With the online casino industry’s trajectory not seeming as if it will slow down anytime soon, lots of fans and experts have been predicting whether consoles will blink first and capitalise on the genre’s popularity.
Two of the sector’s three major developers have done so in Sony and Microsoft, with the latter taking all the plaudits thanks to its cloud-computing app that lets players pick up from where they left off on their mobile devices. However, it appears as if PlayStation is the platform that is leading the charge in terms of accepting the latest online casino releases, and this is why.
A Deep Connection
The reality is that Sony has a strong relationship with the world of wagering that its rivals haven’t tapped into yet. This partly explains why Microsoft has altered its strategy and opted for its xCloud system, rather than taking Sony on at its own game and potentially losing – like it has done with many other aspects previously. A prime example is the success of titles that are available on both consoles, such as Red Dead Redemption 1 & 2.
While the RDR franchise has sold millions of copies across the board, its sales are synonymous with Sony as it appealed to PlayStation’s owner base, which is evidenced by the fact that 14 million units of the game still flew off the shelves on PS4 in 2020. The links between the gameplay and gambling, such as playing poker outside of the storyline, are incredibly powerful, and it’s no coincidence that this has affected Sony’s approach towards digital betting markets. The same applies to Grand Theft Auto, as the online edition lets gamers visit a casino without the need to complete missions.
So, it wasn’t breaking news when casino games such as Pure Hold’em and Prominence Poker became available via Sony’s PlayStation Store, along with The Four Kings Casino & Slots. Now that casino offerings are accessible on the platform, it shouldn’t be long before specialised titles designed by casinos are available on the PlayStation Store, with the likes of slots, table games, and online bingo games being high up on the list. These titles work perfectly together and fit the bill in terms of engagement, due to their ability to bring enjoyment to peoples’ lives by putting smiles on faces and giving players something to look forward to. The strategy is a logical one when you consider that it appeals to a mix of the brand’s customer base.
SSD Versus xCloud
You might assume that the xCloud will do a lot of the heavy lifting for Microsoft because the mobile-friendliness of the app integrates with the online casino industry. But this isn’t entirely true since Sony has a trick up its sleeve – SSD compression software.
The PS5’s solid-state drive technology could give Sony the edge in the battle as the compression aspect takes sizeable games and shrinks them down to a much smaller size. Don’t worry, though, because the quality of the gameplay, from the graphics to the extensive nature of the maps, isn’t lowered in quality. It’s only the size of the digital file affected. This will allow developers to work together to create casino game releases for PlayStation devices that put the authenticity of the experience, a vital feature for customers, as they won’t have to scrimp and save on megabytes and gigabytes. Microsoft, however, will have issues since the capacity of its SSDs are low and it doesn’t have the compression element that the PS5 does. The Xbox Series X and S only provide 802GB and 364GB of space, respectively.
Therefore, casino releases could struggle to transition to the Xbox’s hard drives and ruin the gameplay, which means the experience will take a hit. Sure, the xCloud will offer different avenues for playing them, yet most gamers won’t want to if the quality of the games isn’t up to scratch.
At the moment, the leading console for embracing online casino games is the PlayStation. It already has a deep relationship with the genre and is developing tech that will enhance the connection.