A week ago, renowned online poker giant PokerStars launched its new and innovative virtual reality (VR) poker product which has been named PokerStars VR. With this new product, the company hopes to bring back innovation to the popular online poker industry by combining various aspects of the traditional live poker with certain elements of the modern web-based variants of the game.
PokerStars VR which was unveiled at the EuroGamer event in Birmingham, United Kingdom, places a poker player in an immersive gaming world where they are able to sit at a table, handle their cards and chips, interact with their opponents and even spot their opponents’ tells in real time.
Keeping the idea of real-time virtual reality gaming in mind, one of the most prominent features of the PokerStars VR is the live streaming integration. The success of the new product is almost entirely attributed to the live streaming capabilities that allow players to broadcasts their action from within their virtual reality environments and simultaneously streaming a fed of their real environments and interacting with other PokerStars VR players.
The History of Live Streaming in Poker
Over the past few years live streaming has played a pivotal role in the promotion of the game leading up to the current fully immersive virtual reality gaming environments such as PokerStars VR. In many cases, it was limited to streaming services such as YouTuber and Twitch that brought together up to million so poker players and poker fans from all over the world.
In fact, nearly all poker operators, both online and offline, have embraced the concept of live streaming. Brand ambassadors have been using the lie streaming medium to engage with their fans and the final table of major live poker events have always been broadcast in near real time – it’s in “near real-time” since there is usually a short delay put in place so as to conserve the integrity of the game.
It goes without saying, that nowadays live streaming is considered to be part and parcel of poker – many poker fans have even gone as far as adopting a mantra that says “if you did not stream it, it did not happen.”
Virtual reality, on the other hand, is still in its infancy and PokerStars VR is, therefore, an attempt to establish a strong foothold in the developing industry – it will probably be a while before the product finally becomes a viable source of revenue for the company. For this to possible, it is important that multiplayer games such as PokerStars VR get as many users as possible.
As the product gets closers to a full commercial release, more of the poker operator’s live streaming ambassadors will gain access to the products and therefore incorporate play on the platform into their usual content mix.