When it comes to VR gambling, the experience is not entirely reliant on the headset. SlotsMillion casino, for example, provides a fully rendered 3D environment that can be accessed through a computer screen. However, it’s hard to deny that you are missing out on the totally immersive experience of a VR casino if you don’t have a pair of goggles.
And since it’s only a couple months away from Christmas, Oculus have released their own pair of stand-alone goggles to the public. These goggles can be used for a range of VR activities, but they’re also perfectly compatible for VR gambling. Will these goggles help break VR gambling into the mainstream or is this the last ditch effort of a company desperately trying to make a profit from a dying fad? Let’s take a look at what this new device can do.
The New Goggles
The new Oculus Go VR headset is, as we’ve mentioned, the company’s first pair of ‘standalone’ goggles. Upon release, it will be sold for a price of around £200 and the company promises that it will make VR “more accessible that ever and represents a huge leap forward in comfort, visual clarity, and ease-of-use.”
Oculus are hoping to join the race of making more affordable VR headgear, one that will not require a smartphone, cable or any wires at all to use. It sounds like the next leap forward in this field of technology and, in our opinion, VR gambling can only benefit from this.
Not only will VR gambling be accessible on another device separate mobile phones, but the pure luxury of the Oculus headset (and others like it) will provide the accessibility and comfort people need to break into VR gambling as a hobby. Sure, a headset isn’t necessary to do so and we’ve yet to see other casinos like SlotsMillion take after their example and develop an entirely virtual casino of their own. But £200 isn’t that unreasonable and we’re pretty sure payment plans exist in case it’s a little outside your budget.
Many high-profile entrepreneurs have endorsed the new Oculus Go headset. In his interview with Fortune, Facebook’s chief technology officer, Mike Schroepfer, claimed that the new goggles will bring great things to users: “For the Oculus Go, think of it as a similar experience from a graphics standpoint to the Gear VR, because it’s a similar kind of platform—but with our latest lenses. The sharpness of text and a bunch of other things will be quite a bit improved. But in terms of the graphics, for the developers [building apps] for the Gear VR, this would be similar.”
Facebook CEO himself, Mark Zuckerberg, talked at length how revolutionary VR has been for the digital age. When he paid over $2 billion (£1.5 billion) for Oculus to develop these new headsets in 2014, he hoped that it would be the start of a new era. “Virtual reality was once the dream of science fiction,” he said. “But the internet was also once a dream, and so were computers and smartphones.” He also believes that virtual reality will become a normal part of everyday life, as much as the smartphones and computers he mentioned have done.
Sceptics, on the other hand, might claim this statement a fool’s errand. In 20126, Oculus only managed to shift 400,000 headsets out of the two million it had produced, meaning sales have been less than stellar. So what’s going on? Is VR, and by extension VR gambling, not as popular as one hoped? Are people believing the ill-informed myths about it? Or are they just being stingy?
Too Late To The Party?
In a recent article, we touched on the truth behind the sales figures of VR headsets. We described how, since last year, the figures have slowed down so considerably that it would now be considered a risk releasing a new VR headset onto the world as the figures would indicate that VR gambling is not nearly as popular as anybody predicted.
Some may see the release of these new Oculus VR goggles as a last-ditch attempt to squeeze money out of people. After all, price is the number one reason why people tend not to buy a VR headset. We can hardly blame them, either, seeing as the equipment could be as expensive as a new smartphone. All for the sake of creating a more immersive experience with recreational activities…
Would this new, more affordable headset change things? There is a possibility it might, particularly for VR gambling. Around Christmas time, sales are more likely to receive a boost and once people get their new headset under their Christmas tree, more people will get into it. However, it would need to take more than that for VR gambling to become popular.
Mobile casinos must push it through marketing and make it seem preferable in comparison to other methods. Companies also need to make VR headsets more affordable, which they appear to have cottoned on to and are making a huge effort to accomplish this. But is this too little too late? Only time will tell and if, by next year, VR sales are still as underwhelming, then we can know for sure if it’s a dead fad.