Razer Guy Shares Thoughts on Gaming Today
Author: OCIA Staff
Editor: Shawn Knight
Date: 09-02-2008

The gaming peripheral market is crowded with numerous companies releasing gaming products, but Razer and Logitech arguably lead ahead of the rest. The former niche market has drastically expanded in the past 10 years from a small, obscure market into a multi-million dollar industry everybody wants a piece of.

We recently caught up with Robert "Razer Guy" Krakoff, Razer founder and president, who was able to give us a unique insight into the growing gaming market and what consumers can expect in the future. In between a trip from the Games Convention and Penny Arcade Expo (PAX) 2008 in Seattle, Krakoff wanted to start off by discussing the company's most recent product announcement.

Razer most recently launched the Megalodan headset during the Games Convention last week in Germany. The company will also have "some additional blockbuster new product and technology announcements during CES."

The Megalodan console "is powered by the Razer Maelstrom Audio Engine, which has the ability to process audio algorithms up to 800 percent faster than traditional HRTF virtual surround sound technologies."

On top of paying for the computer hardware and spending $50+ per game title, spending additional money on gaming peripherals can be a difficult decision.

"Our theory has always been to create products that provide the gamer with a distinct edge in their game," Krakoff said. "The better the technology the more you get out of your game."

Trying to stay ahead of the competition can sometimes be difficult, but Razer is able to create such innovative products because of a large R&D budget designed so its products are built from the ground up.

"We develop nearly all of our products internally. We interact with the worldwide community of gamers to seek out unmet needs and turn these into new technologies. We are leaders in the development of gaming hardware and not followers."

Logitech also has had success creating its own products virtually from start to finish, but most smaller companies have to rely on OEM technology that sometimes is a few years old.

As the popularity of gaming continues to surpass movies and music in terms of sales, there are a few emerging gaming markets that Razer and other companies are focusing in on. "The fastest growing gaming countries are China, United Arab Emirates, Brazil, Argentina and Mexico."

Companies are especially paying attention to China, Vietnam and other Asian nations, where spending time in Internet cafes playing video games is extremely popular.

Similar to SteelSeries, Saitek and other gaming-specific companies, Razer is dedicated to giving back to the community that has helped the company expand.

"We have supported the community for over ten years by sponsoring small to very large LAN parties around the world. We have sponsored individual gamers and teams, both amateur and professionals, during this same period. We have sponsored leagues and tournaments around the world. We believe in the gaming community and enjoy being a part of its long-term growth."

To wrap up our chat with Krakoff, he offered a public thank you to both customers and gamers for helping guide the company.

"Just a word of thanks to all of our friends and fans that have supported us and stuck with us through the good and not so good times over the past ten years. We are proud to be a part of this wonderful community of gamers and pledge to continue to strive to make the best hardware we can in terms of innovation, quality and performance. Game on!"

Razer and other companies will continue their streak of releasing products custom tailored specifically for gamers, as the demand for these products continues to grow. Even though it faces stiff competition from Logitech, Saitek, Creative, SteelSeries, OCZ and other companies hoping to cash in, the San Diego, CA-based company looks forward to its next ten years.

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