Slot machine history
Early slot machine history takes us right back to 1887 with the first poker gambling machine. This was followed in 1891 by the ‘Liberty Bell’ – the first slot machine to feature an automatic payout. By 1907, gamblers were trying their luck with the first BAR symbol ‘fruit machines’ operated by a pull lever which paid out when certain fruit symbol combinations lined up on the reels. The BAR ‘one-armed bandit’ machine and its endless variants were the standard slots seen in gambling houses until the advent of the first electromechanical slot, which arrived in 1964.
This electronic technology paved the way for the appearance of video slots in 1976, but gamers had to wait until the 1990s before gambling firms took the futuristic step of moving from bricks-and-mortar casinos to Internet gambling in online casinos. At first it was just traditional casino games like blackjack and roulette which migrated online. But their continuing popularity meant online slots soon featured and are still with us today. And now with the availability of virtual reality (VR) technology, it’s slots which are once again at the forefront of online casino entertainment.
Game-changing digital technologies
Online gaming companies began by simply duplicating the games found in land-based casinos using digital formats. But as digital technology matured, game designers realised that computing power and the availability of high-quality sound and graphics elements actually allowed them to become more adventurous. Soon gaming environments were able to offer a far more vibrant experience than land-based options. Not only were games like slots, roulette, blackjack, baccarat, craps and others available in their common formats, but gamers were also offered new variants of these classics with different rules.
Adapting games was much easier in digital environments, and designers also began to experiment with entirely different themes and layouts. As a result, there are now online slot games with five reels or even more and game environments configured in unusual ways. In addition, there is an almost endless choice of themes and genres plus new game features and imaginative bonus rounds. But the latest VR technology offers the ultimate experience: the home player can once more enjoy the atmosphere of a (virtual) live casino environment – all without having to get dressed up or having to arrange travel etc.
How virtual reality casino games work
To work its special magic, VR depends on a mix of high-resolution graphics and high-quality digital audio. VR imagery is delivered at a much higher frame rate than players experience in standard video games. This technology is essential to recreate scenes before the player’s eyes without any sense of latency (awkward glitches or breaks in continuity). In the physical world, when you turn your head to re-focus elsewhere the process is seamless and feels automatic. So for a virtual world to seem ‘real’, such experiences must be replicated in the same way.
When VR first appeared in the early 2010s, recreating virtual environments pushed computing technology to its limits. And while it worked well for applications such as online museums and art galleries, any action and user interaction was much more tricky. But as the technology has been developed, faster computers and better peripheral equipment have once more brought this new technology to the attention of game developers. For sure, Virtual Reality will have a big impact on the new online slots in Canada.
Standard online casino games vs virtual reality games
Your favourite casino games allow you to spend as much time as you wish at home enjoying gaming sessions – and all without any need to locate and visit a land-based casino. And when you are away from home, HTML5 technology means you can still carry on playing using a tablet or mobile to access your casino destination. However, VR now offers something more.
VR casino gaming is an immersive experience – you’re not just enjoying your game, you’re in the casino itself. In that respect, VR gambling probably has more in common with MMO RPG video games where you feel like you are in a game environment (e.g. a war zone) along with other gamers like yourself who are also part of the total experience. So in a VR casino, you will be able to see other players as they enter the casino and also watch them as they play. Likewise, other players will be able to see you and everyone can look around the casino during gameplay. However, each player’s game screen remains a private area which only the player can view. But the essential difference between everyday video games and VR is the quality of the environment and the way users can enjoy lag-free interactions.
To enjoy VR casino gambling, you must have a computer powerful enough to handle VR’s considerable demands. In terms of graphics, this means you must have a machine equipped with something like a GeForce GTX 970 graphics card, or better. You will, of course, also need a good quality VR headset like those available from Oculus, HTC or Samsung.
The computer itself must have a powerful CPU processor – e.g. an Intel Core i5- 4590, or another processor matching or exceeding that specification. RAM memory requirements will be 8GB or more, and your PC must support the USB 3.0 standard. As regards connectivity, your machine will need at least two USB 3.0 ports and one HDMI 1.3 port, and your operating system must be Windows 7 SPI, or preferably newer.
Unlike standard computer gaming, you will not need a dedicated games controller. Most VR casino games can be played using a standard keyboard or joystick. However, your VR experience will often be greatly enhanced by wearing a special bio-sensing VR data glove.
Getting started and what to expect
Before you can play VR format games you will need to open a VR casino account and also download any apps required. Then you’ll be able to enjoy casino gaming like never before! You can choose your own avatar character, participate in multi-player games, connect with other gamers, use voice/chat functions and enjoy access to regular updates, new games and features.
As well as VR blackjack and roulette (with a real dealer), you will find popular slot game titles such as Dracula, Starburst, Gonzo’s Quest, Beowulf, Black Lagoon and many more. So why not visit JackpotCity and enjoy a 21st-century VR experience for yourself?