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Console Esports at Risk?

Console Esports at Risk?

Published: Wednesday, January 06, 2021Tagged: eSports, Gaming

It’s easy to forget that esports is still a relatively young venture, whilst it has been around in the form it is known for over the past two decades or so, growth has only really been seen in a larger scale over the past seven or eight years, and only at the current size it is over the past four or five years. The big focus for esports over this period of time has largely been focussed around the PC platform however with many of the biggest games in the world taking place on PC – but that isn’t to say other systems haven’t made an appearance as console esports did have their time in the light, but are they now at risk?

Console Esports at Risk?

Perhaps the most notable title that has stuck to console for the longer period of time has been with Call of Duty – there has been a switch around between whether Xbox or PlayStation held the rights for a competitive season of Call of Duty, with other consoles also being popular for games like Smash Bros and Street Fighter titles – but many were quick to change for performance sake and for broadcasting sake – it had been much easier to broadcast esports titles through the PC platform than consoles but there had been some holdouts, until this year as Call of Duty announced that it would be changing its competitive scene from consoles to PC.

There are some caveats to the change – players will still need to use a controller for the time being for example, but it does signal the end of an era for console esports as perhaps the biggest title on the platform moves away, and with the rise of other platforms such as mobile within esports too it closes a space in the market that had been held by dedicated consoles for a longer period of time. There is an opportunity for recovery though as other games start to emerge into the esports market for a more familiar audience – titles like FIFA have been growing in recent years as a changing audience is looking for more familiarity in esports as they make the transition from more traditional sporting events, and with esport betting as a list here of the biggest games shows, these titles are well represented on console too which could offer a way for consoles to remain relevant.

There may be another opportunity for change with the recent releases of the Series X and PS5 however, with the more powerful consoles and the better sharing options available there may be more support for consoles to have an esports presence too – particularly if both manufacturers can develop a better way for both spectating and for streaming support too. As it stands, console esports may be at risk though as other platforms become more represented, and big changes may need to be seen moving forward to ensure dedicated consoles can have their space, and continue to develop a growing console esports scene too.

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