Playing poker online has evolved an awful lot since the first few games that appeared on the web. With the advent of super-fast broadband, a broader range of mobile gaming options building upon improved software, and an appetite from gaming companies to push the element of social interaction to their products, the online poker landscape has changed hugely since the 1990s.
Even in 2017, keeping ahead of the curve is a challenge for online gaming companies around the world, including your average online poker site in Canada, but it’s a challenge that pushes iGaming operators to the limit, resulting in advances and boundary-pushing leaps that are only positive for the end consumer: gamers. What is the future, though, for online poker, as technology continues to push forward with each passing week?
Starting with a Video
Perhaps one of the first major developments that helped to turn online poker into one of the most popular forms of iGaming was the introduction of video poker, which made the jump from physical casino floors to the online world.
While this was an exciting positive development for gamers, there was, and still is, scope for poker online to become even more interactive. It looks like the future in that respect lies virtual reality, which looks set to become a bigger success than it was in 2016. Indeed, with Microsoft reportedly making their own VR headset, that should help to take PC virtual reality technology to the next level by making it affordable and aligned with a reputable brand (in the same manner that PlayStation has achieved with the PS VR technology for the PlayStation 4). This could see a huge boost in popularity for online virtual reality poker as the gaming industry takes it seriously mainstream.
Why Will Poker Embrace VR?
Gaming aside, there are several roads down which virtual reality technology could go, improving experiences and gaining in popularity along the way. On desktop PC, for instance, in Star Trek-themed games, you can pretend you are on the bridge of your favourite Star Trek ship. Or, in the world of Grand Theft Auto, you could really explore San Andreas as if you were there in person. So, why poker as we look for new avenues of VR success? Well, the fact is that the poker world largely relies upon interaction and ultimate immersion for success.
In terms of igniting ongoing interest in poker as an activity – and especially so for millennials – gamers want to be able to experience an immersive world, perhaps one where they can interact with the virtual characters of other gamers, in one cohesive, engaging poker world, bridging the physical barriers that keep gamers apart.
With virtual reality, the critics tend to suggest that VR technology has the potential to make games too realistic to the detriment of the game experience, but the beauty of the iGaming industry in terms of its depth and breadth means that those gamers who can try the new tech and embrace it can continue with it, whilst those who don’t want to adapt can stick with the likes of video poker.
The consumer is, either way, going to be the ultimate winner in this battle, and the race is on to see which companies can keep up with and drive forward online poker using popular new technologies.