TCEA 2021: Getting Started with Esports May Be Easier Than You Think – EdTech Magazine: Focus on K-12

TCEA 2021: Getting Started with Esports May Be Easier Than You Think – EdTech Magazine: Focus on K-12

Consoles Work Well for Intramurals, PCs Boost Competition

For gaming compute power, players may use either consoles or PCs. The former are less expensive, and students may already have consoles at home they can bring in. Currently, McAllister said, gaming consoles are in the middle of a refresh cycle, and the new ones are nearly impossible to get hold of. If esports programs are able to hold out for a more advanced console, they’ll extend their period of usability, because there will be a break-even point in the next year or two where games won’t be compatible with older systems, he noted.

Some consoles will play better with the school network than others, so that’s something for esports program leaders to look into. They’ll also want to consider the specific games the club or team may be playing and whether the program will primarily be intramural or be involved in more competitive league play. Consoles work great for an intramural team, McAllister said, but don’t scale as well for a larger program.

Graphics cards can be a next step up if a program can’t yet invest in a full gaming PC. “Look at your fleet and see if there are any PCs with above-average power supplies,” said McAllister. “We want 300 to 350 watts in those machines. Most small form factors right now do not have the oomph in them to be able to power higher-end cards.”

To summarize, he said, starting with consoles is fine, with the caveat that programs will
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