Razor announced its plans to introduce an Android-powered micro-console at last year's Google I/O event, but little else. At this year's CES, the company is finally ready to share details and there's more to the company's plans than a micro-console. With apps, a living room-focused keyboard and mouse solution, and support for streaming from your gaming PC, Razer's Forge TV, as it's being called, is an ambitious entry into a still unproven space.
The Razer Forge TV is a $99 Android-powered micro-console ($149 with the Serval Bluetooth controller) available this quarter. If you opt for the controller-less package, you'll be able to use a "mobile remote control app" to navigate the UI, or use voice search. You can also send content from your Android or iOS devices to the Forge TV using Google Cast. If you prefer something a little more traditional, the Turret Lapboard keyboard and mouse will set you back $129.
Perhaps the most interesting part of the Forge TV — we don't think Android gaming on the TV is a great fit for Razer's existing PC gaming audience — is the Razer Cortex: Stream app. "The Razer Cortex: Stream app connects to the PC game launcher Razer Cortex and allows for one-click hardcore PC game streaming to any Android TV micro-console," the company says. The software is included for free with the Forge TV, the Serval controller and the Turret lapboard, or for $39 directly from Razer.
Qualcomm Snapdragon 805
Quad-Core Krait 450 CPU - 2.5 GHz per core
Adreno 420 GPU
2 GB RAM
16 GB storage
Bluetooth 4.1 + HS
Wireless 802.11ac 2X2
HDMI 1.4 output
4.1 in. (105 mm) Width x 4.1 in. (105 mm) Depth x 0.7 in. (17 mm) Height
The Razer Serval controller is a $79.99 Bluetooth controller "built with the same precision and ergonomics as Razer’s award-winning console controllers." That means the normal console controller inputs, like four shoulder buttons, two analog thumbsticks, four face buttons and a directional pad.
The Serval also brings Android back and home buttons, an optional wired mode over USB, and an adjustable game clip to use with your mobile phone. The Serval can remember up to four pairings, for easy switching between your phone(s) and the Forge TV. In turn, the Forge TV can support up to four Serval controllers.
With all the talk about bringing PC gaming to the living room, one input solution has been left to the halls of history. While you may not remember the PC-based Phantom Game Console and its accompanying "lapboard," somebody at Razer apparently does.
The "Turret Lapboard" is a $129.99 product featuring a wireless keyboard and 3500 DPI laser mouse, designed to be held directly on your lap. The Turret uses "dual wireless connectivity via Bluetooth 4.0 LE or Wireless 2.4 Ghz" to ensure "compatibility across multiple devices." The mouse area to the right of the keyboard appears to fold underneath the keyboard to charge; it's not clear how the mouse stays on the lapboard while in use. The Turret will be available in Q2 this year.