Vegas Infinite, presented by PokerStars, is now available for PC players without a VR headset.
The update from PokerStars and its development partner, Lucky VR, means virtual reality and PC players can sit in the same games for the first time.
PokerStars takes aim at $168 billion market
Virtual reality has long been the next frontier for gaming companies. A Global Market Vision report put the VR gaming industry’s global value at $27 billion in 2022. By 2030, analysts predict it will be worth more than $168 billion.
Online poker has already been swept along by this new wave of gaming technology. PokerStars dipped its proverbial toe into the VR waters five years ago with Vegas Infinite. The free-to-play platform features casino and poker games.
Until now, only players with VR headsets could explore the 360-degree virtual world and play games. However, in a bid to make the next generation of online poker available to more people, PokerStars has released a PC version of Vegas Infinite (see video above). Players can explore the open-world environment and access a full range of free-play games.
There are three perspectives to choose from: first-person, over-the-shoulder, and bird’s eye view. PC players can also perform all the same table actions as their VR counterparts, including chip tricks and picking up their cards. The PC version of Vegas Infinite is also VOIP compatible, which means players can talk to each other in real-time instead of using a chat box.
For all intents and purposes, Vegas Infinite on PC is identical to the VR version. The 360-degree immersion isn’t there, but it’s as close as you can get without a virtual reality headset.
Vegas Infinite makes next gen poker available to all
James O’Reilly, Director of VR & Innovation at PokerStars, said the latest product will introduce more people to poker and, in turn, pave the way for new ways of playing online.
“We’ve drawn on five years of experience in VR game development to build a rich, open-world entertainment destination that also offers all the convenience of desktop gaming. Our launch on PC brings Vegas Infinite to a brand-new audience and gives our VR players the chance to invite friends who don’t own headsets into the same world to play, explore, and hangout together anytime, from anywhere,” O’Reilly said.
It’s still not clear whether virtual reality poker will become the default way of playing online or a nice alternative. However, there’s no doubt technology is improving. Indeed, anyone who watched Lex Fridman’s recent VR podcast with Mark Zuckerberg will appreciate how advanced the virtual world is becoming (see video below).
PokerStars is the first major poker operator to take VR seriously. Releasing Vegas Infinite will put the software in front of more people and, potentially, open more eyes to the future of what online poker could be.