Gaming tech brand Razer might have not had the biggest presence on the show floor of this year’s Melbourne-based gaming convention PAX Australia, but they certainly managed to pack a lot into their lineup for the event.
Gaming tech and gamer-focused peripherals have always been a vibrant space but also a highly competitive one.
Squeezed between the enormous booth for Dell’s Alienware and HP’s OMEN ranges, it’d be easy to write them off as a company falling behind.
However, there’s plenty to like here – and the company put their Chroma tech front and center. While a largely superficial feature, it still managed to come across as cool as hell.
The tech synchronizes the colorful backlight built into Razer’s keyboards, mice, netbooks and headsets. The idea, of course, is that the more Razer products you own – the cooler the effect plays out.
Their notebook range, led by the Razor Blade and the Pro and Stealth variations, is set for a refresh going into the new year.
Notably, their Stealth Notebook would be getting a buffer to its battery life by roughly 30%.
Their critically acclaimed DeathAdder gaming mouse is also set for a refresh with the DeathAdder Elite.
Where other gaming brands emphasize heavy utility and customizability: Razer have stuck to the slick elegant aesthetics of the endearingly popular peripheral.
It feels smooth and silky to use, and Razer are flaunting the incorporation of what they say is the most advanced sensor on the market with 99.4% accuracy
While largely sticking to their strengths, the company is exploring some new territory with their Stargazer Broadcasting Suite and OSVR products.
The Stargazer (a webcam designed for use by streamers) is due out in a few weeks and integrates with Intel tech to allow for the filtering out of a background without the use of a green-screen.
It’s a feature that speaks to the needs of the 17 million content creators that Razer say they’ve worked with to refine the product, with the positive feedback pushing them to its impending release.
Then there’s VR.
Razer are taking a different sort of tact when it comes to the growing tech niche. They’re not looking to compete with HTC or Oculus directly, but rather, are trying to “build up the category as a whole” with their open-source focused OSVR and HDK2 headset.
The HDK2 is set to retail for $699 and Razer envisions its entry into the market as a move that will ultimately enable a more vibrant ecosystem for VR.
They want a world where customers are able to customize their VR loadout at every stage: deciding on different brands for their PC, headset, controllers and sensors.
Regarding room-scale VR, Razer told us that the feature wasn’t available in this version of OSVR but would likely be rolled in as their tech evolved.
They told us that while gaming accessories is a hugely lucrative space in the world of tech, they aren’t worried about increasing competition – even if that competition is high-end audio specialists like Sennheiser.
They asserted that while the involvement of these companies has pushed the prices of gaming headsets up, they believed that their experience and understanding of their audience would keep them ahead of the competition.
Likewise, while competitor HP has gone big with OMEN this year, they told us, they doubted they’d have the same sustainability and long-term success that Razer have had.
They’re in it for the long haul, telling us that while their brand is diversifying in the kinds of products it’s offering, they see this as an extension – not a dilution – of their core tenet and company motto.
“By gamers, for gamers.”