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Could Pinball Make a Grand Return to the Mainstream in VR?

There was a time a few decades ago when pinball machines were all the rage. They were so prevalent in popular culture that they even inspired songs, such as the iconic Pinball Wizard by The Who.

Pinball was a mainstay of arcade halls during the heyday of those machines, but they fell to the wayside after the digital revolution. Now, though, there’s a chance that these legendary game machines could be set for a comeback in virtual reality.

Pinball Has Already Made a Comeback at Online Casinos

Online casinos are already leading the drive towards bringing pinball back to the mainstream. This currently comes in the form of Betfair Pinball, which uses classic pinball themes to give players the chance to win bonus prizes. For example, there’s a jackpot worth £1000 per day, and there are also free spins and casino bonuses available. This is an innovative way to provide offers, and it helps the site retain customers.

With players discovering pinball at online casinos, they may be intrigued to learn more about the game and play it in new ways. The iGaming sector has a huge influence on popular culture, as it attracts millions of players worldwide. Throughout its history, it has managed to start various trends that have then gone on to have an impact in the mainstream. One of the best examples of this was with live streaming, which started at online casinos and went on to become a global phenomenon.

Capturing the Magic of Pinball in Virtual Reality

VR is already transforming the gaming landscape, and it’s still in its embryonic stages. While the tech has primarily been associated with high-octane action games like Batman: Arkham VR and immersive simulations, developers have begun exploring how this technology can breathe new life into traditional pastimes like pinball.

There’s a chance that when full VR worlds come to fruition, there will be a resurgence of gaming halls that include offerings like pinball. Players may be able to walk around these virtual settings and choose which games they want to play, just as they would have done in the golden age of arcade gaming. This would allow for socialisation and competition between players for high scores, and there could even be inventive new features on the games.

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The Potential for Mainstream Appeal

Anyone who’s played pinball will know that the physical experience has its own essence, which will be hard to capture in VR. There will need to be major leaps forward in haptic technology to replicate this in a digital environment. AR Insider notes how this is one of the most important things for the industry and could take VR experiences to another level.

When the technology has evolved and integrated haptic devices, there’s a strong chance that pinballs could re-enter the mainstream. In the metaverse, there will be a rise in social settings, and people will need activities to bond over. Virtual pinball games could be ideal for that, so it wouldn’t be surprising to see them make a grand return soon.