Pure Hold’em For PS4 – Are You All In?

Earlier this year VooFoo announced Pure Hold’em for the PS4. Whilst this poker game for our favourite console isn’t the first as such (Poker Night 2 anyone?), it’s arguably the best looking we’ve seen. Here are the main features of the game, due to be released soon:

  • Full multiplayer support (e.g. play a private tournament with up to eight other players)
  • Various play environments and customisable options (e.g. chips, table colour)
  • Leaderboards to track your progress and compete with other players
  • Play against real players or AI ones
  • Pretty slick gameplay and graphics

This game isn’t the first ‘Pure’ game that VooFoo have developed. Already in the wild are Pure Chess (Amazon rank #204 in PS4 games) and Pure Pool (Amazon rank #211 in PS4 games).

The company is being somewhat cagey about the actual release date. Over in Las Vegas, the World Series Of Poker is now in full swing, and the famous ‘Main Event’ starts later this month, with the winner taking home millions of dollars. This always results in a spike of players (especially new ones) interested in playing the game, both on and offline. Thus, July would be an ideal release date assuming the game is ready and fully tested.

Early impressions of the graphics look good:

Pure Hold’em ps4

On a large screen this should provide a decent enough impression of a real life casino, especially with the ‘mood lighting’ effects.
A big question though is, how good will the AI players be? Poker is a game of mathematics and strategy – but also very much about people and their psychology. How well can a PS4 AI engine really ‘read’ opponents, if at all? Will they be too good to make the game enjoyable, or too dumb to sap the fun from it?

Another potential drawback with Pure is you can only play Texas Hold’em. It’s true that is the most popular variant of poker but could prove frustrating to fans of Omaha, Razz and Stud.

But here’s the biggest snag – all ‘real’ online poker sites already allow you to play free online (with free software), this includes PokerStars, Full Tilt and the other online options. You can then elect to play with real money if you want. Given that then, why would a player want to invest, say, $50 on a poker game which they can only play with ‘play money’ when they can do so totally free elsewhere, and play with real money?

Now the answer to that might well be ‘because of the graphics’, but given how good poker room graphics are now (especially the 3D ones such as PKR.com), there is a real risk this game is rather redundant.

Our guess then is that Pure Hold’em isn’t targeted at established poker players who want to play for actual money – it is only likely to appeal to the PS4 gamer wanting to get a feel for the game and have fun playing online with friends. Which is all well and good, but could affect the longevity of the game – if a player finds they enjoy poker they’re likely to sell this on and start playing at a poker site instead.

Time will tell whether Pure Hold’em will be a hit or a bust – keep an eye on VooFoo’s Twitter page for more updates and release date.

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