Razer's Android TV micro-console is aimed squarely at gamers
Razer is going full out at CES, unveiling both a low-cost fitness band and an all-new Android TV micro-console. The latter, known as the Forge TV, is a device of two halves, offering both the opportunity to play Google Play games with up to four players on the big screen, as well as promising low-latency PC streaming.
In terms of hardware, the Forge TV is no slouch. It’s powered by a quad core Snapdragon 805 chip, combined with an Adreno 420 GPU and 2 GB RAM. Those specs should lead to a smooth gaming experience with any title available through the Google Play Store, which acts as the source of the Forge’s gaming content.
The company has paid special attention to connectivity, fitting the box with both Bluetooth 4.1+ and 802.11ac wireless. In terms of physical ports, there’s a Gigabit Ethernet port, a single USB 3.0 and HDMI-out. In addition to playing games, the micro-console is also an Android TV hub, providing access to a wealth of apps and content services.
The company is launching an in-house wireless gamepad controller with the system, known as the Serval. It’s designed by the same team that worked on the company’s Sabertooth Xbox controller, and can be used with Forge TV and PCs, as well as tablets and smartphones. Up to four controllers can be paired with the micro-console, and the controller itself can remember up to four unique device pairings.
Razer has bigger plans for the Forge TV beyond playing Android games. In Q2 2015, the company will launch its Cortex: Stream service into beta, allowing users to stream their PC games up onto the big screen.
According to the company, the device’s high-end wireless capabilities will provide a latency-free gaming experience at up to 1,920 x 1,080 resolution. It’s set to be compatible with DirectX 9 games and up, and is hardware-agnostic, meaning you won’t have to worry about whether your gaming rig will be compatible.
Some genres of PC game (particularly strategy titles) don’t always translate well to controller input. Luckily, the company is aware of the issue, announcing plans to launch a wireless living room gaming mouse and lapboard called the Razer Turret. The setup incorporates an anti-ghosting-equipped keyboard and 3500 DPI mouse with dual Bluetooth 4.0 LE and Wireless 2.4 GHz connectivity.
The Razer Forge TV will retail for US$100 as a standalone unit or $150 with a single Serval controller. It’s scheduled to start shipping in Q1 2015. There’s no word yet on pricing and availability for the Razer Turret.