PokerStars Takes Players into Space with Latest Virtual Reality Update

July 12th, 2019 | by Kaycee James

PokerStars is aiming to take its virtual reality (VR) platform to new heights with an interstellar update and new in-game add-on system.

PokerStars VR spaceship

PokerStars VR has been given another makeover as players are taken into space. (Image: PokerStars)

Part of the operator’s ongoing series of software tweaks, the developers have created the PokerStars Galaxy Space Station.

Going live on July 9, the new setting will give players the chance to bet, bluff and antagonize their opponents while flying through space.

Additionally, along with interactive tables filled with robots, new rules for in-game upgrades have been implemented.

PokerStars Playing Games

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HyKjI2bQAMo

Taking inspiration from the video gaming world, PokerStars VR now allows players to buy and keep the upgrades they purchase. Thanks to the revamped Stars Cred System, players can now build up their collection instead of losing props after using them once.

Although not identical to the loot boxes where players pay for mystery items, Stars Cred provides an ever-changing selection of accessories. Ranging from gadgets to apparel, the items are designed to enhance a player’s presence at the table.

What’s more, with a new rarity ranking system, the items can be used to show off someone’s level of experience.

While in-game add-ons will be new to online poker players, they’ll be familiar to video gamers.

When PokerStars launched its VR product back in 2018, the aim was to create a unique fusion between poker and gaming. Describing it as an “exciting avenue” of technology, PokerStars’ Severin Rasset said players would “appreciate” the innovation.

With PokerStars leaning more towards the casual market in recent years, the move makes sense. Indeed, with experts predicting VR will be worth $19 billion by 2021, the decision to develop a product now is prudent.

Virtual Reality Poker May Prove Unpopular

However, what’s unclear is whether real money players will make the leap to VR. On the Steam gaming network where players can download the software, 89% have left a “very positive” rating.

That’s a clear signal that gaming fans are happy but that doesn’t guarantee grinders will appreciate VR’s dynamics.

For many, online poker is all about speed. Having the ability to multi-table and play thousands of hands per day is what helped many of today’s top pros hone their skills.

In contrast, VR is all about the experience and PokerStars’ latest update is a testament to that. With the focus more on entertainment, PokerStars VR could sit at odds with its sisters platform.

For now, the two occupy different ends of the poker spectrum. However, if the operator ever wants to integrate the two, some compromises on both sides may be necessary.

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