Since the old days where computers had to be wired up together if one wished to pursue some serious player-vs-player action, gaming has come a long way. From PCs offering real-time deathmatches across the world, through the rise in console gaming via services such as PlayStation Plus and Xbox LIVE – and even with the ability to play word games against a friend on your mobile in recent times – the online gaming platform has developed into an immersive experience capable of replicating almost any scenario, from the realistic to the almost dream-like.
The same is true of anyone wishing to partake in the activity of gambling at virtual casinos without having to leave the house. With sites like www.galacasino.com offering online casino software which resembles the real thing even more closely with each new release, how long will it be before we can start to see a similar development on consoles as opposed to PCs?
The Xbox 360 already offers plenty of gaming choice for the budding card player, with famous gaming franchises like the World Series of Poker releasing yearly titles in a similar vein to the FIFA method of releasing roster updates, along with consistently flashier graphics and a tighter engine. In these videogames, players take their seats at the virtual poker table and are dealt in to face a mix of ‘bots’ – computer-controlled opponents of varying difficulty – as well as other players who can take part over the Xbox LIVE network.
As fun and immersive as this real-time casino atmosphere can prove to be, one major facet of poker (and gambling in general) is missing from this and other console videogames: the ability to play for real cash. Sure, unlocking the Achievements is a feature that all console players love; there are few feelings more satisfying than hunting down that final big score, but if you’re a skilled enough poker player then you might be looking for something more rewarding.
Unfortunately this isn’t something that Xbox creators Microsoft Studios are looking into just yet. Despite rumours that gaming giant Zynga is in the process of applying for a gambling licence in the United States – with all the possibilities for online gaming which that brings – we’re a long way from finding out if the Xbox 360 fits in with their plans; especially as its replacement has already been announced. For the near future it looks as if gamblers will have to get their gaming kicks elsewhere than on Microsoft’s current-gen console.