The Las Vegas Sun had an interesting article today entitled "Slots for a new generation --
Video-game enthusiasts seen as customers for slots that ultimately might reward skillful play."
As I've become increasingly bored with the slots on the casino floors, I welcome any progression toward "fully-interactive" games.
I've played Bally's "Pong" game, and it is as primitive as it's namesake. The skill-based feature bonus round only awards an extra 15 (or maybe 25 -- I can't quite remember) credits for winning the ping-pong game with the slot machine. The Atari logo random bonus, with mystery wilds, pays much better. Even though this machine hasn't held my attention, or that of the slot going public (judging from the empty seats), it is a step in the right direction. I even think the Atari Pong concept/theme was a wise choice to broach the bridge between video games and video slots.
I am eagerly awaiting Williams' Clint Eastwood "Dirty Harry" machines, with their video game- style wild ride through the streets of San Francisco. I was happy the FedEx guy left WMS' latest catalog on my doorstep yesterday, but was disappointed to see that the "Dirty Harry" machines were not listed. I got the impression at the Global Gaming Expo that these machines were part of the "Sensory Immersion" line and would soon join "Top Gun" and the "Wizard of Oz" on the floor.
The WMS catalog did give me hope that "Money Burst", "Rotating Wild" and "Spinning Streak" games may be available, and headed to a casino near me. As I've mentioned before I'm about played out on the current crop of machines, and can't wait for new ways to lose (um, I mean wager) my money.
My guess is that skill-based gaming of the future won't be any more skill-based than say, video poker. Casinos are masters at cashing in on the gap between perception and reality, and the slot machines will always reflect that. In short, you may think you have a chance to win, but you are really just paying dearly for the dream.