How The Graphics Of Slots Have Evolved Over Time

Updated on July 2, 2020

The slots industry has changed beyond recognition. Some of the changes have been a slow process over many decades and some have been far more accelerated. The major drivers here are technology. The history of slots started when a mechanic named Charles Fey invented the first-ever slot machine back in 1895. This early machine had three spinning reels that contained 5 symbols that included horseshoes, diamonds, spades, hearts and a Liberty Bell. New Yorkers Sittman and Pitt developed a gambling machine that used 5 drums. This held a total of 50 cards faces and is probably one of the earliest efforts to mimic the slots that we have today. In the early 1900s slots were officially banned as gambling tools but still existed in different forms that gave out none cash prizes. It was these very machines that gave birth to fruit and vending machines – check out these VIking Slots.

The Move Away From The Mechanical

The major technological breakthrough that changed the world of slots came with the first electrical slot machine that was called Money Honey. This was introduced to the public back in 1963. In 1976 another tech breakthrough produced the first video slot. This was the first time the slot machine had moved away from its mechanical predecessors. This machine used a modified 19-inch Sony TV screen for the display. These slots were accompanied by new symbols such as Stars, Crowns, 777 and Gems.

The Digital 1990s

The 1990s may not be as culturally memorable as the 1980s but they will always be a highlight in history because of the digital revolution. This didn’t just change certain industries it actually transformed the world due to the invention of the internet. The entertainment industry was especially invigorated and this included the world of gambling. 1996 was the year the first online casino went live and the public could play traditional table games in the comfort of their own homes for the first time. However, in the very same year WMS Industries Inc released the first online video slot called Reel Em. This was the first-ever slot to feature a second screen bonus and it paved the way for hundreds of video slots that we have today. Video slot machines catered for a new age of highly sophisticated gamers who demanded a more complete experience rather than just a spin of a reel. It’s thanks to these video slots, that we have such hi-tech games now.

Final Thoughts

We now have 3D graphics and games that include animation and this has helped bring characters to life on the reels. Digital imagery has allowed for more extravagant bonus rounds. Themed slots that borrow from popular culture are all the rage and characters from movies and television are regularly visitors to the reels.  Great examples of how far graphics have come can be seen in the Marvel slots, Age Of The Gods slots and film-themed slots like Terminator 2. These detailed graphics are a world away from traditional fruit and card symbols slots, but it’s a world worth visiting none the same.

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