We’ve discussed virtual reality slots in the past, notably in April, when the Oculus Rift headset was released. But it still feels like the days of everybody playing slots through their VR headsets are a long way off.
However, a recent report by Juniper Research indicates that we could see virtual reality slots become a bigger deal sooner, rather than later.
As CNBC reports, VR gambling will increase by 800% over the next five years, fueled by high roller bets.
VR gambling revenue is expected to hit $58.5 million in 2016. But this would balloon to $520 million by 2021, assuming Juniper’s figures are correct.
Some companies are already getting ahead of the virtual reality curve, including Facebook and Samsung. It shouldn’t be long before a large number of online casinos begin adapting their products for VR devices.
Juniper points out that the VR gambling experience will immerse players in a lifelike atmosphere, where they can walk up to slot machines or visit the virtual bar.
Experiences like this will push players to buy VR products, making hardware revenues from 360-degree cameras, accessories, and headsets reach $50 billion by 2021 – up significantly from $5 billion this year.
The main stumbling block to this VR revolution will be the high costs of products. Only hardcore VR enthusiasts (early adopters) will buy in the early going. This will no doubt hold back virtual reality slots and other gambling in the first few years.
Lauren Foye, the Juniper report author, says that early adopters will purchase everything from smartphone-based headsets to high-end items such as the Oculus Rift. The latter needs to be plugged into an advanced computer to operate.
“These will be coupled with a niche clientele, often high-rollers, thereby resulting in comparatively large average wager amongst these early adopters,” says Foye.
Perhaps Juniper’s report that VR gambling will increase by 800% is a little optimistic. But one thing’s for sure: our slots experience will continue rapidly changing within the next few years.