HTC Vive and IGT announce casino VR deal

Slot machine maker International Game Technology PLC (IGT) has announced that it will be teaming up with HTC Vive to bring VR technology to casinos. The partnership will see the IGT, which is one of the world’s largest ‘gaming solutions providers’ leveraging HTC VIVE Studios’ content within a ‘Virtual Zone’ on casino floors.

This is not, however, a way for fatigued gamblers to gain some respite by checking out virtual experiences. Rather, the Virtual Zone is a competition area that allows patrons to compete against one another for cash prizes in VR tournaments.

The deal marks the first time that HTC has made a move into casino entertainment and the first time that IGT’s first foray into VR.

"Arcade-like installations and experiences are skyrocketing across the globe as VR has proven to be a consistent traffic generator in entertainment venues," said Joel Breton, HTC VIVE VP Global Content.

"By combining IGT's gaming expertise and the world's best VR in HTC VIVE, we are launching a combined platform that can deploy the best complete experiences for VR tournaments or stand-alone VR arcades. This is also a huge opportunity for more consumers to be exposed to amazing VR content."

Virtual tournaments

The flagship IGT Virtual Zone is now live at Boyd Gaming’s The Orleans Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas. It uses HTC VIVE hardware and solutions for multiplayer competition to let people compete in real-time for slot dollars to use on machines out on the casino floor.

IGT has also published a SDK to support the tournament platform, allowing game developers to develop VR content for the Virtual Zone. VIVE Studios used the SDK to adapt Arcade saga for the format.

"IGT's Virtual Zone represents an exciting evolution of modern-day casino entertainment, and an important step in diversifying IGT's portfolio with unique offerings that can differentiate our customers' casino floors and entertain a broad demographic of players," said Enrico Drago, IGT SVP Global Product Marketing Interactive, Betting & Licensing.

"HTC VIVE's leadership in the VR space and commitment to developing unparalleled VR player experiences made it the ideal partner for IGT's first commercialized VR solution, the Virtual Zone."

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