Razer announces new games-oriented microconsole at Google I/O

Razer microconsole

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Move over, Ouya—the Android-based microconsole market is about to get way more crowded, thanks to Google’s launch of Android TV. The platform is designed to unify the TV experience, with a set-top box that makes your TV smarter and more responsive by including search, recommendations, and the like. But Android TV also can be used for games, and one of the notable partners announced at Google I/O Wednesday is long-time games company Razer.

Razer’s microconsole will include all of the streaming and TV navigation capabilities found in other Android TV devices, but has a “focus on gaming,” according to the company’s announcement. Razer also promises that the device will be affordable—though it’s mum on what the exact price will be—and “target a wide range of consumers.”

Whether you’ll actually want to buy a standalone device to play Android-supported games—well, that’s still a hard sell. The Ouya hasn’t been able to convince people. Neither has Nvidia with its Shield handheld. Despite the name, even Amazon’s Fire TV has yet to ignite anything in our tiny gaming hearts.

The biggest problem? Google’s Play Store isn’t exactly renowned for its video game selection—iOS claimed that crown years ago, and wears it to this day. Android users (myself included) consider themselves lucky if they get even a fraction of the best iOS titles a year after initial release. Occasionally we even get a PC port before Android (see: Year Walk).

Perhaps the inclusion of other Android TV features will be enough to convince people though. We’ll update you when we know more about the device, including what specs Razer’s included to demarcate a “focus on gaming.”

Update: Razer confirmed the device is coming sometime this fall, though we still don't have a price or specs.

Note: Primary image is a rendered concept of what the device might look like, according to Razer.

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