Can Online Casinos Work on the PS Vita?


There is a frequently aired complaint concerning the Vita’s limited provision of casino style games that offer real cash payouts. With online casinos making billions via smartphone users on the go, it is tempting to think that Vita (read Sony) is missing a big trick. Undoubtedly there have been complaints in that direction.

The current state of play

That is not to say that there are not vanilla versions of card and casino games like Mobile Slots available. Card Shark (Minis) is the default package offering with five casino style games (blackjack, five card draw, Texas hold’em poker, higher or lower, and solitaire). But this is the sort of offering that is hardly going to raise the pulse of committed gamblers. And that is before we get into talking about Card Shark’s less than captivating graphic quality. For a market that fundamentally rests on the quality of the user experience, the Vita leaves a fair bit to be desired in this area. It is possible in South Africa and certain other jurisdictions to download the 12-game Payout Poker & Casino (PSP) or Hard Rock Casino (PSP) which has 20 games. But even at this level of offering this still does not come close to the gaming variety or quality you would get on a dedicated online casino like Baccarat en Ligne. By way of comparison, a comprehensive overview of such sites and their impressively extensive offerings is available in that example of South Africa via PlayerCasino.

The bigger picture

In the bigger picture, the place of handheld consoles is shifting. In blunt terms, smartphones are where it is at. That is having an impact on sales and a knock-on in terms of game development. The money is in the smartphone sector right now. That is bound to make a difference.

And there is an even more fundamental aspect to this discussion that really ought to put the whole debate to bed. But somehow all the gambling money that is flying around keeps resuscitating it. In a nutshell, the Vita is aimed at a very different demographic than all those gambling sites. What is more, where there is an overlap, the Vita is only ever likely to appeal to casual or even occasional gamblers. That is not where the money is. In a sense the complaint that the Vita is not serving the needs of want-to-be gamblers is the equivalent of someone grumbling that their can-opener cannot do what their screwdriver does.

There is a temptation to make Vita all things to all kinds of players. It can be a kind of digital Swiss Army Knife. But there is little to be gained from that. It is the same complaint as the lack of Flash player and the lack of media support all over again. As the gambling sites that are making hay in the smartphone market are showing, the way to go is to fit the hardware and the software to a specific audience. Trying to drag happy smartphone users across to a new device is never going to work. Adding clunky bolt-ons to a gaming console just so it can do what a smartphone does can only ever end up with a kind of Frankenstein’s monster.

That is not how Vita should go. It is really good as a mobile games console. So, the question of whether or not online casinos like the real money casino at, etc can work on Vita is a false lead. The real question is why anyone should even try.

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About Simon Plumbe 1066 Articles
Husband, father and lifelong geek. Originally from the West Midlands, now spending my days in South Wales with my family and a house full of animals. Passionate about video games, especially retro gaming, the Commodore 64 and PlayStation Vita. Love pro wrestling, sci-fi and I'm an animal lover and vegetarian. Enjoyed this and my other articles? Why not buy me a coffee:

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