Razer didn't become arguably the most popular gaming peripheral maker on the planet by accident, the company did it by pandering to its target audience. It started simple enough with the release of the Boomslang gaming mouse over a decade ago, and continues today with the announcement of a line of peripherals intended specifically for StarCraft II: Wings of Liberty fans.
"We have been anticipating the moment we could get these gaming peripherals into the hands of gamers and StarCraft players," said Robert 'Razerguy' Krakoff, president, Razer USA. "We could not be more happy with the massive feedback we’ve received over the unique APM (Actions-Per-Minute) Lighting System feature and remarkable design. This new line offers StarCraft II players a great new way to complement and customize their real-time strategy gaming experience."
There are three StarCraft themed peripherals in all, including the Spectre gaming mouse ($80), Marauder keyboard ($120), and Banshee headset ($120). Each one sports the StarCraft II logo and multi-colored LEDs.
Look for these devices to start shipping in November.
We're not sure how PETA would feel about this one, but gamers who like to get their groove on without a tangle of wires will dig Razer's decision to chop the tail off of its Naga gaming mouse.
"With the Naga Epic, Razer gives MMO gamers around the world more freedom than ever before," said Robert Krakoff, President, Razer. "We combined the MMO gaming capabilities of the original best-selling Razer Naga and took it to the next level by giving it a true gaming-grade wireless option utilizing the same technology that we developed for the ultra high-end Razer Mamba."
Everything about the Naga remains the same, including the 17 MMO-optimized buttons, 5600dpi sensor, interchangeable side panels, and the ability to customize the color of the LED lighting.
Razer says the Naga Epic is good to game non-stop for up to 12 hours on a single charge, or up to 72 hours under "normal gaming usage."
The Naga Epic with charging dock is available now for $130.
It's hard not remain fixated on Razer's price tag for its new Ironclad mousepad. After all, at $60, it's pricier than some gaming mice. So we'll go ahead and get it out of our system now -- the ironclad if frakking expensive! We feel better now.
Moving on, the Ironclad is the only metal mat in Razer's lineup. Combined with a finely sandblasted surface, Razer promises it's all smooth sailing, quite literally.
"The Razer Ironclad stands apart from the pack because it delivers the highest form of comfort and long-lasting performance with its ultra-smooth surface and sturdy metal body," said Robert Krakoff, president, Razer USA. "We understand the diversity of gamers out there, from ones who demand a large surface area to those who want superior tracking precision. We produced the Razer Ironclad to make winning feel easy, and give every type of gamer the feel, traction, and durability that they need to do so."
The Ironclad is made from anodized aluminum and "features a robust unibody construction for reinforced strength and extreme durability," as well as a non-slip rubber base. It measures 320mm (L) x 270mm (W) x 2.5mm (H), or 12.6 inches (L) x 10.6 inches (W) x 0.1 inches (H) for those who shake an angry fist at the metric system.
As if Razer's mice weren't distinct enough already, the gaming peripheral maker just added a bit of flair to its Naga Maelstrom and Naga Molten rodents with two new Special Edition versions.
"After the phenomenal response we received for the Razer Naga, we've decided to create two collectible versions to offer our fans even more ways to dominate their game," said Robert Krakoff, president, Razer USA. "We took the same functionality of full button remapping and macro capabilities of the original Razer Naga and rejuvenated the aesthetic design for a more immersive MMO gaming experience."
The Special Edition Maelstrom sports a "whirlpool of entrancing blue light emanating from its swirling core," while the updated Molten "glows a wicked and fiery red hue" with buttons that glow crimson.
Other than the new digs, they're the same Naga hardware -- 17 programmable buttons (including a 12-button thumb grid), 5600dpi 3.5G laser sensor, 1000Hz ultrapolling, and optional MMO-specific software add-ons.
The Special Edition mice will ship in November for $80 each.
We fell in love with the click action of the Das Keyboard, which is largely attributable to the mechanical keys. A handful of copycats have since released mechanical keyboards of their own, but according to Razer, their new BlackWidow is the first one aimed exclusively at gamers.
"The Razer BlackWidow is the world's first mechanical keyboard that has been engineered from the ground up for gaming," said Robert Krakoff, president, Razer. "Imagine every single key on the keyboard with the precision of a mouse click -- no more pressing of keys without knowing for certain if they have been actuated. Precision clicking coupled with an optimized lighter key actuation force, this changes the way gamers will play from now on."
Razer claims the BlackWidow is three years in the making, with part of that development time put into constructing mechanical keys that won't leave users feeling fatigued after extending typing/gaming sessions.
Other features include fully programmable keys with five additional gaming keys, on-the-fly macro recording, 1000Hz ultrapolling, easy access media keys, and a gaming mode option.
The BlackWidow is available now for $80. There's also an Ultimate edition for $130, which adds individually backlit keys with five levels of lighting, headphone/mic jacks, and an additional USB port.
Like that scene in Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom where the Thuggee high priest, Mola Ram, rips the dude's heart out, Razer has gone in and removed the guts from its Lachesis gaming mouse, only it wasn't as part of any voodoo ritual. Instead, Razer went and equipped the revamped Lachesis with a new 5600dpi, 3.5G laser sensor, as well as a customizable multi-color LED lighting system.
