Caption: Online poker sites have helped inspire sites like Steam.
Modern gamers have become accustomed to sprawling gaming universes with diverse and convenient offerings at their fingertips. But it hasn’t always been this way. The gaming industry has taken more than thirty years to get to the imaginative and immersive stage it is at today, and there have been various landmark turning points in the evolution of the technology. Online poker sites have played a huge part in helping gaming get to this point. They have undergone major changes since first coming about at the turn of the century, and have brought numerous innovations to millions of players. Most recently, they have inspired the concept of gaming catalogues.
How Has Gaming Evolved Over its History?
Gaming has evolved at an astonishing rate due to the competitive nature of the industry, and in a relatively short space of time we have gone from simplistic two-dimensional platformers to vast open worlds in which complex characters exist. 8-bit consoles like the Sega Master System and the Nintendo Entertainment System were considered revolutionary when they were released in 1985 and 1983 respectively. Now, these early innovators are considered retro, and the games are rudimentary compared to what’s on offer in 2020.
It would have been hard to predict the games that exist now on PlayStation 4 and Xbox One when playing Super Mario Bros. back in 1983. That seminal offering involved players controlling a figure across a 2D platform in an effort to get to the end of a short map to complete the level. Fast forward to the present day and players are adventuring around massive open-world arenas in games like Red Dead Redemption 2. The Rockstar Games title took more than 60 hours to complete, and that was only the main storyline. Doing all the side quests and activities would take much longer.
It’s not just consoles which have progressed by such a large extent. Online gaming has advanced just as quickly since the first online poker sites came about at the turn of the century. When the initial internet poker rooms cropped up before the poker boom, animations were jerky and there wasn’t much variation on offer. But as more and more sites have come about, operators have had to innovate and offer new experiences in an effort to win players over. This has led to swift developments in not only the gameplay and graphics, but the sheer number of games that are available to play.
Console developers can actually look to the iGaming industry for inspiration, as the competition is much stronger in this sector. They can see just how sites are trying to develop and innovate in a way to draw in new customers.
The 21st Century Need for Innovative and Immersive Experiences
Caption: Breath of the Wild was praised for its huge open-world map.
Red Dead Redemption 2 is only one example of the sheer scale of games on offer nowadays, and while it was seen as a highly impressive offering, this style has become the norm in modern gaming. Indeed, players have come to expect intricately detailed, immersive gaming worlds in every sector of the industry.
The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild is another example of just how far console games have come. The 2017 offering from Nintendo which was released for the Nintendo Switch was the 19th game in the long-running and hugely popular franchise, and it has come a seriously long way since the release of The Legend of Zelda in 1986. The new game introduced a detailed physics engine, high-definition visuals, and voice acting. The game was amazing and was met with positive reviews, but for a lot of gamers the quality is just something that they have come to expect in the modern age.
In the poker world, sites have strived to create immersive experience which capture the feeling of live poker. But they have also made changes to attract as wide an audience as possible. For this reason, poker sites like 888poker now offer a wide range of games from Texas Hold’em to Omaha, in cash game or tournament settings. In an effort to bring in a younger generation which is more accustomed to high-speed gaming, they have invented new poker titles like Snap and Blast. The graphics are high-tech and exciting, and the website is easy to navigate and highly engaging.
The next stage for the industry will be to make it even more immersive, by actually dragging players from their living room seats to virtual poker tables. This is likely to be done using virtual reality, a technology which is destined for huge things in the coming years.
Gaming Catalogue Sites Provide Diversity and Convenience
The biggest contribution to the overall gaming industry from online poker sites is the introduction of vast on-site catalogues of games. Ever since the early days of internet poker, players have been able to log on and see long lists of available games. These ranged from low to high stakes, and tournaments to cash games. Nowadays the range, diversity, and convenience is even greater. Players can select between different variants of poker, and also choose which platform they want to play on.
These expectations of the 21st-century poker player have also inspired console gaming sites like Steam. This is another catalogue-style service which presents players with a wide selection of games in one convenient location. This theme is likely to continue when the next generation of consoles is released, with some people speculating that players will get games through a Netflix-style subscription.
Each sector of the gaming industry has evolved and progressed in different ways, but at times they have served to inspire each other. The online poker industry is so popular, that it should come as no surprise that the innovations there have been replicated.