PokerStars Announces Online Poker VR Platform Coming in 2018
PokerStars announced the next upgrade in online poker with the PokerStars VR platform, a virtual reality card room which is expected out later this year. The PokerStars VR beta test closed this week.
A spokesman for PokerStars said the VR technology’s security test was a success and Stars Group expects regulators will approve the PokerStars VR platform in short order.
Stars Group, the parent company of PokerStars, believes the virtual reality platform ultimately will take online play into the next generation of gaming.
The VR platform is an immersive poker room which allows the player to fully customize play. The experience allows players to create a more realistic card playing setting for their gaming enjoyment.
Why PokerStars VR Matters
Playing cards online involves hours of the same setting. Online Texas Hold’em typically involves a virtual table with cartoon avatars. While there is some customization in the camera angle, poker room, and avatars, it is a limited gaming experience.
PokerStars’ new VR card rooms sets the player in a 360-degree wraparound environment where the other players at the table are 3-dimensional. PokerStars VR allows a player to choose their setting, including opulent Monte Carlo casinos or a skydeck with a view of Macau. The gaming experience is more engaging and more pleasant at the same time.
Free-to-Play Virtual Reality Experience
The rollout should create a buzz in the online poker community. PokerStars VR took a page from the Fortnite video game, as the launch is free for players. Signing up for a PokerStars account will give a player a full chip stack, giving players a chance to experience the game.
Eventually, players can expect PokerStars VR to transition to real money play, including high stakes ring games, mass market events with casual players, and guaranteed Sunday freezeout tournaments.
PokerStars VR Casino Games
If the rollout proves to be successful, one can expect PokerStars’ various online casino products to be integrated into the VR gaming environment. Virtual reality blackjack, roulette, baccarat, and roulette could be next. Eventually, virtual reality slots and VR video poker could provide wild and genre-changing interactive gaming experiences.
At the moment, the 2D renderings of the PokerStars VR platform released for promotional reasons shows a game with detailed backgrounds. The player avatars jump off the screen, with the customization level on a par with top MMORPGs. For that reason, some avatars look stylish and others bizarre, depending on the player involved.
Limitations of PokerStars VR Platform
One reason the new PokerStars VR technology might not be as popular as one might expect is the propensity of online card players to play many tables at once. A skilled poker grinder might open 8 different tabs to play in 8 poker events at once, quickly switching from one table to the next with a click of the button.
An immersive gaming environment like PokerStars VR encourages a single-game experience. While nothing theoretically prevents multiple virtual reality rooms, PokerStars will need to build an interface which allows customization of many rooms at once and the ability to quickly switch between tables, if grinders are to embrace the technology.
If so, then an online card player might switch between Macau, Monte Carlo, Singapore, and Las Vegas when switching between events. The technology has many possibilities, so the poker world should welcome PokerStars VR platform later this year.