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Erik Kain (Contributor): Sony's Boring PS4 Is Winning The Console War

AmaterasuOni

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Jul 3, 2014
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I actually like it a bit boring. I don't need anything fancy, I'm that kind of a person. I need my PS4 to work when I want it to work. I want to experience good looking games and stories and I also want to watch my DVDs and Blu-rays. Maybe some day I can play some music with it as well, who knows - but I don't need that music player as I have better methods for that.

It's a gaming console, not a digi-TV-machine or twitterbook chatting tool, and it happens to be the most powerful gaming console at the moment. I like it. A lot.

I guess Morpheus is boring to Erik as well. I know, it's nothing quite new, but at least they're trying to innovate gaming. Oculus Rift is doing that on PC. I bet Microsoft is looking forward to bring their own VR-set as well. Who knows what Nintendo is thinking.

Erik, I think you're boring, but you're kind of right.
 

Jeels

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I kind of disagree with the last bit. Even though I prefer the PS4 over the other two, it doesn't necessarily mean that "boring" or the status quo is better than gimmicks. The last generation proved that. It's just that this generation the market determined that the gimmick is no longer worth it.
 

LastGamer84

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Jul 30, 2013
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Boring in the sense that it doesn't try to shove useless gimmicks down people's throats? Then give me boring.
 

Vestax

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Jul 24, 2014
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Usual disclaimer: Forbes contributors are just hosted bloggers, they don't write for Forbes.
Good to know.

I've read a few of those Forbes video game articles, and honestly, there is a certain bias towards a specific platform. Specially, those written by Mr. Kain and Mr. Thier. This is another eyebrow-raising article.
 

Sentenza

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Dec 3, 2011
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I wonder how many posts it will take again before pissed console warriors will stop crying because of the title and finally realize that he's NOT actually criticizing the PS4 for being boring, just making a point using a bit of rhetoric.
If anything, the wording makes me suspect he's actually quite the Sony cheerleader at heart.
 
May 6, 2014
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Boring in the sense that it doesn't try to shove useless gimmicks down people's throats? Then give me boring.
Again, that's exactly his point.

I guess reading the OP is difficult for some people.

I wonder how many posts it will take again before pissed console warriors will stop crying because of the title and finally realize that he's NOT actually criticizing the PS4 for being boring, just making a point using a bit of rhetoric.
If anything, the wording makes me suspect he's actually quite the Sony cheerleader at heart.
He absolutely is. This reaction is hilarious. People can't look past the headline.
 

family_guy

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Mar 17, 2013
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It's true. I've said that from the beginning. I don't think it's a knock on it really, but it has made me invest into my PC instead since if you're just trading on horsepower and price, PC seems like a good alternative (cheaper games, no additional online cost, much better horsepower).

For console-only gamers though it's an obvious choice if you're just looking for a simple standard to go with.
Sure but people go where the games they like are so if you like console exclusives then PC is not an alternative, more of a supplement.
 
Jun 6, 2013
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You guys are really misunderstanding his point. He's not saying "boring" is a bad thing. It's right there in the final paragraph.
Yup, pretty much. "Boring" doesn't have to be an insult.

Sony definitely took a conservative and "boring" approach but it has paid massive dividends. They deserve praise for that. The simple approach is often times the most successful one.
 

cakefoo

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Jun 24, 2006
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It reads more like a Shyamalan story to me- sounds like he's talking bad about the PS4, but then points out that it's actually a positive remark.

Gamers want a machine that isn’t center stage and doesn’t try too hard to innovate with inputs, but instead serves as a solid system to play the actually exciting stuff on: Video games.
Instead of having the plate outshine the meal, Sony simply ensured that the plate wouldn’t interfere with the meal.
Sometimes boring is the most business-savvy road to travel. Sometimes it’s a word that shouldn’t carry such negative connotation
..this article is largely tongue-in-cheek...
 

InfiniteCombo

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Jan 26, 2014
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You guys are really misunderstanding his point. He's not saying "boring" is a bad thing. It's right there in the final paragraph.
Came in to say exactly this.

Also, are we supposed to get some super-major, revolutionary upgrade in every console generation? From where I'm sitting, the biggest innovations were the move from cartridges to CDs (and subsequently, 2D to 3D) in gens 4->5, then some networking attempts in gen 6, then motion controls in gen 7. What else happened?

The Super Nintendo is absolutely one of the greatest consoles ever. But besides being 16 bits, as opposed to the 8 of the NES, was there that much innovation?
 

Gxgear

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Jul 3, 2012
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*contributor*

I don't feel a Kinect and a mandatory tablet peripheral are examples for innovation, especially when there isn't any existing innovative uses for them.
 

Toxi

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May 29, 2013
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Guys, it's Erik Kain, he writes some good stuff, please read the whole article before whining about how he insulted your favorite console.
It reads more like a Shyamalan story to me- sounds like he's talking bad about the PS4, but then points out that it's actually a positive remark.
None of that is insulting.
 

Sir TapTap

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[The Wii U gamepad] is also extremely useful for kids, many of whom no longer have the capacity to use buttons properly thanks to the rapid rise of touchscreens in modern society.
Wow
Wooowwwww
Wooowwwwwwwwwwwwwwwww

I know kids are used to touch screens from a young age but...no longer have the capacity...to press buttons. Wow. I can't.
 

LilWayneSuckz

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Aug 9, 2013
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I'm interested in the XB1 because of Kinect 2.0, but I would hardly say that it or the Wii U gamepad makes them "more interesting" than the PS4 because of those two features.

Consoles can be awesome because of their game library, not the gimmicks they have.

A good example of how a gimmick can backfire is the initial "launch" of the Wii U

EDIT: ^^^^ lol!
 

