With the evolution of responsive design, improved cellular technology and reduced data costs, there is now more synergy between desktop and mobile casinos. In fact, the industry as a whole has seen a major shift towards the ‘gamer on the go’ with a strong focus on enhancing the mobile experience. Despite this, there are still some key differences between desktop and smartphone / tablet casino gameplay…
1) Traits of the Customer
Firstly, there is often a distinction between the desktop and mobile player in and of itself. The desktop user is often a more serious gambler who wagers larger amounts and enjoys the perceived level of security that a computer provides. The desktop experience usually offers more choice, reliability, better quality and increased control.
On the other hand, the mobile user may be a more casual gambler, wagering smaller amounts with less risk involved. They generally value convenience, ease and mobility over control, enhanced features or an immersive experience.
2) Accessibility (Physical & Digital)
The question of accessibility is twofold: both physical accessibility / mobility and the number of limits that are applied when trying to play certain games and activate certain features. While smartphones and tablets make access possible at any time and from almost anywhere, mobile casinos and games are often stripped-down versions of their desktop counterparts (though this is becoming less common).
Thus, certain games, features and advanced options are often not available on mobile devices. Internet access and reliability may also be a concern.
3) Options (Games & Game Options)
As outlined above, computer gaming generally provides a greater selection of choice – this relates to the number of games offered, gaming options and other types of functionality, either offered by the website or the game itself. These limitations may arise from the size of the game (and relative lack of size of the mobile device), certain features and effects not being viable or possible on smartphones or down to issues of connectivity and data usage.
With online casino games now being made with the mobile user in mind (and often with a mobile-first approach), their sizes are becoming smaller, less data-heavy and the effects / features are becoming more efficient. Thus, mobile casinos are beginning to offer a greater variety of games with more options.
4) Display, Quality & Control
The very nature of mobile devices (being portable and small) means that there is a reduced display size. Computers offer a larger screen with the ability to produce a lot of detail and high-quality graphics. There are also far more control options due to the screen size and the nature of the input mechanisms – think of a keyboard and mouse cursor.
On the other hand, a smartphone has much less ‘real estate’ to perform the same task. The visual display is much smaller, and thus has to abandon some level of detail and quality. Its nature also means that it has fewer control options – think of a phone’s keypad and the size of a finger (in relation to a mouse cursor).
Sacrificing this level of display, detail, quality and control is only an issue to serious gamblers or to people who value a highly immersive experience. This being said, mobile casino games have come a long way and now boast some incredible graphics, sound effects and storytelling abilities.
Despite the advantages that desktop gameplay provides, it’s generally more of an investment in terms of the hardware needed, time required and the lack of convenience or mobility. As the world is becoming more driven by convenience, while mobile technology simultaneous improves, the differences between computer and smartphone / tablet gameplay will diminish even further.