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CES Snapshot: Razer Makes a Play for the Living Room With $100 Microconsole

Can Razer succeed where others have failed?

Bonnie Cha for Re/code

At Google I/O this summer, Razer announced its plans to release an Android TV set-top box, but remained mum on a lot of details. Now, seven months later, the gaming and accessories company is finally ready to talk specifics.

Today at CES, Razer revealed that its microconsole, called Forge TV, will launch this quarter for $100. The main purpose of the device is to bring Android and PC gaming to the living room. But users will also be able to access streaming services like Netflix and other apps via the Google Play Store.

Bonnie Cha for Re/code

Forge TV doesn’t look all that different from other set-top boxes like Apple TV and Roku. It features an HDMI port, Ethernet jack and Wi-Fi for connecting to your home theater system and network, and has 16 gigabytes of internal storage. There’s also a Qualcomm quad-core Snapdragon processor and dedicated graphics processor to ensure smooth gameplay.

Razer certainly isn’t the first company to try to bring the Android and PC gaming experience to the bigger screen. Others like Ouya and Nvidia have tried it before, with not-so-great results. So, what makes Razer think it can do better? CEO Min-Liang Tan offers several reasons.

The first is the access to streaming services and apps like Hulu, YouTube, Crackle and iHeartRadio.

“We’ve seen the proliferation of microconsoles in the past, but to really succeed in the living room, it needed Google content,” said Tan. “So, we set out to create that end-to-end solution.”

Bonnie Cha for Re/code

Second, Tan says that unlike some current solutions, Forge TV doesn’t have any game-compatibility restrictions, nor does it require buying additional, expensive hardware to play PC games on a larger screen. It’s hardware agnostic and is capable of streaming games from various game services and publishers like Steam, Origin, Uplay and

Finally, Razer built several dedicated accessories to complement the Forge TV gaming experience. This includes the Razer Serval, a console-style, Bluetooth-enabled game controller, and Razer Turret, a wireless living room gaming mouse and lapboard. The company plans to sell them for $80 and $130, respectively, and a Forge TV and Serval bundle will be available for $150.

Razer thinks Forge TV will initially appeal to PC gamers looking for a living room solution, but hopes the access to Android games and apps will open it up to a wider audience. This is the first Android-specific piece of hardware from Razer, which has traditionally built products and services for the PC gaming market.

This article originally appeared on

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