The Real Impact Next Gen Consoles May Have On Esports

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The Real Impact Next Gen Consoles May Have On Esports

In November 2020, both Microsoft and Sony released their next-generation consoles. The PlayStation 5 and the Xbox Series X are striving to drive the gaming industry into a new, high-powered era. Regarding their specifications, both developments have taken significant strides forward, with each surpassing the potentials of an average PC. Although their respective hardware varies, there’s a widespread sense of anticipation that the PS5 and Series X will have a positive knock-on effect on the eSports market. So, let’s take a look at how vastly both consoles will alter competitive gaming.

The Potential to Elevate the Industry

Fundamentally, one of the most significant improvements that have come to fruition following the release of the PS5 and Series X relates to frame rate. By definition, the term refers to the speed at which images are consecutively displayed on a screen. Generally, the rate that delivers the highest-quality gaming visuals is 60 FPS. The PS4, however, didn’t have a defined frame rate, but many of the titles offered a stable performance at 30 FPS. In comparison, the PS5 is capable of delivering both 60 FPS and 120 FPS, which is a drastic improvement. The step up to 60 FPS will enhance smoothness and in-game inputs, meaning that controller actions will be more rapidly translated.

Crucially, this means that console-specific eSports are now better placed to battle the dominance of PCs in the competitive gaming sector. In recent years, some of the market’s most-played titles, such as Fortnite, have been playable at 60 FPS on desktops. As such, consoles no longer offer a less-developed aesthetic. Furthermore, this may also impact eSports-related sectors, such as competitive gaming betting. With gamers now able to enjoy modern-day titles to an equal standard, there’s scope for console eSports to reach new heights, and that includes attracting enhanced numbers of eSports bettors. As described by online casino and sports betting aggregator Legal Betting, prospective bettors can bet on an array of eSports markets, including first kill, map, match, and tournament winner, as well as handicap betting.

Will Consoles Overtake PCs from an eSports Popularity Standpoint?

As touched on above, PCs are currently the leading platform in relation to eSports participation. One of the primary factors behind the popularity of desktops relates to in-game accuracy. On consoles, gamers are limited to device-specific controllers. However, on PCs, variation is at the heart of desktop playability.

The Real Impact Next Gen Consoles May Have On Esports

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As an article by Gamer Assault Weekly states that a mouse and keyboard setup is exponentially more accurate than alternative systems. For open-world shooters, this enhanced accuracy is a must-have for gamers. Counter-Strike: Global Offensive has awarded the highest prize fund of any title in 2020 at around £6 million, and it’s predominantly played on PC. Fundamentally, this is because of the accuracy that competitive gamers can enjoy through mouse and keyboard controls.

Furthermore, it’s also worth taking into consideration that sector’s most popular titles and their platform compatibility. Along with CS:GO, Dota 2 and League of Legends are also industry-leading games that are exclusive to PC. If next-gen consoles are to upset the market’s existing balance, then it’s essential that both the PS5 and Series X place eSports-friendly titles at the heart of future developments. However, it’s believed that gamers will have to wait until 2022 before they see next-gen-defining games on Sony’s latest release.

Bringing Balance, but Can They Compete?

Ultimately, there can be no doubt that the next-gen consoles add much-needed balance to the eSports industry. Concerning performance, particularly in relation to frame rates, video game devices are no longer lagging behind PCs. That said, it’s still unclear if that will be enough to rival the dominance of desktops.

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