MCV speaks to Min-Liang Tan, CEO and Creative Director of peripherals specialist Razer, about the company’s newest products
Tell us about the Razer Mouse Bungee. Why update this accessory?
The Mouse Bungee was a very handy gaming accessory 15 years ago and still is. Many gaming mice are still wired for many reasons including increased response time. This is where the Razer Mouse Bungee comes into play. It simply provides you with an unhindered mouse movement for the quickest mouse swipes one could possibly perform.
What do you consider when designing a new Razer product? What kind of research/thought do you put into its production?
Ideas for new Razer products are born out of the valuable feedback from both Team Razer’s pro gamers and gamers around the globe. They are carefully taken into consideration and prototypes are constantly reworked, redesigned and even rejected until a product is considered perfect. We have been known to go through hundreds of variants before arriving at the final outcome because every single aspect of a product is scrutinized down to the last detail.
How important are licensed accessories to Razer such as The Old Republic items? And what kind of challenges do they present?
Licensed gaming products are always a great opportunity for both license partners. For Razer, these special line-ups of gaming hardware are designed to offer gamers an unrivalled advantage in the game thanks to the synergy between the game and the peripherals and this was the case when we started creating the Star Wars: The Old Republic gaming peripherals. All of their features will let you feel the game as it’s meant to be. The biggest and at the same time most intriguing challenge always is to make the peripherals a real extension of the game.
How do you meet the needs of everyday gamers as well as competitive players?
All our products are designed for gamers who want that competitive edge. We believe it is always better to aim for the most demanding players in order to create an excellent gaming product. In that manner, we ensure that we meet the needs of all gamers at the same time.
With the growth of console gaming, are you planning to design more products in the future for Xbox 360 and PS3, such as the Onza?
After having so much success with the Razer Onza Controller and the Razer Chimaera Headset for the Xbox 360, we are certainly looking into such opportunities but cannot reveal any plans as yet.
How important are retailers to Razer?
Retailers are very important to us. Razer’s presence in stores ensures nationwide availability with the guarantee that our fans can get their hands on our products before they buy them.
What makes Razer products so special is the ergonomic form factor, the look, their feel and being tailored to specific gamers. Furthermore, the service provided is a lot more direct.
There will be trained personnel from the store to help customers should they have any questions regarding the product.
What kind of response did you see for the Razer Hydra? And can we expect more game-specific motion accessories in the future?
We have shown the Razer Hydra to gamers around the world and the response has been good so far. This motion sensing system is very intuitive and very game immersive. Aside from that, the magnetic motion sensing technology used in the Hydra is the most precise of all gaming motion sensing systems which makes it suitable for all kinds of games. The learning curve for the Hydra is fairly short and the motion-sensing tutorial levels included with the Portal 2 DLC really helps gamers along. We have pretty much broken the first barrier by establishing the Hydra as the first motion-sensing controller for PC, we’re definitely looking into further developments into this area.
What are you working on at the moment?
We are always working on quite a number of projects in various product categories. The Razer Switchblade Concept is definitely one of the more exciting ones that we are working on and everyone is talking about it. We are glad to work very closely with Intel as this mobile gaming device will revolutionize the world of mobile PC gaming. With a multi-touch seven-inch screen, an adaptive tactile keyboard and the very powerful Intel Oak Trail Atom Processor Platform, it will give gamers the full desktop experience in a netbook-sized solution.
What plans do you have for 2012? What kind of products can we expect next?
We have great plans for 2012. Razer is still growing at an incredible speed. We now have over 300 employees worldwide and are looking to double that figure in the next year. Our product portfolio is also growing exponentially. The product announcements will come when the time is right. Next year will be a phenomenal year for Razer and its fans.
Razer products are distributed in the UK by Realtime Distribution.