Razer has revealed at the International CES 2015 a new Android TV micro-console called the Razer Forge TV built for “hardcore PC gaming.”
The device is equipped with a Qualcomm Snapdragon 805 Quad-Core Krait 450 CPU – clocked at 2.5 GHz per core – with an Adreno 420 GPU, 2GB of RAM and 16 GB of internal storage. The specs aren’t particularly beefy for a dedicated TV device, closely mirroring Google’s Motorola manufactured Nexus 6 phone. But as a dedicated TV device the Razer Forge TV does offer one thing no other device presently has: Razer Cortex: Stream service.
Razer Cortex: Stream allows users to stream games from their PCs directly to the Razer Forge TV to enjoy on in their living room. While the concept isn’t new by any stretch of the imagination, it is one of the first to work with both AMD and Nvidia graphics cards and any digital service, whether it be Steam, Origin, uPlay, Battle.net or any other game client you can think of. This opens up your options to play anything from Dota 2 to Dragon Age: Inquisition to Starcraft 2 in your living room without the hassle of needing a PC directly hooked up to your TV or having to switch between different streaming services to play the game you want to enjoy.
“Razer Forge TV is a device that is able to bring together the most popular elements of an entertainment center,” says Min-Liang Tan, Razer co-founder and CEO in an official statement. “It powers popular music and movie apps and plays Android TV games that an entire family can enjoy. For the hardcore gaming audience, it will bring PC gaming to the couch. Razer Forge TV is what we see as the future of consoles.”
The concept seems sound thus far, providing an easy outlet for consuming entertainment like movies and accessing a full library of PC games from your living room. It seems to be what I wanted a device like the Ouya to be and avoids the hassle of building something like a Steam Machine that restricts much of my game library to Linux games. Razer Forge TV is also priced rather affordably at $99 without a controller, which requires you to control the device via your smartphone or tablet on a remote control app, or for $149 with the new Razer Serval bluetooth controller. The pricing puts it in a spot where it can compete with devices like Google’s Nexus Player for consumers’ attention.
The Razer Forge TV doesn’t have a set release date, but will be launching sometime in Q1 of 2015. The Razer Cortex: Stream service will launch slightly later during Q2 of 2015.