Instant Play Software Gains AscendancyBy: Ryan Alders, Saturday February 19th 2011
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One way of classifying online casino software is download software and instant play software. Download software has to be installed on the player's computer and functions from there. Instant play software allows games to be played in the browser of the computer without any permanent downloading required. When online casinos first started around 1995, download software was the only type of software available. Instant play software was created during the first boom of the online casino industry in the early 2000s.
Till a few years back the download software was the preferred option for online casino players. The main reason was that Internet connection speeds were not fast enough for the animation rich games to function smoothly in instant play software. In many parts of the world players had to do with dial-up connections. Even the speed of broadband connections was not comparable to what it is today. However, this disadvantage no longer stands. With present Internet connection speeds players in most parts of the world, particularly where online gambling is widespread, can enjoy even the most graphics rich slot games without any problems. In the earlier days there were allegations that instant play software was not as secure from the point of view of online financial transactions. The correctness of these allegations was never established with certainty then. But in the current context there is no differentiation between download software and instant play software as far as financial security is concerned.
The one advantage that instant play software then had was that it did not occupy hard disk space. At those time computers had much smaller memory capacities and this became a limitation for players that wagered at number of online casinos and had to download and install the software. However, with the huge hard disk capacities in present computer systems this limitation no longer exists. What this means that the choice between download software and instant play software involves a completely different set of parameters and in those parameters instant play software scores heavily.
Download software is leased by an online casino operator from a software provider. Through this software he is able to offer casino games only from that software provider. Because players will want to wager at the best games from many software providers they will register at many different online casinos and this is not good for customer retention. Fortunately instant play software eliminates this limitation. It allows the games to become independent of the entire administrative software package. Platforms have been devised where the online casino operator can allow his customers to access selected games from different software providers. These make use of instant play software. Hence a casino operator can offer the best games from many different software providers without leasing their entire package. The player gets what he wants at one online casino and does not have to go casino hopping all over the Internet.
The ascendancy of instant play software is visible in the market. Earlier instant play versions of games were released much after they had become established titles in the download online casinos. Today both versions are being released simultaneously. In fact the Microgaming landmark slot game The Lord of the Rings was released to select online casinos not using the basic Microgaming software package at the same time it was released to Microgaming online casinos. Instant play software has not changed the players, only the rules of the game. Software providers will have to battle it out on the basis of individual games titles and not on the basis of the entire block of the software.
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