Razer Forge TV Page Updates, Shows Off Cortex

razer-cortex-tv-hero

Razer has an Android TV unit, called the Forge TV, and they’ve been trying to get some value out of their purchase of Ouya. Although it does not seem to have sold well, there does seem to be an attempt at integrating Ouya so that users can have a larger game collection.

This attempt is called Cortex, and we’ve gotten a slightly better idea of what that will look like in updated pages on Razer’s website.

razer-cortex-tv-meet-cortex

It’s being subtitled as “A New Chapter in Android TV Gaming”, which seems fairly ambitious. Looking through each section, it seems like it’s a curated store that aims to organize games into categories with their own discoverability methods. Simulated screenshots show categories like “Party Time”, showing that there may be a large focus on multiplayer games (and there are several gamepad icons at the bottom of the navigation drawer). Their algorithm seems to take into account what is actually getting played in order to improve popularity counts.

Another category called “Interesting Indies” (or is it “Interesting” and “Indies”?). Razer wants to help indie game devs publicize “dark horse” and “crazy experimental” games. You can find a lot of these published on Steam, although there hasn’t been the same infrastructure on Android. Day-Z was an experimental game that was popular on Steam, and it seems from this description that Razer wants indie devs to see Cortex as the same thing.

razer-cortex-tv-forgetv

They’re partnering with devs at all levels, including SEGA. “Familiar classics” and “new favorites” will be “published regularly”, much like NVIDIA’s offering. It’ll act as a supplement to the Google Play Store. Unfortunately for users who already own an Android TV, Cortex is “exclusively optimized for Razer Forge TV”. This means it won’t be coming to other devices. At the same time, their call to developers says using the OUYA Everywhere Software Development Kit (SDK) lets them target many Android TVs. This seems apparent, as they all run the same variant of Android, which makes it likely that users will be able to rip the Cortex app and sideload it to other consoles.

Now that we have a better idea of Razer’s plans, what do you think? Too little too soon, or are you excited again about what Razer is doing in the living room?

Will you be getting a Razer Forge TV?

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Nick Felker

Nick Felker

Nick Felker is a student Electrical & Computer Engineering student at Rowan University (C/O 2017) and the student IEEE webmaster. When he's not studying, he is a software developer for the web and Android (Felker Tech). He has several open source projects on GitHub (http://github.com/fleker)Devices: Moto G-2013 Moto G-2015, Moto 360, Google ADT-1, Nexus 7-2013 (x2), Lenovo Laptop, Custom Desktop.Although he was an intern at Google, the content of this blog is entirely independent and his own thoughts.

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  • And come to think that I almost got a Razer Forge TV. Thank God Nvidia announced their powerhouse known as the Shield TV. And now, enjoying every little bit of it. Thanks Nvidia.

    • Real.Circassian

      You may as well opted for a console, if it’s the “power” you’re aiming for. As an owner of both devices, I have to say that Forge TV definitely has a place in the competition. It packs a lot of punches(Gigabit ethernet, USB 3.0, Snapdragon 805) in such a compact device, giving you the chance of portability. I currently use mine in the bedroom, hidden behind a TV, powered solely by the television itself, which is incredibly convenient for a cable-cutter. It also still has a decent processor which serves for games and video-viewing purposes and many of the emulators works just amazing on the device. So still early to call it off with this one, we’ll just wait and see how they progress with the Cortex thing and the Turret too. Anyway, just my $0.05.

      • Francky

        How does the Forge have a place in the competition since it doesn’t support Netflix. In my view, that kind of makes it irrelevant,

        • Real.Circassian

          Does now, Netflix shows up and installs perfectly from play store. Besides, what place do Netflix have anyway when you have all these video sources Kodi brings. Research before comment next time.

          • Kawshik Ahmed

            Can you please give a screenshot of Netflix in Razer Forge TV? Other Razer Forge users saying they still don’t see any Netflix in the store.

