Instant Play vs Download Casino Games

Given the rate at which technology develops it’s easy to forget just how slow doing things online was when the internet was first a thing. You may well get annoyed when a video buffers or a site takes more than a few seconds to load up, but how many people would readily return to the days of the dial-up modem? Impatience grows as the speed with which we can do things improves, with the technologies we used in days gone by assigned to the scrap heap accordingly.

One of the ways that that manifests itself when it comes to the world of online casinos is the move from download casinos to ones of the instant play variety. Back when online casinos were still largely in their infancy, download casinos were the go-to option because of slow internet speeds and the graphics-heavy nature of the games that punters wanted to play. Now that neither of those are no longer an issue, are we saying goodbye to download casinos for good?

Instant Play vs Download, What’s The Difference?

Sometimes the names assigned to things tells you everything that you could possibly need to know, with this being exactly one of those times. Download casinos are versions of online casinos and games that you would need to download to your computer or device in order to use them. They have numerous plus points involved, including the fact that they can boast much larger games catalogues for users than instant play casinos. Another advantage of download casinos is that games can have much more graphics-rich content, owning to the fact that the content doesn’t need to be streamed via the internet.

Instant play casinos, on the other hand, require no downloads at all and absolutely every game on offer is streamed immediately onto the computer of the user. Clearly this makes it much easier for mobile users, with the need to download an app or other native software no longer necessary. Instead they can simply open their browser and start playing a game as soon as they’ve logged in to their account. Given that more and more customers are turning to mobile devices for their everyday use, instant casinos are becoming an invaluable way of retaining customers.

Which is Better, Instant Play or Download?

The truth is that there are becoming less and less scenarios when you’ll likely want to favour using a download casino over an instant play variation. If you’re out and about, for example, then you’re likely to be using your mobile device and might not want to download an app to it. Equally if you’re at work or in another environment with public use computers you probably won’t be allowed to download software onto the device you’re using, so instant play casinos are the obvious option available to you.

If you’re at home or on holiday and using your own computer then you can do what you want. In that instance you might prefer the convenience of a download casino as it will allow you become heavily involved in the game that you’re playing. Most of the big software providers like Playtech and NetEnt still provide download variations of their casinos for precisely this reason. They remain as popular with some players today as they did when they were first available for use. Regularly players will be far more tempted to use download casinos than those of you who only play casino games on an occasional basis.

Download Casino Advantages

  • Immediate access to games once downloaded – no need for web pages to load up.
  • Embedded software means a richer graphics experience.
  • Because they’re already downloaded the games will run much quicker the with instant play casinos.
  • Download casinos have been around since the invention of the industry, meaning that more games are available via this method than instant play.
  • Downloads are run by an individual software provider, this allows you to play the whole catalogue, many of which may not be available through instant play.

Download Casino Disadvantages

  • Software is downloaded to your computer, leaving them open to security concerns and restricting use to the specific computer you downloaded it on to.
  • You can’t simply try out a game without first downloading the casino, limiting the chance to experience things before making a commitment.
  • They take up a good whack of space on your hard-drive, meaning that you’re unlikely to want to download more than a couple of casinos.
  • Cannot easily switch between games from different software providers.

Instant Play Casino Advantages

  • You don’t need to make a commitment to one specific casino provider, playing games from multiple casinos as and when you want.
  • The amount of space available on your hard-drive is irrelevant; as long as you’ve got a browser and an internet connection you’ll be able to play whatever games you want.
  • The device you use is most likely irrelevant, unless you use an iPhone or iPad and the instant play casino requires the use of Flash.
  • Play a range of games from different develops in the same place.

Instant Play Casino Disadvantages

  • Graphics are often poorer on instant play casinos than those of the download variety, mainly because company’s try to limit the amount of bandwidth needed to play them successfully.
  • Given you’re streaming everything, gameplay can be slow if you don’t have a particularly fast internet speed.
  • The amount of games from a single provider is nowhere near as broad as with download casinos, though the number of games available for instant play expanding all the time.
  • Some connections won’t have the power or else simply won’t allow you to play certain games via the instant play option.

Future Of Download Casino Games

For better or worse, more and more companies are now making the move to instant play casinos. Given the fact that Adobe have said they will end support for their Flash Player by 2020, this is only likely to increase in the future. Both download casinos and native mobile apps tend to rely on Flash, whereas games that run through internet browsers can do so without problem on most devices as long as they’ve been created using HTML5. Most online casino software providers have been making the move over the HTML5 in recent times, almost certainly result in the death of Flash-based programs.

One of the biggest questions that will face both online casinos and the complaints that provide their software in the coming years will be whether or not they can be bothered to shift their oldest games over to HTML5. Most of the original games that companies created were made using Flash, so as that dies out so too will the older games that used the software. There are still plenty of customers who love playing certain games, though, so the online casinos won’t be pleased to potentially lose their business. It’s pure speculation, of course, but it’s difficult to see how download casinos will still be around in a decade’s time. Much more likely that companies will make the move to instant play and either remove or update their oldest titles.