By GT STAFF | A lot has been made of the recent management restructuring of International Game Technology (IGT), which includes the announced resignation of Chief Operating Officer Steve Morro last week.
But company officials say the worlds largest slot manufacturer remains undaunted in its pursuit of offering cutting-edge gaming devices for its expanding market.
As evidence of that, IGT confirmed last week that it has begun installation of its innovative REELdepth video slot machines, which feature 3-D like displays.
The first installations of the new games took place over the Labor Day weekend at two Grand Casinos properties in Minnesota Grand Casino Hinckley and Grand Casino Mille Lacs.
The REELdepth video slots use Multi-Layer Display (MLD) technology, an ingenious layering of two or more Liquid Crystal Displays (LCDs) that creates the visual effect of true depth without the use of 3-D glasses. It is the same technology that produces multi-layer maps of war zones, and drives visually enhanced images using real depth for Samsung and Sanyo LCD displays.
"The overall performance of the REELdepth units initially installed has exceeded all of our expectations," said Robert Allen, corporate vice president of Slot Operations for Grand Casinos Minnesota. "The REELdepth games offer us a proven segment of top-performing games to grow into games that our players will love.
"IGT has done a masterful job with REELdepth, giving gaming operators the fullest range of flexible configuration options," Allen continued. "This machine represents a virtually perfect server-based gaming solution. This is a technology investment that will stand the test of time."
Allen added that the new 3-D machines are a masterful blend of engineering and artistic flair that will enhance game play for its customers.
IGT officials said the initial rollout of REELdepth equipped games includes nearly 70 of IGTs classics games, as well as several new AVP (Advanced Video Platform) themes.
"REELdepth themes give players an experience theyve never seen before," said Ron Rivera, IGT senior vice president of North American Sales. "Not only do these themes use state-of-the-art technology, but they truly provide a one-of-a-kind gaming experience. Players will want to play them, and operators will need them on their floors."
Rivera added that later this month, IGT will release the Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade MegaJackpots Slot, which debuted at last years Global Gaming Expo (G2E) in Las Vegas. Casino operators who invest in REELdepth games no longer have to pay for upgrades to change glass, change reel strips, or physically relocate and remove machines from the floor.
The MLD technology, pioneered by a company called PureDepth Inc., was highlighted at the Society for Information Displays Display Week 2008 as one of the most innovative technical developments. PureDepth technology is backed by 51 approved patents and more than 80 pending patents.
The new technology has a tremendous number of applications, and the ability of MLD technology to focus the viewers attention makes it a natural for gaming products. Players can switch between 3-, 4-, and 5-reel virtual spinning-reel games, to video slots and video poker all on the same machine.
REELdepth games also have virtual reels that mimic the look and vibration of their mechanical counterparts, so traditional slot players will feel comfortable playing them.