How Online Slots Technology Has Evolved
It seems like online slots have been around forever, but the truth is they have only been in existence for 25 years.
12:58 10 September 2019
A quarter of a century is a short time when you consider how long humankind has been around for. If it seems like online slots have been around for a long time, it’s probably because they have evolved so quickly. Like online shopping, today’s online slots are almost unrecognizable compared to their predecessors from the early days of the internet in the 90s.
Since the introduction of the first online gambling platform in 1994, demand and supply of online slots has grown quickly – with barely any time to take a breath and reflect. With no signs of any slowdown in this process, we feel now is as good a time any to pause and take stock of the history of the online slots market.
1994: First Online Gambling Platforms Appear
Just three years after the first-ever website went live in 1991, Microgaming launched the world’s first true casino software in 1994. Anyone reading this aged 30+ won’t be surprised to discover that the first slots were fairly basic. After all, what can you expect when it took several minutes to dial up a connection to the internet?
Incredibly, Microgaming is still one of the largest casino gaming developers today. Dozens of licenced New Zealand gambling sites offer Microgaming products – including casino, poker, bingo, sportsbooks, and live dealer games. All Slots Casino is an example of an online casino that offers Microgaming games. Click the following link for an All Slots review.
1998: Introduction of the Progressive Jackpot
The popularity of online slots rose steadily over the first few years, but what really sealed the deal was the introduction of the first progressive jackpot slot in 1998. Again, it was Microgaming that got there before everyone else, launching its Mega Moolah progressive jackpot on several different online casinos.
In the past 20 years, 74 millionaires have been created on Microgaming’s progressive slots jackpot network. Dozens more online gamblers have won million-dollar-plus jackpots on progressive slots run by other developers, such as Microgaming’s main rival Playtech.
Circa 2005: Mobile Slots Offer a New Dimension
It’s been around 15 years since the first mobile-friendly slots appeared on the market. In the early years of the iPhone, only a small portion of players chose mobile slots over online slots. But the introduction of the first mobile apps several years ago saw a real transformation as more online gamblers – particularly younger players – ditched their desktop for their mobile.
Now, with the rollout of 5G mobile networks, players will be able to access high-quality slots on the go. Thanks to faster networks and infrastructure, slots developers have found the confidence to integrate mind-blowing graphics and audio into their mobile products.
2019 and Beyond: VR is the future
An article on the evolution of online slots wouldn’t be complete without taking an eye to the future – and in particular the rise of artificial intelligence and virtual reality. VR is set to penetrate every corner of our world, including online casinos and slots.
Recently, NetEnt became one of the first developers to launch a pilot VR slot. Like other VR Games, NetEnt’s virtual reality slot can be played using a VR headset – such as the Oculus Rift or PlayStation VR. It’s still early days for virtual reality. As the technology progresses, we can expect to see VR make an increasing appearance in online slots and mobile slot games.