As Razer moves into areas beyond its bread-and-butter PC gaming components, it looks like it is particularly interested in the nascent Android gaming console market. Its Forge TV console is not only competing against the Microsoft Xbox One and Sony PlayStation 4, but Android-based competitors like the Nvidia Shield and NZXT Doko, the long-awaited Linux-powered official Steam Machines, and even HDMI sticks such as the Google Chromecast and Intel's Compute Stick.
One rival it will no longer have to worry about is Ouya, which produced a Kickstarter-based living room console a couple of years ago, but has since failed to gain much traction. Razer announced yesterday that it has purchased the software assets of Ouya with the intent of bolstering its Forge TV ecosystem. According to TechCrunch, Razer paid cash for the acquisition (Razer recently raised funds from Intel Capital at a $1 billion valuation), though the company has not revealed the specific terms of the deal.
Ouya helped kick off the Android console business after raising over $8 million of crowd funding, but by last year had started an Ouya Everywhere program that allowed its platform to be used by devices from other manufacturers. Razer will be picking up the brains behind the Ouya ecosystem, but neither its hardware products nor Ouya CEO Julie Uhrman.
Razer hopes to smooth the transition for existing Ouya owners to the Forge TV world with "deep product discounts" and "freebies." Ouya's current store, which includes over 1,000 games, will eventually be folded into Razer's Cortex for Android TV store for Forge TV.
The acquisition appears to be part of a broader strategy of Razer to bring considerable resources to Forge TV, with the company pledging "significant development" efforts for the platform. Still to be determined: whether that will result in a big payoff, as Ouya's own history shows that Android-based gaming on HDTVs is no slam dunk. Still with deeper-pocketed companies like Razer and Nvidia pushing ahead with their consoles, the idea will clearly be getting plenty of attention in the near future.