This year at International CES there’s a few clear trends when it comes to product announcements: the Internet of Things, wearable gear and smart cars. I’m a trailblazing mold-breaking sort, though, so I’m not going to talk about any of these today. I might be a little shellshocked from coming across an Internet of Things-connected crockpot (yes, really). Instead, let’s look at the Razer Forge TV.
The Razer Forge TV is yet another Android-based micro-console. Yes, another one of those. The Forge TV joins such illustrious company as the Fire TV and the OUYA as a device that exists despite nobody actually asking for this kind of thing. I just have trouble imagining someone waking up and saying “you know what I really wish I could do? Play mobile games…on a television. That would be awesome.” Doesn’t work in my mind. Sorry, Android-based micro-console manufacturers.
It does have some nice specs, running a quad-core Krait 450 CPU, 2GB RAM, 16GB internal storage and a respectable graphics solution (the Adreno 420) for its size. The $100 price point is also reasonable. Between that and the fact that I actually got to play the Forge TV at CES, I can’t just discard the entire concept. It was a surprisingly enjoyable experience. Sure, playing fancy new things with three other people on a very, very nice television does tend to be a pretty good experience regardless of what it is.
In the Forge TV’s case I think I can also thank the Serval controller. The thing feels like a dream; the sticks are responsive, the buttons are clicky and it felt about as light as an iPad Air or so. I’ve always been a fan of Razer’s game controllers and the Serval is certainly one to watch out for. Apparently it’ll be compatible with other Bluetooth devices as well, so you won’t necessarily have to use it with the Forge TV.
The other big selling point of the Forge TV is its ability to work as a game-streaming box via Razer Cortex: Stream. We’ve already got plenty of options for that, including pretty much any laptop with Steam installed, but Razer says that the aim of the Forge TV is to minimize input and visual lag, something even Gaben hasn’t managed yet. I didn’t get a chance to see this in action so I can’t confirm or deny if this is the case, but a $100 streaming solution with minimal lag just might get my money, especially if it came with one of those nice controllers.
Would it get anyone else’s money, though? Hard to say. The Android game ecosystem is…well, I think it’s an acquired taste re: consoles, and failures like the OUYA and Gamestick have shown that phone games aren’t necessarily going to make micro-consoles fly off the shelves. The streaming capabilities might be enough to recommend this one if they’re as good as advertised though. Time will tell.
For more info on what Razer has going on with the Forge TV check out their official website right HERE!