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Console vs PC in competitive gaming

Comparing console and PC gaming in the competitive scene.

Feature

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?

Comments
  • http://www.1up-clan.de/ Gonzo

    “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.” ^ /sign

  • Just Another Guy

    In my opinion this post is good but the one thing PC lack compared to console tournaments is the money. When there is a CoD event going on the first place prize is normally the amount the total prize pool would be on PC if not more. PC do have many more tournaments but some are for free, for gear, or for a low amount of money. Also there are a lot of local lan’s for console. For example games like “Injustice: Gods Among Us” have local lans in some cities the prize pool isn’t as high but it can be compared to what you’d see on pc (depending on what organization is holding the event) and also MLG have been trying to implement other games for console. As of now it is possible either destiny or the new halo will be on the circuit IF they actually have the support from the dev’s that’s needed.

    Also as far as viewers go PC do have more BUT League of Legends and Dota 2 have a huger fan-base since it is free to play. Look at the amount of people who play each game, LoL gets around 3m+ players a day CoD only have 1m+ at launch (which probably will decrease thanks to ghost) which drop down withing the first 1-4 weeks of the game and by the 3rd month it have only around 300k-500k players online and that’s only if it’s considered to be good (Black Ops 1 and 2, MW3 some what, CoD 4, etc) other than that it might be as low as 200k. League of Legends have many more fans in Asia, Canada, France, Brazil, and countries such as that as where CoD is mainly a popular game in US and EU (Cod is played in Canada, Australia, etc but isn’t as big considering LoL which get around 3m+ players online everyday as of 2011 which was years ago). If you look at games like Smite when tournaments are going on it have around the same viewership as CoD if not less. Starcraft 2 is dropping in popularity and as of lately have not surpassed CoD (which has 50k+ viewers on average now with the highest being around 80k). P

    It do suck that new CoD’s come out yearly but it can be an advantage for new players to come into the game since the Pro players will have to learn everything about the game like them. As far as making a living go Console (CoD) kind of have PC beat. As long as you upload YouTube video’s, stream regularly, and place at least top 3 in tournaments it can be pretty easy to make a living mainly due to the amount of money you get from place T3 in tournaments. Even with out placing well or in the money at all you can make money. I have noticed PC players stream and upload YouTube video’s but the main people who earn any income from it are the big well known pro’s and not the amateur’s, semi-amateurs, and/or lesser known pro’s. It is harder in the PC community for smaller guys to come up as well because there are many more ppl online playing a specific game compared to console. Look at Hearthstone that game was officially released in March 2014 (Beta in January) and the game has blown up so much withing the past few months with over 10 million accounts already. Console has fewer players so when amateurs and semi-amateurs start to make a name for themselves they can start to make money quicker.

    As far as Halo go being removed from MLG’s circuit the pro’s hated Halo Reach because of the changes compared to 3 and 4 barely did anything to fix those chnages. I play Halo 4 from time to time and the amount of players online honestly are low.

    Either way both PC and Console is good. I personally would prefer console (mainly due to the prize pool’s) but if this next CoD isn’t at least as good as MW3 (which is saying something since it wasn’t better than either black ops or cod 4 or mw2) I might just switch to LoL, Dota 2, or Starcraft. I’ve thought about this for a while and I have done a lot of research as far as player base and going pro is concerned and from what I said above that is what I have gathered so far.

  • Just Another Guy

    Also Battlefield can do good on console but that’s only if a organization pick it up and take it to the next level. The possibility that MLG do that is slim since it would interfere with them being the leading organization in CoD (also it could interfere with the CoD $1 million championship that they host). I personally think PLG (Pro Gaming League) should pick that up since it has suffered a lot since MLG has blown up.

    I do have hope in MLG though as they have had Tom Clancy, gears of war, Mortal Kombat, etc just to name a few.