How the advancement of next generation consoles could aid growth in esports
(image: Glenn Carstens-Peters on Unsplash)
Over the past several years the PlayStation 4 from Sony and the Xbox One from Microsoft have been battling it out amongst one another in the console gaming space. Both have released new updated variants of the consoles, but overall, there hasn’t been any insanely drastic changes to note. With the two new consoles from Sony and Microsoft dropping later this year, we’ve taken a look at how it could impact the esports industry.
Console gaming in general has been the victim of memes for quite some time now. The memes often come from those in the PC Gaming space, which is believed to be the gaming “master-race” due to the higher quality of gameplay and framerate that it offers. For the longest time now, this has been the arguable downfall for esports on console.
Up until this point, consoles frame rates were locked at 60 frames per second (FPS) and were played on a max of 1080p, occasionally being scaled up to 4K. For the popular first-person-shooters esports that primarily take place on console, this is what many believe has hindered their full potential in growth. For example, Call of Duty, Gears of War and Halo are all console based esports that seem to have hit their ceiling for viewership and growth right now due to the restrictions of consoles.
The New Consoles
More and more details continued to be announced for these new consoles, and with it, the hype surrounding them increases. Whilst it does appear that Microsoft may come out on top at the beginning of this new battle, it is never a guaranteed until the launches happen, and people get the hands of experience.
Sony – PlayStation 5
The long-awaited next addition is on the way, with a confirmed launched for the 2020 Holiday Season. It is already boasting some impressive specifications, however, they haven’t shown off quite as much as Microsoft have yet.
A boost to a powerful AMD 8-core processor with enhanced speeds on their SSD’s for all storage, the overall speed performance should be as nippy. Without throwing too much confusing specification jargon at you, below are the key specifications.
- CPU (Processor) – 8x Zen 2 Cores at 3.5GHz
- GPU (Graphics Card) – 10.28 TFLOPs, 36 CUs at 2.23GHz, RDNA 2 architecture
- RAM – 16GB GDDR6
- Storage – Custom 825GB SSD
- Expandable Storage – Optional NVMe SSD Slot
- Optical Drive – 4K Blu-ray Drive
Thankfully Sony have been less mysterious than they have in the past for console releases. They also released information for their new controller not too long ago. Despite the unique, unusual design they have packed an impressive amount of technology into the controller.
Microsoft – Xbox Series X
In comparison to the PlayStation 5, we have found out much more about Microsofts’ upcoming console in the 2020 Holiday Season; the Xbox Series X. Possibly the most interesting feature of the new Xbox is it’s shape and size; they have opted have a narrow, taller encloser so the console actually looks like a smaller, Micro-ATX computer.
This could very well be a purposeful design aspect as it is expected to rival the low and mid-tier gaming computers. They have also confirmed more specifications compared to Sony, see below:
- CPU – 8x Cores @ 3.8 GHz (3.6 GHz w/ SMT) Custom Zen 2 CPU
- GPU – 12 TFLOPS, 52 CUs @ 1.825 GHz Custom RDNA 2 GPU
- Die Size – 360.45 mm2
- Process – 7nm Enhanced
- Memory – 16 GB GDDR6 w/ 320b bus
- Memory Bandwidth – 10GB @ 560 GB/s, 6GB @ 336 GB/s
- Internal Storage – 1 TB Custom NVME SSD
- I/O Throughput – 2.4 GB/s (Raw), 4.8 GB/s (Compressed, with custom hardware decompression block)
- Expandable Storage – 1 TB Expansion Card (matches internal storage exactly)
- External Storage – USB 3.2 External HDD Support
- Optical Drive – 4K UHD Blu-Ray Drive
- Performance Target – 4K @ 60 FPS, Up to 120 FPS
How they will benefit console esports
With both companies managing to pack more power into each console, they will now be able to reach 120 FPS when running at 1080p. Whilst this is still lower than the maximum PCs can hit, being able to achieve 120 FPS consistently and a lower price will likely attract many new players over to the new consoles, which in turn will boost the overall console gaming and esports scene.