Week of January 8th
In this week’s TPoI, Activision-Blizzard’s Overwatch League kicks off, Japanese console market sees profit increase for the first time in 11 years, and new gaming innovations are announced at the 2018 Consumer Electronic Show.
Overwatch League Season One Debuts Exclusively on Twitch
The inaugural season for Blizzard’s Overwatch League Kicked off on Wednesday afternoon at Blizzard Arena Los Angeles. Forbes reports that the English stream for the tournament, which was broadcast exclusively on Twitch, had an average of nearly 300,000 concurrent viewers throughout the first night of matches. Gamespot featured the league’s first week schedule, which see’s each of the league’s 12 team’s playing at least once between Wednesday and Saturday. PC Gamer called the tournament a colossal undertaking which may help mainstream audiences see professional esports matches as legitimate spectator events.
Japanese Console Market See’s First Profit Increase in 11 Years
2017 was a great year for gaming as a whole, but also a spectacular year for the Japanese console market, with hardware sales increasing 73% over last year. Gamesindustry.biz reports that a key driver in growth was the Nintendo Switch, which sold over 3.3 million units in its first year on the market. Metro reports that exclusive launches like Splatoon 2, which was the first console title to hit 2 million sales in Japan this decade, pushed Japanese gamers to pick up new console hardware. Metro also speculates that the Japanese Console Market will continue to see positive growth with the launch of more Nintendo Switch and Sony PlayStation 4 exclusive releases throughout 2018.
New Virtual Reality Tech and Gaming Innovations Unveiled at CES 2018
Companies including Google, Microsoft, Intel, and Nvidia have been showcasing new products at the 2018 Consumer Electronics Show, or CES, all week. Some of the most exciting gaming news includes HTC announcing their latest VR headset, the Vive Pro, which Verdict praised for its increased resolution and wireless functionality through an additional adapter. The Verge also featured Sennheiser’s new Game Zero Headset, which includes features like pressure sensitive materials and suede ear cuffs. Outlets are speculating that more gaming related announcements will be published before the event concludes this weekend, with press excited to see more gaming focused products from companies like Nvidia, who have so far only shown off a new lineup of large format monitors.