If you are a tech enthusiast, it’s a wonderful time to be alive for you! Innovation keeps coming from every direction: we have delivery drones, generative AI, reusable rockets, self-driving cars, and everything in between. Some of the most exciting innovations in the last few years have emerged in entertainment, though. We have virtual reality and mixed/augmented reality headsets that are affordable (well, some of them), and offer a completely new dimension to entertainment.
But not all forms of entertainment are a good fit for every platform. Will one of the most popular forms, online casino games, find its place on VR and AR devices?
When it comes to platforms, there needs to be a critical mass of devices for content developers to start taking them seriously. Take PC gaming, for example. A PC game (that’s not exclusive to one of the major console platforms) will be released on Windows to reach around 1.4 billion potential customers. Mac is far behind from this point of view there are only around 100 million of them (around the same number of units as each of the two major consoles, by the way). So, releasing a game on a Mac is not a priority (especially because Mac users tend to own a console as well).
The same goes for VR and AR. Releasing a virtual casino app on a VR platform doesn’t really make sense on a platform with around 66 million users in total when the industry relies on large masses of players spending small amounts. And Apple’s brand new AR headset, the Vision Pro, won’t help it too much either, considering its price tag of around $3 million.
These novel – and, let’s face it, not very affordable – technologies don’t seem to be able to break out of a vicious circle that hinders their growth.
First of all, they are pretty expensive. The Meta Quest 2 has become a relatively affordable gadget with its $299 price tag, but other devices, like the Valve Index, still cost way over $1000 The Index also needs a PC to function.
People would be willing to reach deep into their pockets if they could play exciting and exclusive titles on their headsets. This has been shown by the above-mentioned Index that was sold out as soon as Valve announced the VR-exclusive Half-Life: Alyx. But other developers don’t seem to believe in VR that much: while many of their games now come with support for VR, not many of them are exclusive to a VR platform. And until developers don’t show dedication to the platform, the players will not feel the urge to invest hundreds, maybe a thousand dollars into their hardware. This limits the growth of the platform.
Are casinos in the future of AR and VR?
Probably – but not in the near future. Casinos, betting outlets, and poker rooms rely on large numbers of users generating a constant trickle of revenue. VR and AR are currently not large enough to be a viable platform for them. But they will grow, especially as the hardware becomes more affordable. And when it happens, we’ll likely see the first VR casino experiences and AR casino apps be released in no time!