Gaming is one of the fastest growing industries worldwide. In 2018, the 10th year since the Google PlayStore and the iOS App Store were launched, games accounted for over 70% of consumer spending in app stores. Mobile games surpassed PC games and console games, and it is expected that mobile gaming will gain up to 60% market share of consumer spending in 2019. However, there are notable differences between the types of games that are popular on mobile devices and the ones that are popular on PCs.
Hyper-casual games, characterized by simple gameplay and repetitive actions, are the most popular smartphone games, followed by battle royale games, like Fortnite or PUBG. However, the later have complex graphics and require a lot of processing power, therefore powerful smartphones. Hyper-casual games are ideal for keeping you entertained during your daily commute, and work well also on mid-range or even entry-level smartphones. Complex games that require undivided attention, like strategy games, are more often played on devices with larger screens and in environments with fewer distractions. Casino games present an interesting case. Slot machine games, for example, are similar to hyper-casual games and can be easily played on the go. Games like poker, on the other hand, require a lot of focus and endurance, therefore many players prefer playing from home on a PC. Although mobile gaming and PC gaming have become closer in user experience, there are still a few key differences when it comes to casino games.
We’ve come a long way since the glory days of Las Vegas in the 70s. Back then gamblers had no other choice but to head to their nearest brick-and-mortar casino and utilize what facilities were offered. Fast forward to the mid-90s and gamblers were given the convenience factor they could only have dreamt of – playing their favorite casino games from the comfort of their own homes. Online casinos changed the industry overnight, creating a new billion-dollar industry and instantly delivering an experience that played right into the hands of millions around the world. Today, some might actually look at online casinos as archaic, due to the emergence of mobile compatibility. Let’s take a look at the differences one can expect to find when making the move from online to mobile, and which one ultimately wins out.
This is the one point where it will most likely be a landslide victory for mobile. There really can’t be any arguing that mobile has opened up new ways for gamblers to go about their business. Before mobile casinos, players were confined to fixed internet connections. There is the option of using a notebook, either using public WiFi or a mobile connection, but this requires lugging an inconspicuous machine around with you, often proving an inconvenience. With the emergence of mobile casinos, it has allowed players to play from wherever they may be. This is perhaps the biggest factor in why mobile casinos have boomed since their inception.
“We are now looking at 70% of all players accessing our online casino establishment via mobile channels”, says Head of SEO at PartyCasino, David Winter. “The mobile element has helped us attract new customers, and the bridge between mobile gamers and desktop will only continue to grow.”
Many will forgo more attractive features of playing on a PC or laptop for the convenience of mobile gaming, which is a trend that is booming in all sectors of the digital world. Whatever can be delivered in a faster and more fitting manner ultimately comes out more favorable.
While mobile devices are nearing surreal levels of performance in all areas of functionality, they will still fall short of desktop computers when delivering on speed and graphics. This can be partially attributed to mobile devices being a more rounded product than some of the desktop devices out there, where the focus has to be spread across various areas to appease consumers. Desktop devices come in all shapes and forms, however, some are developed to play right into the strengths desired by gamers.
Let’s take a look at popular products on both the mobile side and the desktop side. The iPhone X has lived up to its billing and provides a seamless experience for people fortunate enough to call this device their own. You will be loaded with 3GB of RAM, the powerful Apple A11 Bionic chipset, plus a screen with a resolution of 1125x2436 pixels. Any game can run smoothly on such a device. There are also many smartphones designed specifically for gaming, like the Razer Gaming Phone, Asus ROG Phone, or the ZTE Nubia Red Magic Mars. Such phones can have up to 8GB of RAM and high-resolution displays with up to 120Hz refresh rate, just like TVs. For a mobile device, such specs are impressive.
Now, let’s look at one of the most popular gaming laptops on the market today, the MSI GS65 Stealth. There is no comparison when it comes to RAM, as the MSI carries 16GB. It also comes with a powerful graphics card, the Nvidia GeForce GTX 1070. One must also remember that playing at an online casino requires streaming, which is where the RAM plays a big part. Not everyone has a notebook as powerful as the MSI GS65 Stealth, much like most people not owning a fine device like the iPhone X, but in terms of performance, gaming laptops and PCs will still always provide a smoother experience.
Although mobile casino games are coming to the same level of games designed for PCs, they still tend to fall a little short. PCs have more storage space and RAM, therefore they can process the information required for download faster than a mobile device. For this reason, casinos have had to limit the game selection for mobile users in order for them to receive as seamless a playing experience as possible. However, all the latest online slot games, plus new roulette, blackjack, and poker releases, will always form part of the mobile stable. This is because casinos are well aware that most players are now coming in through mobile channels and will demand the best and latest games. You’ll likely find that the older games that find very little playtime are dropped to make space for upcoming titles. For this reason, we cannot fault mobile, as the average for most mobile casinos is around 500 games, where online casinos host closer to 700 games. It is highly doubtful that gamblers will demand on utilizing over 500 casino games.
An online casino will generally prefer players to download the casino to their device, as once downloaded the load time of the games will be faster, plus the probability of experiencing lag during play is lower. Of course, patrons do have the option to play in a browser, but the quality of a downloaded version still stands out from browser play. The continuing problem with downloading the casino’s software is that it has the potential to take up a lot of storage space, both on desktop and mobile. Modern smartphones are not as limited as they were just a few years back, and therefore players are not frustrated by casino apps taking up too much of their storage. Mobile has also been assisted by cloud storage, which frees up more space on the device. For now, though, PC still edges mobile in this department.
There is a wide selection of casino games on the market, all of which have different aspects. For example, slots are less interactive than poker and also require less screen space to assist in displaying gambling results. Desktop PCs will find very few limitations when delivering on all casino games, where mobile might fail to deliver as complete an experience. Playing slots on mobile will suit almost all players, however playing roulette and poker on mobile might be challenging for some players due to limited screen space. A new innovation in the online casino world is live casino gaming, where you live stream via webcam to a real dealer standing in a casino. This experience online will trump mobile due to the larger visuals you will receive.
It is hard to argue against desktop still providing the overall casino experience. The response time is faster, the visibility better and there is a wider selection of games. However, there is a reason why 63% of all 2018 web traffic in the US came from mobile devices – convenience. Although desktop users still spend more time on the sites they visit compared to mobile users, there is no doubting that we are now living in the mobile age. The fact that desktop will give you a more complete casino experience seems inconsequential, as mobile players now take up over two-thirds of casino clientele. At the end of the day, it appears convenience is the real winner.