If Wall Street is any kind of measure, Bally Technologies and WMS Gaming are moving in the right direction with their slot offerings.
But that’s something you don’t need a stock market index to understand; players are finding out in the casinos.
Both companies, along with industry leader IGT, have unveiled a variety of new games, platforms and concepts. Here are just a few that have piqued players’ interest in recent weeks.
Bally has a new game called "Two for the Money" and, as the name implies, it’s a slot machine built for two, literally.
Based on Bally’s Dual Vision technology, "Two for the Money" is a double-wide slot station that allows couples to play together, operating two individual sets of reels while sharing bonus features.
Of course, players still bet individually and cooperate to enhance the bonus-feature experience. For instance, when one player gets into the bonus round, the companion player is automatically pulled into the bonus as well.
"The opportunity for couples to pool financial resources and play together on the same machine is something new and will enhance the social interaction that many people look for during a casino outing," said George Stamos, marketing communications manager for Bally Technologies.
Not to be outdone, WMS Gaming has based some of its latest games on cutting edge technology of its own, notably transmissive reels and sensory immersion gaming. Thankfully, you don’t need a degree from MIT to play the cryptic-sounding games!
Transmissive reels combines mechanical spinning reels with 3-D high definition graphics, enhancing the player’s experience and expanding the bonus screen opportunities.
The technology was a natural for WMS’s all-time favorite, "Monopoly", and lent itself nicely to "The Wizard of Oz" suite of machines.
WMS machines with sensory immersion are easily identifiable by the cockpit style of platform, as well as the patented Bose 3Space audio system that will rattle your molars.
So far, the most popular of the sensory immersion games has been "Dirty Harry", which takes players on high-speed car chases, and "Time Machine", which transports players on an exciting and adventure-packed journey through time with some fascinating bonuses.
Of course, perhaps the hottest of the new machines is WMS’s "Star Trek" game, which involves players in an ongoing epic, allowing them to unlock new features as they progress and move up in rank as they play.
The key feature is the ability to save their game and resume at another time, place and even another casino.