The PS4 is Sony's most versatile and cutting-edge console yet. Alongside the big-hitting blockbusters like Call of Duty, FIFA and Fallout, there are some superb Indie offerings that ensure that the PS4 isn’t a one trick pony. There are thousands of games in the PlayStation store that can be accessed and played over the internet against competitors from all over the world, building an online community that has grown into one of the most versatile in the world.
Online gambling has come on leaps and bounds since the first casino gaming websites emerged in the late 90s. In the UK, online gambling made up more than 32% of the £13.6 billion gambling industry, showing that it is far from a simple pastime in its infancy. Online companies like 888casino offer a wide range of games that provide the player with endless excitement and joy as they have the choice of playing different games from great slots to live casino. This developed sub-industry has truly brought gambling to the masses and there are now gambling fans from all walks of life.
This increased popularity has infiltrated other forms of gaming. From apps that mimic online casinos to free-to-play slot games, players who can't or don’t have access to online gambling can still enjoy casino games using their console.
The Pure Hold'Em series kicked off in 2015, with users able to enjoy Texas Hold'Em across six themed tables. The level-based gameplay in which players must work their way up to harder levels is great even against the AI, but the real draw is the multiplayer mode which allows up to 8 online players at a table for that realistic casino experience. The latest game in the series looks brilliant and is great for a quick poker fix, coming relatively close to playing with real money and allowing for some fast and furious rounds.
Prominence poker on the other hand aims to achieve something completely different than the standard console poker game. The game is touted as a poker role-playing game, with players assuming an avatar and playing against other players to gain ‘reputation and of course make some virtual money in the process. Although it is fun to build up your character and compete online, the gameplay becomes fairly limited after a while and there are players who will bully their way to victory every time, meaning you need a lot of chips before you can take on some of the bigger sharks.
No matter how much better console poker games are getting, they still lack one vital element that makes poker so much fun in the first place; the chance to make real money. Getting the balance of fun, gorgeous to look at virtual poker and a bland online interface with real money at stake is difficult, but there are some options out there. There is a superb selection of both live and virtual poker tables, some of which have rich 3D environments that give console games a run for their money.
It seems that although there are some solid poker and casino games available on the PlayStation store, there are still some gaps possibly for Indie developers to make something that combines the thrill of playing with real money to the new feature of micro-transactions. It will be interesting to see if Sony allow full on gambling in the next generation of PlayStation games. With products like PSVR lending themselves perfectly to group games set around a table, then it makes complete sense for PlayStation to get involved with the multi-billion-dollar online gambling industry.