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How next generation consoles could elevate esports

With both Sony and Microsoft releasing their next generation gaming consoles in this upcoming holiday season (2020), I decided to take a look at how they could have a positive impact of the realm of Esports.

At the end of this year, both Microsoft and Sony will be releasing their new, high powered, next-generation gaming consoles. The battle between the Xbox Series X and the PlayStation 5 has already begun, with Xbox seeming to lead the battle as it stands.

What we know so far

Whilst we still wait for release dates to be confirmed, Microsoft have been surprisingly open regarding their upcoming Xbox project. They have released essentially full specifications as well as the design. On the flip side, Sony have only just recently confirmed some of their specs, with everything held being held behind closed doors. All the specs we know as it stands can be found here.

Overall it seems that Xbox is winning whenever it comes to specs. The PS5 does win on paper when you look at some specs, but when you dive deeper, the Xbox will still likely outperform in these areas. We can expect the PS5 to be smaller in size compared to the Xbox Series X, with prices still up in the air, leaving people questioning where their allegiances will fall come the holiday season.

Esports Foundations

For the longest time now, PC Gaming has been the “Master-race” of esports. There are consistent arguments regarding this, with all parties having their own egotistical mindsets regarding their preferred option. Many of the top esports titles are played on PC, which backs up their argument. For example; League of Legends, Counter-Strike: Global Offensive, and Dota 2 are all strictly PC games that tend to lead the esports market.

The origins of esports stemmed long before many think, but the next generation of consoles has the potential to turn a new leaf in the industry. With PC typically dominating due to the uncapped frame rates and high refresh rates, consoles always severely struggled to battle against this.

The shape and size of the new Xbox has shocked people, as it is very comparable to a typical PC. Many believe this design is purposeful, to further boost its chances of competing with the low to mid-tier PC market.

What is changing

Both the PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series X have been confirmed to support up to 120 FPS (Frames per second), which is a tremendous increase on their predecessors. With 120 FPS – 144 FPS being the sweet spot for majority of PC Gamers (obviously some love seeing higher frame rates maxing out the full potential of their rigs), being able to support this higher frame rate on a console format, opens up the potential for the console-based esports titles to bloom.

For example, Call of Duty, Gears of War and Halo have been staples of the console esports industry for over a decade now. They are the titles that will see the biggest benefit of the increased frame rate.

Meanwhile games like Smite, Paladins and Rainbow Six Siege that are played on both console and PC, those committed to the console scene of each respective game will now have the ability to play on an even higher quality.

It is definitely an exciting time for the entire gaming industry when new consoles are released. I am eager to find out more about them and see how they will impact the wonderful esports scene.

Expected prices

There has been a lot of talk from both Sony and Microsoft in regards to how they want to make both of their consoles widely available price wise; meaning they should be more affordable then ever. It has been estimated by a Bloomberg report that the PS5 will come in around the $470 mark.

When we take a look over on the Microsoft side of things, many believe it is unlikely the Xbox Series X will come under $500. However, recent reports and comments from those at Microsoft suggest that they plan to try and undercut the price of the new PlayStation. This likely comes from the successful move Sony made when the Xbox One and PS4 first released. Sony undercut Microsoft by $100 and witnessed a great growth in their share of the market. 

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