Last night Philips revealed Evnia to the world, its official line of gaming monitors and accessories. The two words I heard a lot from Philips last night at the reveal event were 'elegance' and 'freshness.' And spending some time with the gear, I can see that Philips is counting on a couple of important facts. PC gamers are getting older, are making more money, and like nice-looking things in their living rooms and offices.
We had a chance to chat with the product manager of gaming monitors at Phillips, Cesar Acosta, to explain the design philosophy behind the Evnia product designs, especially the gaming monitors and the conscious effort to step away from what he called the "typical hardcore gamer aesthetic".
TPV owns Philips and also owns AOC, one of the biggest gaming monitor brands in the world. So, of course, you wonder if having multiple gaming hardware brands under one umbrella hurts or helps the cause. Cesar said, "AOC is one of the top three brands in the European market, and they cover everything. From different sizes and budgets, they have everything. They are for the hardcore gamers." Where Philips saw an opportunity, according to Cesar, had to do with data they gathered during the last few years regarding a shifting demographic of some gamers.
Cesar told PC Gamer, "the customer has changed; they've matured a bit, have a nice income, maybe in their 30s, and want a nice monitor that's not so aggressive." He continued by saying, "they want a monitor that feeds his environment that fits their style; they are not kids anymore."
According to the data, gamers on the older end of the spectrum are shying away from the designs we are used to seeing: hard edges, blacks, reds, giant logos, and too much RGB. They still want the performance, though. These two things are too often mutually exclusive when it comes to the best PC gaming peripherals. Cesar explained, "It's not that these gamers want something plain, but something modern and tidy they can still work and play on and be competitive."
This helps explain why, Philips went for a softer, cleaner look. Instead of RGB strips, the monitors have a series of RGB cubes in the back, while the headsets and keyboards adorn a single RGB strip down the center. Everything is in an almost eggshell white, giving everything a more premium vibe to it. Someone at the event joked and said all the products look like something Apple would make if they got into gaming hardware.
Cesar acknowledges that they aren't the first gaming hardware company to introduce the idea of an entire gaming ecosystem. So we asked why gamers should consider choosing Evnia against other well-established brands like Razer or HyperX? Cesar's answer leaned towards something I didn't expect. Software.
"Our product software (Philips Precision Center) is non-intrusive and easy to use. It sync's with all your [Evnia] gaming hardware gear with no more than a single click to set your settings and Ambiglow RGB, especially on the monitors." Without naming names, Cesar acknowledges some of the worst experiences of installing new peripherals from competitors are dealing with obnoxious management software that you constantly have to battle.
Speaking of RGB, since it is Philips, we asked about the likelihood of incorporating the lighting on its Evnia line to work with its smart home lighting software, Philips Hue. His answer was "not for now," but he did mention that looking to combine their gaming ecosystem with its smart home ecosystem they are looking at for the future. I joked that it would be kinda cool to just walk into a room and have your office lights and gaming gear all light up in sync like it were the intro to a wrestling match.
Philips says they are all in with the Evnia brand."If we launch a gaming brand, we go full speed," he added."
The Evnia monitors are expected to release in December, with the 34M2C8600 hitting the shelves with the 42M2N8900, 34M2C8600, and 27M2C5500W monitors scheduled to drop mid-January of next year.