Android-powered micro consoles were all the rage last year. The most popular of them all was probably the OUYA. While the micro-console idea was a bold challenge aimed at unseat Sony, Nintendo and Microsoft's thrones in the living room, the boxes ultimately fizzled once people realized there wasn't much to play on them, other than half-baked indie games and smartphone/tablet ports.
Razer, a company known for delighting everyone with its crazy hardware concepts, is working on its very own Android TV-powered micro-console. Razer CEO Min-Liang Tan tossed a pic (top) of what the console will look like on his Facebook page yesterday after Google I/O.
In recent years, the "For Gamers. By Gamers" company has moved from being just a maker of gaming headphones, keyboards and mice to one of the most innovative hardware companies. The company's no stranger to gaming hardware anymore. It sells the Edge gaming tablet, the well-designed and powerful Blade notebooks, and the company announced at CES this year that it was getting into the wearable game with the Nabu (which is out as developer model right now).
"We're one of the few companies if not the only company in the world that has the in-house design and technological talent to design an end-to-end experience for gamers," Tan wrote on his Facebook page. "From the software layer (where we have millions of gamers on our software platform) - to the systems and the peripherals (where we make some of the world's best laptops and controllers) and now wearables and to the living room."
The micro-console will run Android TV, Google's latest attempt at integrating its mobile OS into the living room. Hardware specs haven't been revealed, but it's going to be interesting to see how Razer's micro-console compares to Sony's PlayStation TV micro-console, which plays most PS Vita games right out of the box. Razer says its micro-console is coming out this fall.
Google's history with TV has been a bumpy one. Remember how Google TV was supposed to be this huge deal and then it just died off? Google's cheap $35 Chromecast has helped its TV efforts by allowing users to beam content from their laptops and mobile devices, but it's still not quite the total TV experience. And with Amazon and Apple both fiercely butting heads for TV domination, Google knows it can't sit on the sidelines. Razer clearly wants a piece of the pie living room pie now, too.