Why is it so easy to spend hours on your PS4 or Xbox One? Sure, you could spend the better part of your day gaming on a PC, but it’s just not as comfortable as lounging around on your couch and firing up a console. You could also devote plenty of time to addictive mobile games on your phone or tablet, but after a while, you might start craving a larger screen with better sound. That’s why we were intrigued by the announcement of Razer Forge TV at CES 2015.
RFTV is a micro-console that aims to consolidate PC and mobile gaming with Android TV, bringing a wider range of games to the comfort of your living room. This slick Roku-style device hopes to do for video games what Netflix Instant has done for film and TV. The device is slated to launch later this year, and will support up to four players. We reached out to Razer to learn more about this product and what it can do for gamers.
1. It’s bringing PC gaming to your living room.
Razer hopes to deliver an authentic PC gaming experience on your TV. Will PC gamers be willing to ditch their vaunted monitors and desktop setups? We’ll have to wait and see, but even hardcore devotees may be swayed by the Razer Turret. This wireless high-precision mouse/keyboard combo and lapboard is designed to give users a full PC-like gaming experience.
2. It will try to fix PC-to-TV issues.
Playing PC games on HDTVs can pose some serious lag problems. To combat display delays, Razer is releasing Cortex: Stream, an add-on to its popular gaming launcher software. This addition will provide ultra-low latency gaming and full-HD resolution either via Wi-Fi or an Ethernet connection. It will allow gamers to stream their entire library of PC titles from any room in the house, without sacrificing the quality of the visuals or sound. Razer plans to release a beta version of this solution later in 2015.
3. It will improve the mobile gaming experience.
Not only does Razer want diehard PC gamers to join their console gaming rivals as mindless drones in front of their television sets, they also want to attract on-the-go gamers. “Forge TV can enhance the experience gamers are having already with games on their mobile devices,” Razer told us. “For example, by having the game displayed on a larger screen, gamers can enjoy same-screen multiplayer games with others in the room.” RFTV will have full access to the Google Play store, which lets gamers download their favorite Android mobile games on their couches. We apologize in advance if playing Candy Crush Soda Saga on your TV is just too addicting and you never leave the house again.
4. Its controller will be universal.
RFTV’s controller, dubbed the Serval, can remember up to four devices via Bluetooth, making the switch between using it for the console itself, tablets, and mobile phones wireless and instant. The Serval was designed by the same team that built Razer’s award-winning console controllers, and should deliver precise control for games and easy navigation of Android TV.
5. It works as an Android TV entertainment center.
The RFTV isn’t just for video games – the console will also be compatible with video/TV streaming apps like Hulu, YouTube, and Crackle via the Google Play store. “We’re working with a range of game developers and media providers to ensure Forge TV is compatible with a variety of quality content,” Razer told us. No word yet if TV-streaming giants Netflix, Amazon Instant Video or HBO Go will join the party, however.
6. It will offer high-quality tech without breaking the bank.
“The RFTV connects via HDMI, can support full HD resolutions, and high-quality audio,” Razer told us. “We incorporated a quad core processor with gaming-grade graphics, ample system memory, and double the storage of most other micro-consoles.” RFTV will launch with an economical $99 price tag by itself, and will be $150 when bundled with the Serval controller.
7. It will allow inter-device connectivity.
Using Google Cast, gamers can send media on their smartphones to their tablets, TV, or laptops and vice versa, as RFTV can be accessed anywhere via IOS, Android, Chromebook, and even Windows. Furthermore, a mobile remote control app will be available free of charge. Gamers can also take advantage of Cloud Save, a feature that syncs in-game progress and achievements. This allows you to start a game on your phone or tablet, and then pick up where you left off on RFTV, or vice versa.
8. It wants to be the future of console gaming.
Razer hopes to deliver a truly all-in-one experience that lets gamers switch between PC games, mobile games, and streaming content. This is where RFTV’s true potential lies – in the ability to give gamers a complete experience via one tiny device.