Razer's CEO Says He Is "Sick And Tired" Of PC Giants Not Innovating And Taking Risks

Last week at CES in Las Vegas, I was invited to test out Razer's "Project Fiona" behind closed doors. What I didn't know is that I would be given a private demonstration by Razer CEO and Co-founder Min-Liang Tan.

As you may already know, Tan is no absentee CEO. He is deeply involved with the design, development and marketing of all Razer products. Known as a staunch supporter of hardcore PC gaming and innovation, Tan recently proclaimed that PC Gaming is Not Dead in a viral campaign that led up to the unveiling of the Razer Blade gaming laptop and more recently, the aforementioned "Project Fiona" gaming tablet. As he proceeded to give me a demo of Fiona and noticed how impressed I was, Tan told me that he simply couldn't get his mind around something.

"Why is it that the giants of the PC industry have stopped innovating and taking risks?"

I honestly didn't know what to tell him. I replied, "I suppose they don't think the risk is worth the reward."

Well, that was all it took to get him going. He looked at me and said, "You know, there's some things I wish I could say to the giants of this industry." "Is that so?" I said as I pulled out my tape recorder. "Well, go for it."

"PC giants have stopped innovating and we've been left carrying a very small flag. I'm sick and tired of it. I wish they would do something about it. I wish we could do something together. Even as these companies continue to shy away from what we do I have their CEO's coming up to me and saying, "Man you guys got some balls." We were just given 50 million dollars for research and development, so we're clearly not alone in our fight to bring innovation to this industry. People want to see us succeed. PC gamers are passionate. That's why they either love us or hate us. I mean, when was the last time a company was as passionate as us in this industry?! We don't say PC gaming is not dead simply because we've unveiled a handful of new products. We say PC gaming is not dead because as long as we're around, we'll keep it alive any way we can. This is what we're passionate about. This is what we do."

"Ok." I said. "Now what if these companies did start to innovate and take risks? What if they became your competition? Then what would you say? Then what would you do?"

This is what we're passionate about, this is what we do

"It would be easier for us", said Tan. "The competition would drive production costs down."

"But then you'd be competing for the same market share with the same types of products," I replied.

He looked at me and said, "It doesn't matter, because we'd still do it better"

Only time will tell if Razer's risks will be rewarded, but one thing is certain - Min-Liang Tan has no intention of having Razer slow down any time soon.


Comments

    See, this is why I like Razer. I don't always like the way they advertise their products, but I love how they innovate instead of doing the same old same old.

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        Look, a gaming tablet is something I've been wanting since the first iPad came out.
        As for other innovations, how about the fact that they put the trackpad over the right side on the Blade instead of sticking it in the middle under the keyboard? Or how about the adjustable resistance for the thumbsticks on the Razer Onza? Or even the Naga with it's millions of buttons? And that Tron mouse that leaves a glowing trail on the trackpad? A little gimmicky, I suppose, but still a pretty awesome idea.

          Really? You've always wanted a gaming tablet? I am genuinely shocked, I've never heard that before, (some people have said they liked it having it seen it but wow) any chance you could elaborate on why? No matter how many times I look at this thing I can't get around how it's the very antithesis of everything I want in gaming. It's too big to be portable, and if it's not portable I'd much MUCH rather play with a dedicated controller/kb-mouse on a bigger screen. I literally can't think of a gaming system worse than this, I would rather a virtual boy, seriously, it's (at least in theory) much more appealing.

            I agree it's not really portable, I wouldn't want to take it out with me. But I rarely go out anyway. It's portable at home though, I can use it anywhere I want to, even in bed if I wanted to. I don't need to worry about not being to play because other people are using the PC or TV. Also, I've always thought that the screens on portable game consoles are just a little too small, for me anyway.

              Ever heard of a PSP?

                As I said in my last sentence, I don't like the small screens on portable game consoles. Plus, a PSP won't be able to play all my PC games that I already own. And that's another thing, I won't have to worry much about developer support, or the product not selling well, because it's a just PC. Pretty much all PC games will work on it. That is, until it no longer meets the minimum requirements in a few years time.

              Fair enough I suppose, to each their own, I'd rather, and in fact already do use my laptop in bed sometimes if I really need too, and don't want to be at the PC.... or the TV, which for the price of this you could easily buy. I just can't see myself ever choosing one of these over a laptop. And that's assuming I wouldn't use a PSP, which I am quite happy with, and also has the added bonus of truly portable.

              I guess for me it all comes back to tablets in general, do not see the point in them, they're slightly too big to be carried around like a phone, and if size is not an issue I'd much much much much rather use a laptop or... well god there's so many reasons... keyboard, mouse, software, customization, don't have to hold it, it's like almost like comparing a monitor with a few games to a computer. Point in case: The tablet crowd
              http://mthruf.files.wordpress.com/2011/09/job-fails-get-yourself-a-patent.jpg
              boggles the mind 0_o

                Yeah, but a laptop would need to be on a table/desk or on your lap for you to be able to use it. Unless you were to balance it on one hand :P On the other hand, your arms would probably get a little sore after holding a tablet for a while, depending on how heavy it is.
                But yeah, as you said, to each their own. :)

                PS that comic made me lol :D

    Creating stupid shit doesn't make you innovative nor "risky".

