We all know the Vita isn’t doing well when it comes to Casino games. Oh sure, there are games of luck for the handheld device, allowing for portability as you spin the roulette table or cast the dice, but none of these games gives you the chance to make any real money. Thus, while perhaps there is a feeling of victory and celebration when you win a million dollars at the chance landing of a dice, it is also quite an empty and depressing feeling when you realise your life could have changed drastically if that lucky hand had come while you were playing an actual casino game with actual money and actual odds.
Downloadable casino games are quite in demand now, though the industry does seem to have hit a shallow trough these past years. Initially, there was a large trend of at-home or portable gambling, on laptops, PCs and mobiles, but now, perhaps with the lack of innovative games making the transition to digital, the market has narrowed. Still, less of something never means it does not hold quality, and the industry still has some renowned names. For example, Mansion Casino allows for its games to be downloaded and played via appropriate software onto your desktop computer, laptop, or mobile device. There is a choice available of multiple popular slots games, such as Marvel Comic series featuring Iron Man, the Hulk, etc. There is a great selection of ready progressive jackpot games too, some having giant money pools of more than £8 million.
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A general market consensus is to create casino games in packages rather than keeping them individual and a separate deal from each other. Perhaps the reasoning behind this is that a game akin to a casino table is likely to be considered very ‘small’, in that it doesn’t have that much need for complicated designs and features. It’s just a replica. Also, gamblers often love to try their luck at a lot of different tables. When one doesn’t seem ready to bring them luck, they are ready to turn their backs and move on to the next and so on. Game developers feed into this fickleness to understand what kind of product will be more appealing and hopefully profitable. Hence, they create small casino games in larger packages of as many as 20-30 smaller games rather than one or two focused games to keep players attention.
Hard Rock Casino is a collection of the most popular blackjack, video poker and slots games, all in one package, complete with the requisite cards and casinos gameplay. This package is available for PSP and PS2. In this digital simulation of casino games, players have the liberty to gamble competitively and win or lose virtual money in a real-world game. Sadly not available as a download but certainly the best we’ve seen so far. PS4 owners haven’t been left out with their own answer to this – The Four Kings Casino and Slots, where once again players enjoy the most popular online casino games to earn virtual winnings. The games offer the choice of playing against 48 other online players, allowing you the chance to socialise with other gamers on the internet, or just to chat and have fun with family and friends who are not able to be at the same place at the same time.
The Vita lacks all of these companionable features. The only option on the PS Vita is to look to games with a casino influence to them. Our favourites have been found within the pinball genre so far out of all of the games we’ve seen released. We’ve seen a few either with casino elements to them but the best has been the High Roller Casino table for The Pinball Arcade. This game puts players in the role of high-stake money rollers with lots of green bills to spend, set in the delusion and glamour of the real Las Vegas.
Unfortunately, nothing on the Vita or PSP allows for any real gambling. Truthfully, the only use playing them could be is that the player learns the ways of the game and gets acquainted with the twists and turns of their fate, practice for the time they get to play with real people for real money in an actual real game.
One wonders, perhaps Sony wanted it to be this way all along, just a way to practice for the real deal. Certainly the lack of digital releases of older titles (either PSOne or PSP) certainly would imply that the Vita’s access to gambling related gaming is being severely restricted.