Esports Industry Continues to Soar with Next Generation Consoles
December 15, 2020
By Nicole Lieblich and Brett Vinokur
For the past several months, avid sports fans around the world have been able to root for their favorite teams from the comfort of their own homes. The professional sports world in the time of COVID-19 has truly been unlike any other season in the history of sports – pre-recorded crowd noises, cardboard and video stand-ins for fans, “Bubble” environments, to name a few. While it has been nine months since the world first went into lockdown and the economic shock has continued, esports and the gaming industry have continued to flourish, as many expected.
As one of the fastest growing industries in the world, esports has seen tremendous growth in both viewership and revenue in the past few months. While having to adjust to the unprecedented times by cancelling all live and in-person events and shift to online competitions, viewership has been continually on the rise as the inclusive industry attracts people of all demographics. The growth of advertising has led brands to interface directly with new audiences, creating unlimited potential for revenue development. While the ability to hold in-person events remains on hold indefinitely, experts are confident that there will be a continued increase in investment and revenue opportunities.
As this calendar year comes to a close, the future of gaming is looking brighter than ever with the release of next generation gaming consoles. Both Microsoft and Sony have recently released their new, high powered, next generation gaming consoles, Xbox Series X and PlayStation 5 respectively. Gamers from around the world have been trying to get their hands on the newest consoles, but it has been virtually impossible as they are one of this year’s most sought-after gifts this holiday season.
The most popular esports game categories include sports, racing, fighting, and first-person shooters (FPS). This new generation of consoles features impeccable hardware upgrades that are now on par with sophisticated computer systems. Game genres such as FPS, fighting, and racing all depend heavily on player reactions. The new generation consoles will have higher frame rates which will enable more competitive gameplay across the board, ultimately leading to a higher standard of gaming. For example, the popular game Call of Duty will benefit tremendously because the game relies heavily on speedy player reactions and frame rates.
While some games allow for cross-platform play (i.e., console gamers playing with computer gamers at the same time), others are platform-specific. The ability for next generation consoles to compete with computers will broaden the pool of gamers who can strive to compete at the highest level. This will surely excite game developers, tournament organizers and advertisers as the population of esports professionals and viewers continue to grow.
While it may be difficult to imagine that a simple frame rate increase can change the future of console esports, only time will tell what this next generation gaming will bring. The esports industry is changing by the minute; new titles are constantly under development, new technology allows for more advancement, and old titles are constantly being patched with new content. The always changing world of esports has proven to be a model for digital transformation and we look forward to watching it grow in popularity in the months and years to come.