are sadly associated with low levels of quality control.
So, what happens when a developer famous for buggy games attempts a difficult VR translation? The answer is just as you would expect. While fans have since fixed many of the issues, as they always do, the fact remains that some AAA releases like these are sorely lacking.
As for the future relationship of VR and gaming, this is a combination that will only grow larger and more successful over time. As the backing technology and tools grow and the costs continue to drop, these systems will inevitably see a huge increase in popularity.
VR won’t be standard for every game or casino, but expect adoption rates in major traditional games and smaller single games like slots and roulette to skyrocket in the few years, both thanks to the developers and the fans themselves.