Big slots as the latest big trend in gaming
There is a slot machine trend sweeping the gaming floors across the U.S. that’s hard to ignore simply because, well, it’s so huge.
And by huge, I literally mean big in size. For the past couple of years, slot operators have been demanding slots games and themes that are distinct and different, that can both stand out on the increasingly chaotic slot floor and offer players an experience they cannot find in an online environment. Vendors have responded to this request in a number of ways, including producing cabinets and formats that dwarf all previous iterations in size; a trend aided by the continuing evolution of screen and video technologies. New product introduction reflecting this trend are starting to become dizzying:
Aristocrat Technology’s latest marketing theme is “Go Big,” inspired by its recently introduced Arc and Behemoth cabinet and game lines. The company’s Arc Double line features dual 42-inch curved high-definition LCD touchscreens, one atop the other to create an 84-inch holistic gaming experience. The machine also offers ergonomic design, upgraded graphics, surround sound and a game library that includes the new Game of Thrones and Britney Spears themes. Meanwhile the Behemoth, which Aristocrat labels the world’s biggest slot machine, features a single, 84-inch ultra-high definition LCD portrait monitor, sight lines can be seen from multiple spots on the casino floor and the first dual bench with surround sound for couple or group play. The company’s The Big Bang Theory game is being debuted on the cabinet.
American Gaming System (AGS) also has size on the mind with its Colossal line of cabinets and games. Colossal Diamonds offers three side-by-side 42-inch monitors in an 8-foot by 8-foot format in an iconic red color that had led to people calling the game Big Red. AGS is in the process of adding to the Colossal family, recently introducing Bang For Your Buck, an over-sized specialty cabinet that features a 42-inch monitor and a huge mechanical reel in the top box.
Konami Gaming has also dipped into the large format arena with its Podium Goliath and Podium Monument lines. Podium Goliath offers dual 32-inch high-definition LCD displays; while Podium Monument reaches for the heights with a high-definition 32-inch vertical top box combined with a 22-inch touchscreen LCD.
Multimedia Games has joined the large format party as well with its Texan HDX gaming cabinet which stands over 8 feet tall with dual 42-inch HD LCD displays, eye-catching accent lights and a two-person bench. The company also produces the High Rise Games Series which features one of the largest top boxes in the industry that allows to unit to reach the impressive height of 96 inches.
Industry giants IGT and Scientific Games have also jumped on this trend. IGT’s CrystalDual cabinet offers dual 23-inch displays and a wider cabinet footprint for more personal space. Scientific Games markets its Bally ALPHA 2 Pro Series Wave, the industry’s only cabinet with a 40-inch curved LCD touchscreen monitor, delivering optimal viewing and increased player interaction. The Wave comes with an optional 22-inch Digital Topper.
Of course, one problem with creating product this big is that there is only room for so many units on the gaming floor. Indeed, what may be considered a valuable, attention-getting machine today may be a hindrance tomorrow if projected trends of smaller, more lounge-like and intimate gaming areas ever come to fruition. Until such time however, I am going to sit back and enjoy this escalating casino slot machine size race. After all, won’t the first floor-to-ceiling gaming device be something to truly behold?