The console industry has always been a few steps behind the PC industry, especially in the realm of esports. According to esportsearnings.com, all of the top five paying esports games are ones played almost exclusively on PC. However, with newer generations of consoles and a positive economic trend for competitive gaming, console developers are slowly starting to adapt.
Esports giants like League of Legends and CS:GO are most popularly played on PC. Yet for some of the other big named esports games like Overwatch, the esports retention is drastically reduced on console platforms despite a significantly wider market. Blizzard (developer of Overwatch) has led the way in trying not to segregate their PC gamers from their console gamers, but the task has proved challenging.
Many Overwatch players on console are limited by the difference in controls, and the flat out power of their machines compared to that of a high powered PC. Because of this, console gamers are often left out of the most popular esports games even though they have their own console port.
Games more optimized for console are adapting to tap into the console esports niche; and while many of the esport games on console pale in comparison to the PC giants, they are still present and steadily growing. Fighting games in particular like Street Fighter V, Super Smash, and Mortal Kombat X all have smaller less lucrative esports leagues going on.
There is also more potential in the new development of esports dedicated games like Splatoon 2, a team shooter developed for the currently popular Nintendo Switch. In the console’s first announcement trailer, Nintendo advertised their intentions to make Splatoon 2 an esport. Other companies like Sony are trying to tap in as well, by taking a risky leap by developing virtual reality esports games for their Playstation VR headset.
The highest amount of traffic for console eports is through long time popular shooters Call of Duty and Halo. Both of which are holding their own at 11th and 12th in the top paying esports games respectively.