Future Tech Asia

Razer tight-lipped on plans for mobile after Nextbit buy

Xenia Tan
Key Points
  • Razer mum on mobile plans
  • Gaming remains a focus
Todd Haselton | CNBC

Razer, the U.S. gaming hardware company, earlier this year acquired smartphone-maker Nextbit, but on Thursday, its chief executive officer was tight-lipped about plans to move into the mobile space.

Speaking to CNBC at the sideline of the Innovfest Unbound conference in Singapore, Razer co-founder and CEO, Min-Liang Tan, underscored the importance of the mobile platform to the company, and the gaming industry.

"The mobile category is incredibly important to Razer," he said. "It's one of the biggest segments, in terms of gaming at this point of time, but like with all Razer products, we'll announce it when it's ready."

He added, "I've got no comments about our mobile ambitions at this point of time."

While he was mum on mobile, he explained Razer plans to expand its reach into categories beyond gaming laptops and other peripherals. Two years ago, the company introduced Razer Nabu, a smartwatch; virtual reality (VR) is also on Razer's radar and Tan said the company is "investing a lot in the next generation of VR experiences."

"We think there's a huge amount of potential in VR, and of course, AR at the same time," he said, adding it was only a matter of time before a 'killer app' was developed for VR, propelling the sector's popularity even further.

To be sure, other gaming hardware providers, like Sony, have already made headway into VR — the PlayStation VR, with a massive, potential market of PlayStation users, is one of the top-selling high-end VR devices.

Another popular sector Razer has entered is the virtual currency and payments space by introducing zGold, a virtual currency for gamers. Users top up their zGold using credit cards and then use the currency to purchase games and other products on Razer's platform. It goes in tandem with zSilver, the existing loyalty rewards point system by Razer.

"What we really want to do is to create a single currency that will allow gamers everywhere — our 35 million users — to go out and exchange it for virtual currencies of other games."

With over 35 million active users, and valued at more than $1 billion, Razer remains a prominent name in the gaming hardware space and Tan explained the business was evenly spread across the U.S., Europe and Asia.