Despite the global situation, 2020 was a huge year for gaming all across the globe. Record numbers of players have taken the online casinos by storm as local venues got closed due to COVID-19 safety regulations. Even without the newly-acquired attention, the iGaming industry focused on innovations and delivering the best services to players. However, the extra focus on online gambling helped speed up the process of using the latest technology in developing pokies for 2021. The main trends remain using Virtual Reality, Augmented Reality, and the dominance of mobile gaming, and we’ll take a look at each category and check out how well the new types of slots come with upgrades in the rules department as well.
Virtual Reality Slots
The players enjoying live casino games had the opportunity to combine the advantages of online gambling and the presence of a live dealer through the live casino tables offered by software providers like Evolution Gaming, Vivo Gaming, or Ezugi since 2006. However, those into online pokies had to wait until 2017 when NetEnt patented the WebVR technology to offer Gonzo Quest as the first online pokie to use Virtual Reality. Showcased at the ExCel London, the pokie turned out to be a huge success and inspired other software developers to try the technology. With a portion of players quickly adopting the VR gameplay, it wasn’t long until online casinos also implemented this technology. SlotsMillion is considered the pioneer with over 50 VR pokies players can choose from.
Besides delivering a radically-changed online gambling experience through devices like the Oculus Rift, PlayStation VR, HTC Vibe, VR games offer this immersive gameplay without modifying the base rules and mechanics. Therefore, you won’t need any special set of instructions to enjoy these slots. The idea behind using a slot machine online, no matter if it’s done through VR or the standard way, is straightforward:
- Create an account with an online casino that offers the VR game you want to play. If free credits are available use them (daily updated list here: casino bonuses & promotions)
- Hook up your VR equipment and open the online slot
- Spin the reels pressing the “Spin” button, and hope to get awesome winning combinations
Augmented Reality Online Slots
Some may say that Augmented Reality offers fewer means of integration with online pokies and the iGaming industry altogether. However, it can definitely add value to the overall gaming experience in the upcoming years. A device similar to the Google Glasses could change the way casino players use their laptops or mobile gadgets to enjoy their favorite online pokies and table games. And, even though AR is widely available in games such as Pokemon Go, or Harry Potter: Hogwarts Mystery, there are no AR online pokies released just yet. Adapting the Pokemon Go experience to an online slot would open a whole new world for casino enthusiasts that could be able to just walk towards a big bonus feature or actually get inside the slot during certain events.
This technology brings many benefits to special graphics and animations when it comes to big wins and special features. Land-based casinos can apply the idea of AR to boost the gambling experience as well. All sorts of functionalities could be developed using Augmented Reality, such as discovering the slot machines that offer special rewards or navigating your way through the room to find that specific pokie that gives you extra loyalty points.
Perhaps one of the reasons AR technology isn’t as widespread in online gambling as VR comes from needing a separate set of rules and actions. Unlike Virtual Reality that relied on the same slot mechanics to operate, AR will most probably use a totally different system to interact with the pokie or table games. However, we’re sure that at the rate at which new technologies are developed every day, Augmented Reality will soon offer lots of applications in the iGaming environment.
Have you ever tried a VR or AR game? Not strictly talking about online gambling games using this technology. We invite you to try them out and discover the upgrades brought to user experience and immersiveness.