Razer's Switchblade Gains Traction With Tencent/Intel Alliance

When the Razer Switchblade first showed up at CES, I have to say I was pretty skeptical — and I’m still skeptical now. Not that they won’t put this thing out, but that they’ll be able to do so for any kind of affordable price. Still, it’s good to know they’re taking serious steps to make it a reality. Today they announced a partnership with Intel and Chinese gaming biggie Tencent to provide some launch readiness for the experimental gaming device.

The agreement is basically a three-way partnership to make Tencent’s popular games work perfectly on the platform — that means optimized drivers by Intel, customized assets by Tencent, and of course the hardware from Razer. It certainly looks cool, but until we give it a real try, it’s impossible to say whether it lives up to its promises.

It’s good news for rich Chinese gamers, but will we see similar partnerships on this side of the Pacific? Hard to say. The hot emerging market right now is tablets, and everyone is trying to sell a million on iOS. Will there be room for this comparatively hardcore gaming device? And will gaming companies, already torn between PC, consoles, handhelds, and mobile/tablets, want to further extend their development juice? I guess we’ll find out.

Here’s the full press release:


Three of the largest technology brands in China to optimize games for mobile play on the Razer Switchblade

Beijing, China – April 13th, 2011 – Razer, the world’s leading high-end precision gaming brand, with Tencent, China’s leading provider of games and internet services, and Intel, world leader in computing innovation are proud to announce a strategic partnership aimed at expanding the entertainment possibilities for Chinese gamers. The Razer Switchblade concept has been designated as the flagship concept to lead this mobile PC gaming revolution.

All Chinese gamers can rejoice, as their favorite Tencent titles like Dungeon and Fighter, Crossfire, League of Legends, QQ Speed and many more are optimized for portable play on the Razer Switchblade. You can now fight, shoot, cast spells, race or just socialize with friends while on-the-go, as Tencent strives to ensure their software delivers the best gaming experience through perfect synergy with Razer and Intel’s hardware.

“This is the first time three of the biggest technology brands in China have come together,” said Min-Liang Tan, CEO and Creative Director, Razer, “we’re united by a common goal to deliver the best portable gaming experience to as many gamers as possible. With the Razer Switchblade’s adaptive tactile keyboard, Intel’s range of processors, and Tencent’s popular games, this is no lofty goal – it’s happening right now.”

The Razer Switchblade concept was created from the ground up by Razer designers and engineers, focused on enhancing the entire user experience of playing PC games on a handheld device. It features an ultra-sensitive multi-touch screen, adaptive tactile keyboard, and an intelligent user interface that adjusts the configuration and key layout on-the-fly based on game content and user requirements. And at the heart of the concept device is an Intel Atom processor designed for next generation small form factor computing.

“Intel is committed to creating and extending the personal computing experience for end-users together with our ecosystem partners,” said Ian Yang, President, Intel China. “The collaboration with Razer, Tencent and Intel will provide optimized experiences for the rapidly growing gaming community in China.”

“Like Razer, we want gamers to have just as much fun playing our games on-the-go as they would at home or at a PC café,” said Mark Ren, SEVP, Tencent. “We’re really excited to bring the revolutionary Razer Switchblade to millions gamers connected to our games, allowing them to experience our world of fun anytime, anywhere”, said Steven Ma, VP of Tencent.

Razer, Intel, and Tencent are committed to growing China’s PC gaming market, and will be announcing exciting updates to this strategic partnership in the months to come.

About the Razer Switchblade Concept

The Razer Switchblade concept is a revolutionary mobile PC gaming device that allows gamers to play on-the-go without giving up the precision and control normally associated with a desktop gaming system. Integrating a multi-touch seven-inch screen, an innovative adaptive tactile keyboard and housing the next generation Intel Atom processor, the Razer Switchblade concept delivers the full desktop experience in a netbook-sized solution.

For more information, please visit: http://cn.razerzone.com/switchblade