One of the talking points at the recent E3 2017 – the biggest gaming convention in the world – was Virtual Reality. This has been the buzzword amongst gamers of late, and E3 had plenty of headsets and demo areas showing off the latest in this segment.
What Is Fuelling the Growth?
The massive growth in the segment has been aided by the rapid fall in the prices of the VR headsets. A few years ago, most of the headsets shipped in this category were in the high-end segment. Yet, there was a sea change in 2016 as the lower-end Samsung Gear VR sets took up a huge chunk of the 6.3 million headsets according to Venture Beat bought around the world. Surprisingly, only over 200,000 units of the Oculus Rift headset were sold.
The accessibility to cheap VR headsets, which may not offer the outstanding quality seen in an Oculus Rift headset, has given rise to the demand for more VR content. These headsets have gained a lot of traction largely because of the value for money proposition that they offer for a relatively nascent technology.
Impact of VR on the iGaming Industry
Once people have had a taste of VR and the excitement that it offers, it may be difficult to go back to the regular mode of playing games. This is especially true in the case of the iGaming industry, which has started going more towards the online route than the physical casinos over the last decade. A similar switch is expected from online casinos, as VR tech can help take virtual casinos almost on par with a physical casino.
Since the possibilities of VR in this industry can be endless, one can even come up with a virtual location that mimics a casino. At present, the online casinos are not a match for the physical casino in terms of grandeur and live excitement. It is the reason for the various institutions in this segment ramping up their portfolio of live dealer games. Betway Casino, served by game provider Evolution gaming, are an example of an online casino which has increased its presence in the live gaming segment. Undoubtedly, the addition of VR technology into the world of live casino games will make their portfolio even more attractive, with the popular choices of live blackjack, roulette and baccarat available online.
The most common and quick application of VR technology has been found in the world of online slots. They are amongst the easiest to introduce into this technology, and popular developers like Microgaming have gone big on releasing VR slots in 2017.
The slots of today are already immersive and quite high in terms of detail. The Jurassic Park is a popular online slot and it became the first of its kind to have Parallax Scrolling Effects amongst many other technologies. Just like bingo is benefiting from the presence of new technologies, the slots can also benefit from new inventions. The natural path of progression was to offer a different dimension, as staleness appears to be creeping into the world of online casinos.
Factors that could Hinder Growth
Even though VR technology happens to be excellent on all fronts with widespread content availability and the prices of the headsets also dropping, it has not been exactly beneficial to the health of the consumer. VR technology has been found to cause eye fatigue rather easily, while the weight of the product also means that regular users might complain about neck issues. Once these problems become more mainstream, VR headset manufacturers may be forced to get back into the drawing board and work around these issues. They may in turn increase the cost of the product. Even now, there is a substantial amount of financial investment to be made in a VR technology so as to enjoy the benefits. A typical PC user may have to invest around $1,000 in order to get top-of-the-mill VR experience.
The VR technology is here to stay, but it may very well go through several improvements over the next few years. A lot of bingo and slot players have already made the switch to online gaming after seeing the advantages first-hand, and the VR tech is also expected to go through a similar phase in the next decade. The VR Tech has already taken off in the iGaming industry and its impact is expected to swell in the coming years.?