At this year’s CES, it sometimes seems like consumer electronics announcements are dominated by two trends: gaming gear and digital voice assistants. Gaming brand Razer made announcements related to both this week.
Arguably the most notable are HyperSense—a haptic feedback platform that makes PC peripherals like headphones, gaming chairs, and mice provide gaming controller-like feedback along with the audio in games—and the Raptor, Razer’s first gaming monitor designed in-house.
Razer Chroma, an RGB lighting solution that syncs multi-colored lights across all your peripherals to match gameplay in certain games, is one of Razer’s key product offerings. HyperSense builds on that by applying the same sort of concept to haptic feedback—that is, a more sophisticated successor to the “rumble” technology from various game console controllers across the gaming ages.
Devices that support it can sync up and provide physical feedback to events happening in games, like explosions, and the technology is positional—an explosion behind you might rock the back of your chair more than it rocks your keyboard.
The feature works by analyzing positional audio data from the games you’re playing, but Razer says it is working with some game developers to develop custom solutions for their games that integrate more deeply.
Along with this new platform, Razer also showed the Razer Nari Ultimate, a new gaming headset that supports HyperSense, which works in tandem with a mouse, a chair, and a wrist rest to provide feedback.
The haptic feedback utilizes technologies developed by Lofelt and Subpac. Razer didn’t provide any information about a timeline for the HyperSense rollout in its press release.
Razer Raptor monitor
Razer has introduced a gaming monitor in the Raptor, a 27-inch, 16:9 IPS panel with a resolution of 2560×1440, a 7ms typical response time, a refresh rate of up to 144Hz, and AMD FreeSync support.
The company also says the monitor covers 95 percent of DCI-P3, has a 1,000:1 contrast ratio, and supports HDR. The maximum brightness is 450 nits, so the HDR claim is arguably a bit empty—but that’s true for most PC monitors right now.
The monitor also sports a viewing angle of 178 degrees, a height-adjustable stand, one HDMI 2.0 port, one DP 1.4 port, one USB-C cable that supports DP 1.4, and two USB 3.0 passthroughs.
Razer CEO EO Min-Liang Tan is quoted in the monitor’s press release, saying, “Razer has worked alongside partners in the past to bring the Razer experience to monitors, but the full potential was never fully realized. We have decided to tackle this space on our own and are very excited to expand our presence to include desktop displays.”
There’s nothing revolutionary about it, but the spec sheet hits most of the notes many gamers would want it to hit. Production is slated to begin later this year.
Other Razer announcements at CES 2019
Razer Turret for Xbox One
The previously announced Razer Turret—a pairing of a wireless mouse and keyboard for use with the Xbox One—is now available. It uses a 2.4GHz wireless connection (with a dongle), and supports Razer Chroma and Xbox Dynamic Lighting. Razer claims up to 40 hours of battery life per charge. The mouse resembles the existing Razer Mamba model for PCs.
The set is priced at $ 249.99.
Razer Chroma ecosystem and Amazon Alexa
Razer also talked about Razer Chroma, its RGB lighting solution. The company had previously announced that Chroma would become available on non-Razer devices from companies like Gigabyte, AMD, and MSI through the “Razer Chroma Connected Devices Program.”
Razer announced at CES this week that the program is now live with more than 15 partners and that Chroma now integrates with Amazon Alexa via Razer’s Razer Synapse 3 platform, allowing gamers to, among other things, control the lighting on the gear via voice commands.
Razer Tomahawk PC chassis
Razer has announced two in-house-designed gaming PC cases, the Tomahawk and the Tomahawk Elite, pictured above.
The Razer Blade 15 gets Nvidia GeForce RTX GPU options
The Razer Blade gaming laptop will now be available in new models that include Nvidia’s new RTX mobile GPUs—specifically, the RTX 2060 with 6GB of GDDR6 video memory, the RTX 2070 with 8GB, or the RTX 2080 also with 8GB. The previous Razer Blade GPU configuration—a GeForce GTX 1060—will remain available. Razer calls the models with RTX graphics the Razer Blade 15 Advanced Model (pictured above).