Anyone that’s tried Oculus Social Trivia, Pool Nation VR, Rec Room, or one of any other VR experiences that adapt a real world activity and environment to the immersive medium of VR knows how engaging it can be. It’s a lot easier to fool the brain if you stimulate it with things it’s already familiar with. In the case of Casino VR Poker, that’s some good ol’ fashioned hands of Texas Hold ‘Em.
With either a Gear VR or Oculus Rift (or standard PC if you wanted) you can hop into the lush and atmospheric rooms of Casino VR Poker. You’ll find a list of tables to join, up to 6 total people, and choose an avatar to represent you. With fully functioning voice chat, head tracking, and simple controls, it’s one of the more immersive social VR apps out there. Within an hour of playing you’ll start making friends – and enemies – at the table, just like real poker.
Today, Casino VR Poker is becoming one of the few VR apps to feature in-app purchases (IAP.) Games like Bait! already let you buy fishing rods and items, but they’re not consumable. In Casino VR Poker, you can actually purchase chips themselves, which can be lost while playing the game. This is an interesting update, especially considering Oculus’ support of the feature.
In email correspondence, UploadVR spoke with Hamza Siddiqui, Co-Founder & CEO of Casino VR Ltd., about the update and other upcoming features.
“There are no cash outs, since that would make us illegal,” Siddiqui jokes. “Notice the leaderboard in game, there are a lot of players with over 800k in accrued chips.”
One of the biggest obstacles I’ve seen with virtual poker that is entirely fictional, is that people become extremely aggressive and reckless with their betting. They bet and raise huge amounts, forcing other people to fold or go all-in, because it’s fake and they have no risk. It makes it difficult to really enjoy the experience and play it realistically. Ideally, once people start buying chips with their real money, that will add a layer of security and caution to betting habits.
The team at Casino VR has many other planned features for IAP support as well, which should help add depth and replayability to the experience, in addition to the existing tournaments and events, without ruining it for players that don’t want to pay money. “For IAP, this is just the start,” teases Siddiqui. “We plan on launching game levels (XP) and with it would launch a whole suite of customizations around personal identity.
He also mentioned the potential for Oculus Touch controller integration later down the line for the Oculus Rift version of the experience. “Imagine stacking chips with hands!” Siddiqui said.
You can play Casino VR Poker now on Gear VR or Oculus Rift for free, which is accessible from the respective Oculus Home storefronts. An eventual Steam launch is also planned.