Poker fans should certainly be excited for what the future holds in terms of playing from their sofa through a console, rather than a digital device.

Each new console release brings with it an expectation of new titles, bettering those that have gone before.

As people slowly get used to their PlayStation 5 or Xbox Series X, they will be eager to see what the next batch of games will be like, specific to their consoles. Racing fans will be eyeing a new Need For Speed or Forza, whilst football fans will be eager to see what EA Sports do with the Madden NFL franchise going forward.

One genre of game unlikely to get its own release is poker, but fans of the popular card game will still be eager to know what the best experience is they can get on their current generation of machines. On PlayStation 4 and equivalent, there were plenty of options for poker fans. Metacritic.com had a generally favorable or mixed review for Prominence Poker, arguably the best of an average bunch, but fans will be hoping for something new and improved for their new technology.

The best simulation poker fans can currently get for their new console is Poker Club, launched not only for the PS5 but the PS4, too. A cross-generation game is a bit of a cheat in some gamer’s eyes, using an old game and simply giving it a bit of glitter on the new console, but Poker Club does come packed with glitter, bells and whistles which should delight PS5 owners, at least until a specific title drops for their machine.

The core aspect of any great poker game has to be the competition, and Poker Club delivers, with online tournaments to enter and for you to rise through the ranks. You can also join teams, created amongst friends, to unlock bigger challenges and enter leaderboards. Poker.org suggest networking is a big part of playing successful physical poker, and it stands to reason your console experiences offer you the same opportunity. Not only is that from a competition point of view but also socially. However, you can get that type of experience on a mobile device, so what does Poker Club offer on PS5 that is truly unique?

GameRant.com discusses how using the DualSense controller on the PlayStation 5 has made the experience much more immersive for players. As you would expect, it excels graphically, with rendered players and realistic shadows, but that is standard for a home console, the first building block of a gaming experience becoming a reality. By leveraging the DualSense, players get a real feel of being there, in the moment. Triggers can be used to gently bend cards up from the table to peek at your hand, which in turn is felt by the gamer through the pad. It is a combination of video game and touch which further blurs the lines between game and reality. Haptic feedback is even believed to have been used to give a certain weight to the poker chips.

With 10 different types of Texas Hold’em to be played, the opportunity for poker fans to have an immersive and realistic experience is right there on PS5 now, even though the title is cross-generation. What will be interesting is where developer Ripstone Games takes it next. If Poker Club 2 should drop on PS5 alone, will it make further use of technology such as VR, putting the player in the room with others, layering even more belief on top of the existing experience?

Poker fans should certainly be excited for what the future holds in terms of playing from their sofa through a console, rather than a digital device.

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Adam S. Ponzer

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