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.
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.
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?