How the Vegas Steering Wheel Slot Can Drive Online Casino InnovationPublished January 19, 2023 by Shane
Join us as we delve into the mindblowing potential for online casino game innovation brought about by the Nevada Gaming Commission's approval of a slot machine featuring a steering wheel, creating an industry-first RNG-skill game hybrid.
When it comes to online gambling innovation, developers tend to focus on new game types, unique bonus features, how to leverage the blockchain, and even how to integrate augmented and virtual reality systems.
An area of game development that has gone largely forgotten until very recently has been the use of gaming peripherals to enhance traditionally non-skilled-based games like video slots.
Slot Machines Crossed with Skill Gaming
The concept of blending RNG-gambling games with skilled-based touchpoints is not new but has eluded the gambling sector until recently. In a groundbreaking announcement, the Nevada Gaming Commission approved Competition Interactive’s latest genre-bending slot machine, Running Rich Reels.
Chief Creative Executive of Competition Interactive Keith Winters said:
“As a Las Vegas gaming manufacturer, we are thrilled that we brought the casino industry the first-ever gambling racing game. We are closer to merging the world of land-based casino gambling with the world of interactive video games. The time for Next Generation gambling games is now.”
Competition Interactive is making a name for itself in the world of casino game development thanks to its unique drive to seamlessly blend gambling with “social, competitive, and hybrid skill-based” experiences.
Grab Your Destiny by the Wheel
Their latest success, Running Rich Reels, appears to be a stock standard land-based slot machine until you realise it has a steering wheel alongside its more traditional gaming buttons.
The slot plays as one would expect until you trigger the bonus feature:
“The hybrid chance/skill game is the world's first and only slot game with a steering wheel that allows players to use their skill in an arcade-style race to determine bonus payback. This unique arcade-style racing experience will enable players to drive for cash on 6 fairy tale-themed courses with a modern twist.”
Leaning into the popularity of arcade go-kart and racing games like Crash Team Racing and Super Mario Kart, the innovative release allows players to take hold of their destiny as they steer their way past obstacles towards bigger and better rewards.
What About Home Gaming Peripherals
The online casino sector has also been toying with blending skill and RNG gambling into a cohesive experience. To date, this has most successfully been achieved in the live dealer space with Stakelogic’s Spin to Win slot. The game is the first of its kind, pairing an RNG-driven online slot with a live dealer-hosted progressive jackpot bonus feature.
However, with the approval of this most recent hybrid slot game, the Nevada Gaming Commission could have opened a previously overlooked avenue for innovation, home gaming peripherals.
Here are some popular pc and gaming peripherals and how we believe they could be used to augment online gambling.
- Steering wheels and racing sim seats: The controls would allow developers to bring their own versions of racing skill games into the online casino space. Depending on the brand and time of year, these could be serious F1 sims, high-energy NASCAR races, or fun racers like Mario Kart with powerups and crazy jumps.
- Flight sticks: With the popularity of flight sims, movies like Top Gun 2 and even Crash games, the options for creating skill-based bonus features that allow players to fly various craft are endless.
- Console-style game controllers: We would love to see Street Fighter slots allow us to fight certain bosses or break the car in the bonus round by mashing buttons on our controllers. From stealth mini-games to finding treasures in 2D platforming features, we can’t wait to get our game on.
- 3D audio headsets: Their incredible soundscape is a heavily underutilised aspect of casino games. We can imagine having to follow sounds or locate objects using the power of 3D virtual surround sound.
- Condenser microphones: As an accessibility tool, the power of voice controls could be a game changer for the online casino industry. Not only could players use voice commands to trigger standard controls like Spin, Hit and Cash Out but voice-based mini-games could be highly engaging.
- Webcams and streaming setups: Every computer and laptop has a decent camera connected to it these days. Why not use this feature to engage players? Using deepfake technology with these cameras, players could appear in the game they’re playing. Pair this with AR and VR tech at a live dealer table, and you have one of the most immersive online gambling experiences possible.
- The keyboard and mouse: The most obvious, humble, and widely available pc peripherals are the mouse and keyboard. Video games use these to effortlessly allow players to hunt, find buried treasure, pick the locks on treasure chests, and even build incredible structures. Visionary casino game developers could create any number of immersive experiences with these simple tools.
While we didn't add it to the above list because it is more of a mobile option than a home computer one, there is also the possibility of using gyroscopic or axis controls to play a bonus feature. This would entail the player using their phone as the controller and tilting it side to side or forward and backward to steer an object on the screen.
Full Throttle into 2023!
The opportunities for creating new and innovative online casino experiences are endless when we begin to see casino games as actual games and not just a way to gather wagers. By allowing players to bring their home gaming skills into the casino environment, we could see an unmatched period of player engagement and customer loyalty.
Before Evolution Gaming leaned into the potential of live casino games, it was a microscopic niche market that most casinos and developers ignored. Could this untapped hybrid chance/skill game scene be the new live dealer vertical?