Normally, during this segment we would talk about what new Android TV devices, apps, features or otherwise, had recently come through. However, this week is a little bit different as we might be seeing the first actual fatality in the Android TV world. A couple of weeks ago, the Nexus Player was seen being heavily discounted in various Target stores. This immediately led to some questioning whether the Nexus Player was about to be discontinued. This did seem to make sense as the Nexus Player, although it is a Nexus, it is and does feel like a very dated device. Since then we have seen the arrival of what is essentially the Nexus Player as a built-in feature of some TVs. Not To mention, we have seen the arrival of the more powerful and more feature-heavy standalone options like the NVIDIA SHIELD and the Razer Forge TV.
However, this is where things got interesting this week. Although the Nexus Player was being heavily discounted (and does consistently seem to be on sale), it is a unit which still remains actively listed on the Google Store. Which is normally thought to be an indication that a device is still being supported. Once it drops off the Google Store listings, that is when you can normally assume a device is being discontinued. And that exactly seems to be what has happened this week with the Razer Forge TV.
Now to be clear, there is no confirmation that the Razer Forge TV is being discontinued. It is still ‘in stock’ via Razer (well, the main unit is, but the bundle interestingly is not), and it is still available through Amazon (although the bundle has seen a price drop). So it is still officially available. However, the Google Store removing the listing does at the very least, seem to suggest that they do not plan to be stocking it anymore. For example, the Nexus Player is also not currently available through the Google Store as it is “out of stock“. In contrast, the Razer Forge TV “is no longer available for purchase.” Both currently unavailable although a clear difference in their descriptions. As the Razer Forge TV was considered to be one of the devices which were seen to be fronting the Android TV revolution, its removal is a little more than just revealing.
Of course, to some, the Razer Forge TV being discontinued would not come as much of a surprise. For a new platform like Android TV and a new device like the Razer Forge TV, you would expect this to be marketed quite heavily by the company. A prime example being NVIDIA, who have put a decent amount of time and effort into making the public aware of the NVIDIA SHIELD and with good reason, it is a good Android TV device. One they are rightfully proud of. However, when it comes to the Forge TV, it does seem like this was the Android TV device that no one ever heard about. There has been next to no news coming through, very few, if any, updates being announced and just a general lack of support from the company. Something which is not akin to the Android TV community.
So although, this week’s removal from the Google Store does not automatically equate to its discontinuing, it does seem symptomatic of a device which is about to be laid to rest. However, here is the real kicker – yesterday in comments made to Engadget, Razer were reported to be saying that they were “doubling down” on Android TV. It is not quite clear what the mean by this, although the sentiment seems to suggest that they are about to pick up the pace with their approach to Android TV in general. Much of the current speculation seems to center on the fact that Razer bought up OUYA and their content will be ported over to Android TV. Part of the exact quote given in the report is as follow “building a spiritual successor to OUYA with the Forge TV“. Whether this means they are planning to release a revamped version of the Razer Forge TV is currently unclear. Although, the fact that it has been removed from the Google Store does clearly raise the question – what is happening with the Razer Forge TV?
If you do want to grab one while you still can, as mentioned, your best bet is through Amazon, as they still have the bundle pack available. Razer only seem to be selling the unit (without the controller).