Fans of PokerStars’ free-to-play virtual reality game will soon have another online option. The company announced on Wednesday the launch of a new title for Meta’s upcoming Quest Pro mixed reality headset.
Meta is the parent company of Facebook and the new device is set to launch Oct. 25. PokerStars VR will be one of a select number of games chosen to launch alongside the new device.
“Our goal with PokerStars VR is to push the potential of new technologies as far as we can to create a fun and authentic social casino game that really is limitless,” PokerStars director of virtual reality and innovation James O’Reilly said in a news release.
“We’re extremely proud to be part of the launch of Meta’s Quest Pro, which is a transformation in virtual and mixed reality. Our developers have been having great fun exploring what this technology means for our players and we can’t wait to show them what we have in store.”
What to expect from PokerStars VR, Meta deal
PokerStars VR is a free-to-play social casino game allowing players to take on others from around the world. Along with poker, games include roulette, blackjack, and slots are available in a unique virtual environment. PokerStars VR also recently announced craps coming to the Stars Casino One environment.
Poker players will find cash games, multi-table tournaments, Sit & Go events, and Spin and Go’s. With the Meta Quest Pro partnership, PokerStars VR is promising even more.
The new Meta headset promises “enhanced performance as well as full-color passthrough for a full mixed-reality experience, face and eye tracking, and other cutting-edge technologies,” PokerStars noted in announcing the new game.
The company’s virtual reality developers, Lucky VR, designed the new game behind the scenes. Lucky staff worked to create new ways to take full advantage of Quest Pro’s capabilities and integrate them into the VR game.
Players using the headset adapt their surroundings to suit their playing habits. Options inside this new poker world include:
- a fully immersive virtual reality experience
- partial immersion that brings objects or spaces from their physical world into the game through editable “passthrough windows”
- full mixed reality that enables players to bring core virtual game elements into their own world
Added technological features
Sophisticated face and eye-tracking also brings a new social dimension to PokerStars VR, the company notes. A key upgrade allows players to make and see realistic facial expressions in their customized avatars. Players can smile, frown, and glance at their cards just as if at a real poker table.
“Advanced haptics will meanwhile add to richer, more engaging gameplay with players getting the full experience of the hundreds of toys, props, and items available,” PokerStars notes.
PokerStars VR uses Tox Mod, an artificial intelligence live chat monitoring tool, to assist a dedicated moderation team. Players also have access to a range of in-game safety tools including the option to take time out from games, set spending limits, and issue player reports. Players can also customize the extent of their interaction with others in the game.
While PokerStars doesn’t offer real-money gaming on the VR version, the platform has created a loyal group of players. The company is hoping the new additions grow this poker option even more.