Brilliant as PokerStars are, they have quite a few unsuccessful products. Just this year, three versions made a meteoric arrival on the platform but they burnt out as quickly as they had arrived. Latest to bite the dust was Unfold, PokerStars’ reportedly unprecedented version of the game, which allowed players to keep going even after their cards have been mucked. Today, PokerStars makes an announcement of an entirely different magnitude altogether. Enter Virtual Poker.
PokerStars has announced in their blog post that it is now working on a virtual reality version of poker. Not only has the company already kickstarted the initiative, but presently a closed beta is underway with 100 volunteers already testing the game. It’s unlikely we will see an open beta hit right after the closed one, but the good news is that the company has no intention of delaying the release unnecessarily.
Equipped with innovative technological solution that allows the company to introduce a product that is both intuitive and easy to access, PokerStars is definitely going to make a splash in the industry as the first operator to have a working version of poker in virtual reality. Not only that, but the official release has stated that everything in PokerStars’ VR world will feel real.
Taking it for a Test Ride
Currently, testers are using a number of VR-compatible solutions, including Oculus Rift, HTC Vive, and Steam to be on top of the game. Realizing how important the in-game setting is, PokerStars have decided to choose specific exotic venues, which will allow them to keep you, the customer, happy, competing in Macau or on a luxurious boat in the ocean. Here’s the full list of the available settings:
- The Macau Suite
- Macau 2050
- Monte-Carlo Yacht
- The Showdown Saloon
- The Void
Another notable feature that the game will come along with is the integrated Twitch, which will allow gamers to stream directly and enjoy the game in real-time while touting their successes to the wider community online.
The latest product has been developed with the help of Lucky VR and respected publication EuroGamer has already had a chance to give it a real in Birmingham just recently. PokerStars doesn’t intend to charge customers anything extra for the pleasure of joining a real-life virtual setting to play poker.
Later on, the platform could charge something extra to afford you the opportunity to experience the product. Still, one technical innovation has followed another, and the virtual reality experience is truly something to be looking forward to.
However, the company has had bad turn with a number of its titles so far all of which have had to be scrapped. This includes the latest product, Unfold and Split Hold’em along with Showtime hold’em.
Innovation in the DNA
Severin Rasset, Director of Poker Innovation and Operations for PokerStars has said that poker is truly about innovation. As a social game, it makes sense to always seek and be closer to the players you are gaming with.
The VR solution is about to do just that. While fears about the game flopping are very much substantiated, there is still the simple fact that PokerStars are not trying to introduce a new gameplay mode, but rather to brush up on an already existing product.