With the on/off closure of land-based casinos during various lockdown scenarios it is no secret that many Canadians have moved to playing at online casinos instead. In recognition of that, we have reviewed numerous operators on wetten.com/ca/ and you can be assured they are safe and reliable.
What you may not know is that there is now an innovative third option for casino fans in Canada – virtual reality casinos. We believe that a well-designed VR casino can cross the digital divide between the social aspect of visiting a land-based operation and playing casino games alone.
What is VR?
Virtual reality may not be a new concept for many of you, but if you haven’t experienced it previously, you are certainly in for a treat. The secret behind the technology is the way VR graphics are produced, using a rate of 90 frames per second and a high resolution close to 4k. If you consider that the standard for a HD movie is 24fps and less than 2k you will get the point.
If you want to understand a bit more about how a virtual reality experience ‘feels’, then this article gives a really clear picture and does a better job of explaining than we can.
What can I do in a VR casino?
Your first decision is deciding how much you want to spend, then loading your casino account with the equivalent in virtual currency. Now the fun begins. Your VR casino experience starts by choosing your online persona aka avatar, which is the way other players in the casino will ‘see’ you.
As you enter through the front doors, you will hear the familiar casino sounds of coins falling, glasses clinking and human chatter. Once inside you can free roam and explore the entire casino, buy a drink at the bar and chat with other customers.
When you feel comfortable and you are ready to play, you can select from a range of slots and live-dealer games including blackjack, roulette and baccarat. We suggest you set yourself a timer as you are likely to become so immersed, you will lose track otherwise.
I want to play, what do I need?
It must be said that the cost of a VR setup is not at the low end of the budget scale. You will need a PC with a reasonably high spec, but if you happen to be a gamer, your machine will most likely exceed the minimums anyway:
Processor: Intel i5-4590 / AMD FX 8350
Graphics: NVIDIA GTX 970 / AMD 290
Ports: 3x USB 3.0, 1x USB 2.0
Display: HDMI 1.3
You also need a VR headset and as always, the more you spend, the better your experience will be. Hint: Oculus Rift seems to be a favourite at the moment.
Lastly, not compulsory, but certainly a further enhancement is a pair of data gloves, which will enable you to ‘feel’ as well as view your VR world. Some are even sensitive enough to feel a virtual cigarette, we are led to believe.
What is the future for VR in the casino world?
We genuinely think it could become the next big thing, especially in the current situation, as you can interact with other people without worrying about masks and social distancing.
As is the norm with new technology, it does have its doubters, those who believe it will all end up on the same scrap heap as floppy discs, cassette tapes and plasma TVs, but we prefer to think that it will gain popularity as the cost of equipment comes down.
We are a little surprised that in current times, VR casinos have not become immensely popular, as they certainly seem to cover a lot of bases for both online players and those who prefer the ‘real deal’ of bricks and mortar casinos.
Perhaps it is the cost of the equipment, or just the fact that fewer people have heard about them at all. If it is the former, you can actually play in a VR casino without the headset, but obviously it won’t have the whole immersive side to it; if it is the latter, now that you do know there’s nothing to stop you giving it a try.