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Tech Beat: Razer Edge fills the middle ground between mobile, console gaming
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At a time when smart phones and tablets are starting to take a serious chunk out of the businesses of consoles like the Playstation 3, Xbox 360 and the Wii U, the Edge seems to be a game-changer. It's one device for people who like both mobile and console gaming.
Developed by high-end video game peripheral company Razer, critics have hailed the Edge as so cutting-edge that it was awarded the overall "Best In Show" at the giant Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas this year.
"Think of it as a really powerful 14-inch gaming notebook. You just chop the keyboard right off," Heathcliff Hatcher with Razer said. "So it allows you to have a form factor to do anything you want to do. So it's a PC, it's a tablet, it's a console."
It is able to be all those things because of several docks it fits into. What may be most appealing to hardcore or casual gamers is that the device is a real PC.
"It will run apps through Windows and the Windows store, but it runs full applications. So it runs full Photoshop, it runs full Office, it runs the full copy of 'Dirt Showdown,' it runs the full version of "Dishonored,'" Hatcher said.
While Razer may be first, it will not be alone in this new space come year's end. Nvidia will be coming out with a similar type device on the Android operating system called the Shield.
Some consumers wonder if this new middle ground for gaming makes sense, and whether it will survive alongside traditional mobile devices and consoles.
"If you're trying to put out just a gaming device you may be out of luck. The time might be over for that," Dan Ackerman of CNET.com said. "But if you make it multi-function, but very game-friendly, then you can really capture people."
The Edge costs between $1,000 and $1,600, depending on the configuration. The game pad controller dock costs around $250 and the TV dock costs around $100. They are all scheduled to launch within the next several weeks.
The mouse and keyboard setup will be out later in the year, and their prices are not yet set.