Comparing console and PC gaming in the competitive scene.
Posted on July 4th of 2014 by Tom Chandler
Ever since the first gaming consoles were released on the market PC gamers have been competing against companies like Sega, Microsoft, Sony and other gaming console manufacturers for the place as the primary competitive gaming platform.
Console gaming has always been seen as the more casual choice compared to the high price, hard-core gaming associated with the PC platform. Due to the marketing of early consoles being mainly aimed towards children, the games console has always been the living room entertainment system not a competitive platform. However, anything that is played against another person will naturally be competitive which is what has happened to console gaming. At the forefront of the console movement is the organisation Major League Gaming (MLG). In 2014 they are now the only real competitive console organisation. Unlike PC gaming which includes multiple organisations hosting huge tournaments year round. And this isn’t the only instance where console gaming lacks in variety. With the decision to drop Halo from MLG tournaments in 2013 Call Of Duty is now the only console game that has any major tournaments. This creates yet another problem for console gaming. The business plan of Call Of Duty is too release a new title every 12 months. This is great for casual players as it keeps the game fresh and interesting however this completely kills competitive play as teams and players that are good at one game may not be in the game next year and prevents players from reaching the skill ceiling and becoming the best they can before the next game is released. It also further cements consoles reputation as a casual gaming platform.
PC competitive gaming doesn’t have many of the problems consoles have as well as better developer support across the board and higher performance on most multi-platform games. However, PC is still plagued with many of the problems that have affected the platform for years. PC gaming is seen as the more expensive option of the two platforms despite becoming more cost effect over the last few years. This has not prevented PC gaming from growing as it is becoming more and more popular every year and competitive games such as League Of Legends and CSGO have been a big part of that success. Valves digital distrubtion program ‘Steam’ has also rocketed the success of PC gaming with huge sales and discounts which you simple do not see on the console market.
It is hard to argue the success of PC competitive in last few years. Large tournaments regularly pull in hundreds of thousands of viewers whereas consoles tournaments pull in around 30 thousand at most with occasional spikes depending on teams and players. Even the primary console gaming organisation MLG has started including the PC game Starcraft 2 at its major events. I think that console gaming has a long way to go before it develops the professionalism and viewer count that PC events get year round. The first and most important thing that is needed for the console scene is a good competitive game that has proper developer support and allows for the players to reach a high skill ceiling that really differentiates pros from amateur players.
What do you think? How does console compare to competitive PC gaming?