Arc

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Jul 16, 2012
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It's true. I've said that from the beginning. I don't think it's a knock on it really, but it has made me invest into my PC instead since if you're just trading on horsepower and price, PC seems like a good alternative (cheaper games, no additional online cost, much better horsepower).

For console-only gamers though it's an obvious choice if you're just looking for a simple standard to go with.
This is unnecessary and troll baity. Don't be that guy.
 

cakefoo

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Jun 24, 2006
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None of that is insulting.
Of course not, that's the point- to show the positive remarks that give clarity to the article for people who just read titles and condensed forum quotes. No need for me to post negative remarks when everyone is already familiar with them.
 

kiguel182

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Sep 9, 2013
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Control gimmicks rarely make a platform. Games do.

The hardware doesn't need to be exciting, the games do since it's all that matters for most people.

So yeah, maybe it can be seen as a boring hardware but who cares? It's well designed (way better designed that the PS3 in fact) and it has the games people want to play and a sense of security since Sony is known for supporting their hardware.

EDIT: I realize this is his argument pretty much, and I agree with him.
 

aspiegamer

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Nov 10, 2013
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Or, you know, people must just want to play games with their gaming console. A box with a primary function of playing video games when connected to a TV. I know the writer says that "boring" doesn't equal "bad", but that's a pretty loaded title for an article if it's not your point. Just clarifying it at the end is painful. So it's clickbait. Shocking!

Don't we have a growing track record of godawful threads that resulted from godawful pieces from "Forbes contributors"? I vaguely recall asking that they be banned at one point.
 

Zornack

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Jun 15, 2013
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Good article, and he's right, this time the no-nonsense affordable machine made for playing games and watching netflix won. Also a great headline because it showcases who doesn't actually read the thing, though it is too clickbaity.
 

Zophar

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Sep 4, 2007
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The PS4 is winning because it does all the same things its competition does but better, and they had the marketing sense to put the horsepower in the front as the main draw instead of the ancillary gimmicks.

If you want motion and voice control, or if you want a second screen, the PS4 will do both if you want it to. It's the whole package whereas the competition is hanging its hat on one or two buzzy features.
 

atr0cious

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I'm pretty sure that's the only difference that matters.
If graphic boosts are all you look forward to in a new console, then you should just get a PC. Especially now that you have to install the game no matter if it's physical or not. You're also at the mercy of the publishers as far as patching it, or supporting it in the future. But this isn't about that.

I don't think be boring is necessarily bad, but it is a harbinger for consolidation in the industry. It used to be, each system was quirky and different in the own way. Controllers were completely different back then, like playing Street Fighter on Snes then a Genesis was mind blowlingly foreign. Now, the only thing I have to remember is that triangle is the top button. Now the system difference is about taking games and playing keep away with information.

Back then, Sega games were built from the ground up for Sega systems, and Nintendo games were built for Nintendo systems. Now they build one game and toss to the other two. Convenient for the publishers, but we get less as a result. I think Treyarch is as close to a dedicated old school port team as you can get, and they're the only reason to even look at a CoD game on the Nintendo systems. But now they're not even doing a port, which is a bad thing, especially if we want to talk about the health of the industry. The publishers have been so focused on a certain demographic, they've lost sight of getting the "easy" money through smaller projects and ports.

So yea, its awesome that the PS4 is blowing up, hopefully they do something with it. I hope Morpheus will actual work on the PS4, so they will really have a differential.
 

xenorevlis

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So Kinect on the Xbox One he calls innovative, but the PS Camera you can buy... is not. Also, Kinect came out last gen.

On the Wii U second-screen and touch-controls are innovative, but the PS Vita second screen and DS4 touch pad get thrown to the side...

Yeah, this article is top notch!
 

SykoTech

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Sep 3, 2010
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Well, guess his definition of "exciting" is different from mine.

And apparently, different from a lot of people!
 
May 11, 2014
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The PS4 is winning because it does all the same things its competition does but better, and they had the marketing sense to put the horsepower in the front as the main draw instead of the ancillary gimmicks.

If you want motion and voice control, or if you want a second screen, the PS4 will do both if you want it to. It's the whole package whereas the competition is hanging its hat on one or two buzzy features.
Not really...the PS4 doesn't do a second screen better and requiring a separate $250 handheld doesn't count. It's a quality system, but let's not act like it's a master of all trades

But the article is true. The PS4 is relatively "boring" compared to the other 2. There's nothing necessarily exciting or quirky about it, despite what people hyping the touchpad will argue. The stuff with gakai will be cool when it comes to fruition, but it's still essentially just a better way of handling BC and digital titles. The DS4...is basically like the DS3 which was basically like the DS2...with relatively minor changes, with most being for comfort and ergonomics than functionality, and some being for seemingly no reason (like the light)

Of course people are just going to see "boring" and see it as an attack without understanding what he's trying to say
 

Codeblue

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May 29, 2009
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Good to know.

I've read a few of those Forbes video game articles, and honestly, there is a certain bias towards a specific platform. Specially, those written by Mr. Kain and Mr. Thier. This is another eyebrow-raising article.
I'm not sure which way you think he leans, but I don't think Erik Kain really has a bias towards any specific platform. He's written about how Sony was right to deny EA the opportunity to sell subscriptions on their platform, he wrote about how bad the XBO reveal was, how interesting he thinks Kinect is, and Nintendo's shortcoming and success.

Maybe you're just seeing certain articles that lead you to believe that, but he certainly doesn't have a clear agenda that he's pushing hard.
 

dwr budr

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Apr 19, 2014
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the ps4 only has one thing going for it

horsepower

and a reasonable price tag.

So that's 2 things then........DOH !