      I disagree, it's very risky....

      Because it doesn't cost anything to make this 'stupid sh*t', does it?

        exactly

        there's a difference between risky and just plain stupid

        LOOK AT IT

    Without these type of people in the industry - it would all be the same and fairly boring.

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    With any kind of innovation, you have to sift through tons of crappy ideas to get the gems. At least Razer seems gutsy enough to TRY do something with gaming that's different. Whether or not they succeed remains to be seen, but if there were more groups out there trying as hard to put out crazy things, imagine the pace of development we'd have. Instead of wii controller -> kinect in 5 years, we could have it in 1.

    I would consider getting this gaming tablet, as I migrate between my place and the missus frequently. Not portable enough to take on the road, but between regular places, I could do that.

      Wow, if there was one post I see today that puts all the misogynistic male stereotypes down so concisely, this is it. How do you cross over from discussing the merits of a new gaming product, to making sexist and homophobic comments? Yes it looks a bit odd, and it may not function very well. But those facts have nothing to do with the gender or sexuality of gamers.

        Damn, meant to reply to oshtree. Now I look like a fool.

          What did he say anyway? Or do I not want to know

    That looks ridiculous, and so is his statement.

    PC hardware limits are constantly being pushed, there's a lot if risk every time something like a high end GPU is developed.

    I can't believe he's bragging about being so innovative and risky, just because he makes keyboards & mice with blue lights, and this ridiculous looking toy.

      Better PC hardware is just something that comes naturally over time. I wouldn't consider that much of a risk because there will always be a demand for it. I think this guy is referring to radical innovation (which honestly you can't do much of on the PC).

    I would have to try this to be convinced because I don't consider strapping a couple of wii-motes to the side of a tablet all that innovative. I also think it's a little close-minded to consider that you would automatically "do it better" than any competition either. IMO

    Set sail for fail.

    There are two questions on my mind right now:

    "What is with that tablet?"

    and "what is with that hair?"

    Someone tell them to design the hand holds to be detachable, then it might be plausible.

      That's my only gripe with it right now. But they have said that the design will be changed before it get's released at the end of the year, so fingers crossed :)

      Yeah, removable handles will probably be a definite inclusion to the final product, should it go forward. Seems silly to not have them.

    I have to say, I partly agree with him.

    I mean look at Blizzard and Valve; hardly pushing the boundaries of what's possible with the hardware.

      I think they are, who has pushed excellent storytelling on PC,XBOX or PS3 further than Valve?

    He sounds like Steve Jobs...

    I put handles on a tablet PC ,
    SHAZAM
    innovation.

    I find it amazing that in the almost 20 years since Quake came out no one has devised a control system better than mouse + keyboard which was invented for office productivity not gaming.I guess some people like game-pad's but you lose a lot of precsion, I would like something like a mouse in one hand and a Wii nunchuck in the other, in fact I think I recall something simillar but did'nt take off.
    I think part of the problem is that pc gamers themselves are a pretty conservative lot,Nivida 3D hasn't really taken off,hardly any one usess their big HDTV and people still use mouse/KB for games like GTAIV and assasins creed which were made for pads.

      Exactly. People will throw down a few hundred on 'gaming' keyboards and mice so why not come up with a control device that works better - the market is there.

    He does realise that that tablet is effectively a console, right?

    PC's are about versatility. By arbitrarily putting stupid handles on a tablet you have pigeon holed it into only playing games optimised for gamepads... ie. console games.

    I'd get one when they go on sale, but only if it could run steam.
    Most of the games I enjoy playing are on consoles/handhelds and PC games aren't usually optimised for controller input anyway.

    I'll keep an eye on it.

    I don't really understand the appeal of this device; the control inputs aren't likely to be able to match (or honestly be anything similar to) what we already use, so how will games translate?

    Additionally, what sort of innovation should PC hardware vendors be pushing for? It's the software that's important to innovation, not the hardware, or Nintendo would still be rocking the world with the Wii and 3DS, instead of just getting by.

    I like their mouse design but their quality control is nonexistent, gave them 3 chances but nothing they make has lasted me more than 3-6 months. If they could clean up their act they would have been my first choice but now there are heaps of companies outclassing them.

      I've had a deathadder v2 for just over a year, and it's still in perfect condition.

        God, shut up you fan girl. Razer products are nothing but gimmicks.

        This is just another stupid idea, and this douchbag thinks it makes him Steve Jobbs.

          You don't need to be the industry's Steve Jobs to point out that there is indeed fuck-all innovation here.

    yeah I don't get it either, they say it plays like a PC except your pretty much just using it like a console

    it will be nice when we dont just get another i3, i5, i7
    and another 480, 580, 680
    and another 6970, 7970
    granted new architect, but its the same components , no one is saying can we make it into a circle, heck steve jobs invented the desktop, i want a new "desktop" sized idea
    or what about ......
    those are the ideas that i will buy,
    heck a new kid on the block, that would be good

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