The Evolution of Slot Machine Visuals: How Far We've Come

by Tim | Nov 03, 2023

The Evolution of Slot Machine Visuals: How Far We've Come

From casinos to commerce, technology has uplifted industries in ways many couldn’t comprehend. Whether slots or shopping, most processes have gone from manual to automatic. Nowadays, all it takes is a click of a button, and you’ll have food delivered to your doorstep within the hour.

At the same time, online slots in the UK went from mechanical to digital, with the latter offering a seamless and effortless experience. This article dives deeper into the evolution of slot machines, discussing how far we’ve come and where we’ve yet to go. 

The Origin of Slot Machines

It was New York-based company Sittman and Pitt in 1891 that introduced the first slot machine. Costing a nickel to play, the reels included 50 playing cards and five drums, and winners were rewarded with food, drinks, or cigars rather than money. To begin, players pulled a lever and continued doing so to line up winning poker hands – the aim of the game.

Slot machines soon became a popular pastime, causing the majority of New York bars to install them. As demand grew, the need for variety did, too, and it was on the other coastline of America, San Francisco, where this problem was being addressed. 

In 1894, Charles Fey, formerly a car mechanic, began developing a modernised slot, one where payouts could be automated, and with the help of a button, spins were triggered by putting coins in the machine. After the overwhelming success of his first machine, the 4-11-44, Charles opened a factory to mass produce them.

The Liberty Bell would be his most famous slot and catapult slot machines into stardom. Soon, they were dotted all over the country and, eventually, beyond its borders. 

It was in the mid-1970s that computerisation and slots intertwined. From then on, slot machine visuals became their main selling point alongside the thrilling jackpots. Suddenly, graphics were the main priority of game developers, which many believe did wonders for the quality of slots.

Fast-forward to today, and machines aren’t even needed to enjoy slots; all it takes is a digital device and a few clicks. Playing online slots has never been easier, and there are plenty to choose from. Some casinos host thousands of slot games.

As tens and thousands of offline gamblers flock online and most states legalise digital casinos, the gambling landscape has evolved tremendously over the past decade. 

There are over 15,000 slots online, each boasting modern features, bonuses, and visuals. Compared to the late 19th century, gaming has become widely accessible. Users can log in and play from wherever they please, whether at home, in transit, or on a lunch break. 

How Have the Visuals of Slot Machines Improved?

Online slot reel with the BAR and seven symbol.

The ever-growing and already dominant popularity of online casinos resulted in many game developers focusing on the digital sphere. The market has become saturated with casino games, from table games like poker and roulette to real online slots. 

While this level of competition is likely to make any developer sweat, it has positively impacted the quality of games. As studios like Realtime Gaming and IGT try to differentiate themselves from the competition, they do so by letting their visuals, features, and bonuses do the talking.

In today’s climate, gamblers are overwhelmed with choice, and a game’s look and feel often influence their decision-making; in other words, their visuals and processes. The selection and visuals of slots are so vast that there are multiple themes, including American-themed, Oriental-themed, and Viking-themed slots.

To remain relevant, developers must ensure that each release is better than the last, resulting in a domino effect of constant advancement, whether it be new sounds and visuals or jackpots and features.

What Is the Future of Online Slots?

As we’ve seen with the evolution of slots, new technologies are constantly being introduced and adopted, and it’s no different with digital casinos. Currently, virtual reality (VR) is the next phase of gaming, and we aren’t complaining. Picture playing slots from home in your favourite casinos, from Las Vegas to Monaco; that’s possible with VR.

Through a headset, developers recreate real-life settings where gamblers can socialise and game in digitalised, replicated casinos, creating a captivating and thrilling experience reminiscent of brick-and-mortar casinos. 

Alongside creating enthralling graphics, game developers are trying to recreate the authentic experience of real-life casinos and bring gamblers closer to the action. This shift in direction has become noticeable with the introduction of video poker and live dealer games like roulette and other table games where a live dealer is present. VR will take this trend a step further, and the future looks set to be exciting.

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From some of the best online slots available to a host of themed games, The Phone Casino proudly hosts a wide variety of action-packed and themed online slots packed with fantastic bonuses, features, and jackpots. Register today and get in on the action.

And when you’ve had enough off slots, explore the extensive range of casino games, including poker, baccarat, roulette, blackjack, and bingo. 

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