Gaming peripheral maker Razer is reportedly interested in developing a smartphone for hardcore gamers.
Razer earlier this year acquired cloud-connected smartphone maker Nextbit for an undisclosed sum. Tom Moss, Nextbit co-founder and CEO, said at the time that his company would operate as an independent division within Razer.
Given the latest rumor, it would seem as though the company’s technology – and perhaps some expertise it picked up from Ouya back in 2015 – may be used to create a smartphone bearing the Razer name.
Sources familiar with the matter have told Bloomberg that Razer will fund development of the device through an IPO planned for later this year that’ll value the company at $3 to $5 billion.
Here’s the problem – flagship smartphones from manufacturers like Apple and Samsung are already using the best available hardware in their handsets. That means Razer won’t be able to differentiate itself based on hardware alone and will instead have to bring something unique to the table in terms of controls / connectivity / gameplay mechanics.
Razer in 2012 unveiled Project Fiona, a tablet geared specifically for gamers. The device, which eventually became known as the Razer Edge gaming tablet, offered a unique (albeit expensive) controller as a differentiator.
Nintendo released the Switch earlier this year, a portable game console that’s somewhat similar in concept and design to the Razer Edge gaming tablet.
Again, the biggest question here revolves around what Razer could do with a gaming smartphone that was different from what’s already on the market and what we’ve seen from previous gaming-minded phones from companies like Nokia and Sony.