"The all new Razer Lachesis is about giving gamers more personal choice and customizable options," said Robert Krakoff, president, Razer USA. "With a multi-color LED for customizable color and a built-in variable dpi, the Razer Lachesis gives gamers everything they need for this three-year fan favorite."
Other than the upgraded laser sensor and LED light show, the Lachesis is just as you remember it, including the ambidextrous design, nine programmable buttons, and 1000Hz Ultrapolling, among other recycled features.
The rebuilt Lachesis will ship later this month for $80.
When StarCraft II releases to a rabid fan base who have helped make the original one of the most popular games of all time, Razer will be ready and waiting with a handful of StarCraft II themed peripherals, including a mouse (Spectre), keyboard (Marauder), and headset (Banshee).
"We are all huge StarCraft players here at Razer, so we are really excited to give gamers a first glimpse at the StarCraft II gaming peripherals," said Robert 'Razerguy' Krakoff, president, Razer USA. "The peripherals were created with our newly developed APM (Actions-Per-Minute) Lighting System™ and feature a gaming-optimized design inspired by the StarCraft universe to complement the on-screen action."
Hit the jump to see what each one brings to the StarCraft universe.
Arxan Technologies, Corsair, and Logitech have all joined on as new members with the PC Gaming Alliance (PCGA), the non-profit consortium whose goal is to promote PC gaming and to give the industry a public voice.
"These members bring a wealth of experience and a rich diversity of products and services to the PCGA that will significantly enhance our existing membership base", said Randy Stude, PCGA president. "By joining our rapidly growing organization, they are demonstrating their support for expanding the PC Gaming industry and their commitment to improving the PC gaming experience."
It was a busy day all around for the PCGA, which also named Min-Liang Tan, the CEO of Razer, as the organization's Board director.
"We’re honored to be elected to the PC Gaming Alliance Board of Directors," said Min-Liang Tan, CEO, Razer. "There is so much synergy between Razer’s core DNA - an essence of pure commitment to improving the PC gaming experience with state-of-the-art peripherals - and this organization’s drive to establish high standards and quality guidelines for the evolving industry at large. Both Razer and the PC Gaming Alliance are dedicated to addressing the needs of a maturing category and its largely sophisticated audience."
Perhaps the most interesting addition out of the above companies is Arxan, which is in the business of DRM. That might seem like an odd coupling, but according to company CTO Kevin Morgan, as part of the PCGA, Arxan looks to "ensure that due consideration is given to the protection of intellectual property, preservation of game integrity, and unobtrusive DRM models." Here's hoping they make good on the "unobtrusive" part.
You won't find many serious gamers attempting to frag their opponents with $10 rodent, and one of the main reasons why is because these blue-light specials just don't offer the high DPI sensitivity that gaming grade mice do. But do you really need an ultra-high DPI?
"Technology has progressed to a level where you can move your mouse, say, one inch on your desk, and your cursor will move 2 or 3 times your screen length," said Kim Rom, the CMO of SteelSeries. "That doesn't make you more precise or accurate; I would argue that it does exactly the opposite. A higher DPI in a mouse doesn't offer a lot of value, and it is not a benchmark for how precise or awesome the mouse is. It's simply a measure of sensitivity."
Rom's comments ruffled a few feathers, including those at Razer.
"I think gamers care about DPI and I do think the term makes sense for today's mice," said Robert Krakoff, President of Razer. "We pioneered this industry back in 1999 when we came out with the first gaming mouse offering 2000 DPI -- at that time gamers were told by our competitors that 800 DPI was enough. Now people are saying 1600 DPI is enough, just like there were 'purists' who believed in silent movies, black and white TV, or perhaps film rather than digital cameras. By the way, I could discuss CD versus vinyl for days."
So could we, but maybe another time. The issue at hand is how important a high DPI really is, and while Razer sees it as very important, Krakoff does acknowledge that "one size does not fit all," meaning some prefer a higher sensitivity while others want a lower DPI.
So who's right? Is there even a right or wrong answer? Hit the jump and sound off!
Well hi giggly hey, Razer, if Ned Flanders were a gamer, this might be the happiest day of his life. That's because Razer just announced the first gaming grade mouse designed specifically for left-handed fraggers - son of a diddly!
"Leftie gamers have long been requesting that we develop a gaming grade mouse that is designed exclusively for the left-handed gaming community and we really value the feedback we receive from our fans," said Robert 'Razerguy' Krakoff, president, Razer USA. "Not many gamers know this, but I am a southpaw myself and feel truly excited to have a mouse that fits perfectly in my left hand. There is really no substitute for gaming with your naturally dominant hand."
Before right-handed gamers cry foul, this isn't an entirely brand new model, but a left-handed version of the popular DeathAdder gaming mouse. As such, lefties get the same benefits of their right-handed brethren, including a 3500dpi 3.5G infrared sensor, 1000Hz ultrapolling, 1ms response, on-the-fly sensitivity adjustments, five programmable buttons (including two on the right side), and everything else you remember about the Death Adder.
Razer has the DeathAdder for lefties on backorder for $60.