Razer Forge TV Android TV

Razer’s CES 2015 Round-Up: The Forge Android TV box, the Simpler Nabu X and Open-Source Virtual Reality

January 6, 2015 - Written By Phil Bourget

Razer is one of those names that you only really hear from us around CES at the start of a year, and this year is no different.  But it is different in the sense that 2015’s CES has Razer showing off fresh products and saying that they would be joining the ranks of Android and gaming.  Today Razer has announced a slew of great new products and promised some interesting software to accompany them.

First up is the big-name Android device, called Forge TV.  It’s an Android TV box, so it hooks up to your TV, runs Android, and lets you watch movies and play Android games with a Razer-made game controller.  That makes it great as it stands, since this little hundred-dollar box packs a Qualcomm Snapdragon 805, the Adreno 420 GPU and 2 gigabytes of RAM, but wait it gets better.  The Forge TV will only cost $100, and run Android TV.  But since it’s Razer, and Razer knows both gaming and gamers, and is working directly with Google, there are some additional facets to the gem.

What’s of note is its built in Google Cast, letting you start a game on the Forge, then continue away in another room with your Android device.  Because Razer is working in conjunction with Google on the Forge TV, we have the built in greatness of Android paired with the gaming know-how of one of the biggest names in the industry.

And most importantly about the Forge TV is that it has cross-platform compatibility, since Razer rules in the realm of desktop and computer accessories.  The company will launch a service, much like Nivida’s Grid, which will let you stream compatible computer games from your connected computer to your Forge TV to play there on your big screen on the couch.  But the fact that some of the accessories for the Forge TV are a full keyboard and mouse, as well as the controller makes this the most interesting thing to someone that has Razer in their blood and Android in their pocket, as well as a hundred dollars or so.

As well as the Forge, which will definitely catch the eye of many gaming Android users, comes a refreshing look at a device from CES 2014, the Nabu wristband.  Last year at CES, we heard of and saw the release of Razer’s smart wristband and activity tracker, the Nabu, with its Gear Fit-like display, FitBit-like body, and Razer color scheme of green and black.  Now, we have a much simpler version of the Nabu, the Nabu X, for those that just want something like the FitBit, Jawbone Up, or other screenless bands, and that’s what makes this one important: no display, just three LEDs, one red, one green, one blue. The NAbu X also features a heartrate reader on the back of the unit.  The first thing to come to mind is ‘that actually looks rather cool for a fitness band’, and the second is ‘wow that looks intentionally similar to the FitBit Flex’, so we’ll have to see how it compares.  With the stated 5-7 days of battery, it will hopefully get the attention of some who have wanted Razer’s name on their wrist but not a screen.

And finally we have the most interesting thing from Razer, the OSVR headset.  First came the surprise of ‘it’s not bright green and black’, and that’s right.  The device, whose name stands for Open-Source Virtual Reality headset, is shown off in black with orange accents.  But, fear not Razer color scheme fans and fanboys/girls, the ‘open-source’-ness of this headset is what will make it a hit with true techies.  Razer has this unit, priced at $199 and shipping in June of this year according to their website, but they also have the files that would let you print one yourself, using the 3D printer you might have in the next room.  That would mean you can make it Razer green and black all you want, and still be able to use the device as it was intended, with the software that the purchased one would come with and use as well.

Razer has offered up some intriguing and very tempting new products, and they more than have our attention as a serious multi-platform company.  The additional software of the Forge TV will extend the usability of the Android TV box you buy from Razer, while the fitness band is something a little more clean and stylish than previous offerings from other companies, and the OSVR headset will likely draw attention from those that want to maximize their digital selves.  Maybe we’ll see someone make a game that uses the OSVR and Oculus headsets to control or look around a game that comes from your already high-end computer called a smartphone.  We’re not even a week into the new year, and it’s already looking to be a year of change in the best ways possible for Razer.

Which are you most excited about of Razer’s 2015 offering?  Think that other companies might try the Android-PC linkage like Razer and Nvidia, or is it a niche that will die off soon enough?  Do you think the Nabu X comes at a time when people want smartwatches that track fitness, instead of the older trend of simple and basic fitness tracking bands, or is it an alternative that some might have been wanting at the time when even the wrist is getting a display of its own?  Let us know down below.