If you’ve been able to get your hands on one of the new consoles, then you’re very lucky indeed. This is especially the case with PS5 owners, with the upcoming launch of the new Ratchet and Clank game being a sore point among some of our PS5less staff. For everyone who hasn’t been as lucky, the current difficulties in the market have created a frustrating scenario. While not completely isolated to this time and place, this lack of accessibility in 2020 and 2021 has been one of the worst that gamers have ever experienced.
Yet, despite this issue, there are other areas of the entertainment industry, such as online casinos, that are only thriving. Taking a look at the different forms of access these markets take, we want to explore what casinos do better, and why it might not be possible for video games to follow the same path.
The Malleability of Software
The foremost reason that gamers have been missing out in the last year has been the locked nature of video games software, which takes a completely different tack to online casino games. For an example of this, when a user wants to play slots online at Betfair casino, for example, all they have to do is visit on a browser, sign up, and play. Whether jumping into a game like Ishtar Power Zones or Dragon’s Luck, the backing software has been designed to be accepted over all modern browsers.
Written as code that can be accessed by many different platforms means that casino players never have to miss out, regardless of their system of choice. While this usually means players come from mobile and PC, there are also instances where users could engage from sufficient smart devices like TVs. In some cases, it can even be possible to play from more esoteric machines like the displays on modern non-entertainment devices.
Video games, specifically those in the console space, are far less open by design. Created to be specific to single device hardware, it’s not possible to natively play a game from one system on a competitors’ hardware, even if users could force the data onto the other device. This might not be such a problem if it weren’t for the shortcomings in hardware availability.
Access to Hardware
2020 and 2021 have been rough years for high-tech entertainment devices. The Guardian cites that supply issues, specifically limited chip supply are the chief cause of these difficulties. With cars, consoles, and computer hardware all stretching the supply of the few facilities capable of specialised manufacturing to the limit, somebody has to miss out. Casino games, on the other hand, can be played easily over much simpler existing hardware, so they avoid this bottleneck.
Creating further issues for video game players are scalpers for consoles and cryptocurrency miners for PC. Forbes found that scalpers buy up stock before it even goes on sale to general users, a tactic shared by the cryptocurrency miners for graphics cards. The result of these actions is that players of video games either have to miss out or pay extortionate prices to resellers.
As for solving the problem and closing the accessibility gap between video games and casino games, that might not be so simple. In the situation we’re in now, the only thing that could help players are stricter sales systems, which manufacturers seem hesitant to embrace, or the simple creation of additional units. In fact, Business Standard predicts shortages could last until at least the end of 2022, so gamers may have a tough road ahead of them. For players of online casino games, however, it looks to be business as usual, with no foreseeable threats on the horizon. It’s a frustrating development for gamers, and one we fear will only be over with time.