Virtual reality is here to stay and is going to change digital entertainment as we know it in the near future. Online casinos are all set to undergo the virtual reality revolutions as well. The question is – how will the online casino market react to virtual reality online casinos? A handful of online casinos, which launched recently, have VR sections. A few casino operators have been quick to jump aboard the virtual reality train while others have opted to stand back and watch for the time being.
Unfortunately, as virtual reality casino operators have learned the hard way, VR casinos and VR games like VR slots have not quite taken off as they would have hoped. Why would this be? Let us consider a few possible reasons why VR slots have not been as popular expected.
Slots are the most popular gaming category at both online casinos as well as land-based casinos. People love playing casino slots because they are easy to learn, fun to play and can pay pretty well at times. So, why is it that VR slots don’t get the same sort of reception?
One of the fundamental reasons why VR slots have failed to gain traction in the market is obvious and staring us in the face – it is expensive to play VR slots.
Virtual reality is a fantastic innovation and is undoubtedly what the future holds. However, at this time, to be able to play virtual reality games, you require a VR headset and they don’t come cheap. A good quality VR headset could cost you anywhere from $450 - $750 a pop. As these headsets are mass produced and as more manufacturers enter the market, the cost of VR headsets should be driven down eventually, but VR headsets are still seen almost as a novelty item at this time.
In addition, it isn’t just the VR headset you need. Anyone who wants to play VR slots at a full-fledged VR online casino is also going to require a computer or smartphone that is powerful and can process such a heavy and intensive application seamlessly in order to play mobile slots. This effectively means substantial added cost for players.
Some of the top online casino operators certainly don’t shy away from making hefty investments. But when it comes to VR casinos these initial investments will need to be greatly increased.
VR casinos are heavy weight web applications that suck a lot of juice. To develop such online casinos is complex – it takes time and costs a lot of money. What’s more? Once developed, you need high configuration servers that can handle the load and allow players from all around the world to access and play these games seamlessly on an ad hoc basis.
Furthermore, there are only a few online casino game developers that produce VR slots at this time and their services are fairly expensive as well.
We touched upon how slots are one of the most popular categories of games at a casino. There are several reasons why people love playing slot games. However, one of the main reasons is that make slots universally appealing is that slots are simple and minimal in nature. You spin the reels and if the symbols line up – you win. It does not get much simpler than that.
In fact, casino operators have seen this phenomenon in the past. When 5-reel and 6-reel slots were introduced with lots of features, functionalities and bonus rounds, they were well received, but the market for 3-reel slots did not shrink. People still wanted to play classic slots with three reels.
Similarly, when you add VR to the equation, you are complicating a game which is popular because it is simple. VR slots may eventually catch on when it is cheaper and feasible, but it would be naïve to think that it would take away from the existing online slots market.
If slots are the most popular type of game at a casino, it means that the slot machines are where you are going to spend most of your time. People can spend anywhere between 10 minutes to several hours playing at a slot machine. So, if you are going to play slots for long hours, you might as well get comfortable, right?
This is where the next disadvantage of VR slots creeps in. VR headsets are bulky and they basically shut you off from the world. They are immersive and great fun, and really great entertainment for action-packed games for a short time period. But if you wear a VR headset for many hours, you are going to experience discomfort at some point. The headset is heavy, some people experience headaches from the over-stimulation and you can’t eat with the headset on!
After paying hundreds of dollars for a VR headset to play slots, if you can’t play for as long as you please, doesn’t that defeat the purpose?