VR Poker: The future of card gaming?
If this continues, will the future of poker become cards-free?
By the turn of the century, game developers and publishers are continuously looking for newer ways for players to interact with video games. Just recently, head-mounted display startup project Oculus Rift, which has been highly regarded as the future of gaming displays, has recently been purchased by Facebook for $2 billion in combined cash and stocks. Aside from virtual reality headsets, another feat the video game industry achieved is the use of motion controllers. The Nintendo Wii toyed with the failures of previous motion controllers and made them work. However, with Leap Motion challenging the existing conventions of motion controllers, one game that will benefit greatly to this innovation is the card game of poker. Will the idea of cardless poker finally come to fruition? Or is this another gimmick that will follow the footsteps of the Atari Mindlink?
Poker Night TV: The closest poker simulation to date A lot of poker games tried to recreate the authentic feeling of playing poker, starting with the ambience up to the bluffs and tells that you can actually read. While most of these games failed to become the ultimate poker simulation, one way or another, the closest we ever had to real poker is, in fact, not made for a gaming device. Poker Night TV, a game designed for Apple TV, makes use of Apple’s proprietary technology to hook up iPhones or iPods to the Apple TV. The Apple TV turns the monitor into a virtual poker table, showing information such as the pot and river cards. Meanwhile, the iDevices display the players’ information such as cards, chips, and statistics. While Poker Night TV doesn't use motion gesture, it recreates the tension at the poker table because players must hook up with the same Apple TV for the app to work. The bluffs are present, the tells are readable, and the tension is real—just like live poker. If only Poker Night TV can also be controlled with a motion controller such as the Leap Motion controller, pretty sure the poker games are much more exciting. However, it’s still going to be a long way before VR poker becomes a staple at tournaments such as the Partypoker-sponsored World Poker Tour.
The future of motion-controlled poker games
The future of motion-controlled poker games is still questionable because there isn't a peripheral device that will give each person a unique view. The solution may be Oculus Rift, but it’s still not enough to recreate VR poker. While VR poker simulation may still be a far cry from becoming a reality, but we already have the necessary bits and pieces to make it come true. Who knows, maybe the future of poker will become card-free?