      • I already have a gaming console and it satisfies me with what it does best: gaming. I know the Nvidia Shield TV is (or was) almost as expensive as some of the game consoles out there that are still relevant. However, with the NSTV or any Android TV-powered device, you get something you trully don’t get with a game console: flexibility. If Im watching Netflix on my NSTV, but suddently I want to watch a trailer on Youtube, it is way easier to do that on Android TV than the Playstation and even easier than the Xbox. Besides, even with limited apps on Android, at least I believe there are more streaming apps running on Android TV than the game consoles. I could be wrong, but thats what I have noticed personally.
        Also, you mentioned that Kodi has support for many streaming options. True, but most of the ‘coolest” streaming options on Kodi are not officially suported by Kodi and, also, are not very legal. So they could stop working at any time and suddenly you have no more service. The Forge is a good device hardwarewise, but initial support and experience was bad. My two cents. Good day.

        • Real.Circassian

          Nice work disproving your previous comments. These very bits you talk about shield tv has been provided by Razer even before nvidia shield ever existed. And why go ahead and bash a device when you are not even aware of the capabilities before and now ? Stop trying to make rent out of bashing devices you never owned and save yourself from your remorse. My even $0.05 ‘er cent, period.

          • The Razer is a nice system hardware and spec wise. But one thing that (I hate to actually use this as an example) Apple has taught many people is that the user experience goes a long way. Yes, the Razer Forge TV came out first. Yes, it is a very capable device. Yes, it was (is) actually cheaper than the Nvidia Shield TV. But things didn’t go so well for this device when it came out. The Forge was destroyed by most reviewers and to make things worse, it came out without Netflix support. And true, I do not own a Forge TV but I had been following any info related to this device and, well, most people didn’t like it. Yes, Netflix is not everything for everybody. But, please, mention the one of one device that could be classified as successful enough that does not have some sort of Netflix support? You might not agree with my point of views, but I believe that Nvidia played their cards rightly by waiting a little longer and releasing a system that does not compromise too much. Everything worked fine from day one. And their support so far has been great for most people. Not to mention that they keep updating the little box with nice features and bug fixes. Yes, maybe I kind of contradicted myself on some points. And Im not trying to turn this into a typing war. If you have your Razor Forge and it works great for you, then congrats. All I know is that Im happy with my Nvidia Shield TV and so are most of their owners. Just my few cents, so lets fill up a piggy bank.
            Good day and Merry Christmas,

          • Real.Circassian

            Nobody says anything about shield tv being unsuccessful, you can’t, because as an owner of the device, I too am also very happy it. But the point is, shield tv also had issues at launch, as every device can have and has. It had serious issues with wireless connection, had many games incompatible at launch(gameloft mainly), and hell I couldn’t even play videos from my NAS using Kodi without tweaking settings. The Razer had more serious issues, as said, but the thing is they are taking the device into hand now, they seem to be doing something after such a long period of silence, and this gives us something to hold on to for now. Because I own this device and I will continue owning it for more as I simply can’t call it a dud and trash it, especially when it’s becoming more useful now. I also stand by my words on portability. I can totally hide this device behind my tv in bedroom and power it from USB on it. You can’t do such thing on shield tv, firstly it is not that small of a device, it ain’t flat and would look like a crater hidden behind the TV and I’m not even mentioning about the power specs. So yes, they may have different capabilities and serve different purposes, but they all do have a place in the competition, long as there is development. Oh and I ain’t trying to start thread wars here, I’m just saying that bashing a device to the end of the world won’t help anyone when there is only 3 android tvs in the market. And I already broke my piggy for christmas, sorry ^^

  • Donald Heath

    I actually bought one, and was extremely disappointed. There were so many things that just didn’t work right that worked on the Nexus Player (Remote controls/ vertical integration/ voice search/ etc), and also worked on the Shield once I got annoyed enough at the Forge to give it away…