In between the launch of pink products and other affordable accessories, Razer has made a surprising decision this year to abandon its mobile team and online game store. The former, in specific, is a questionable move after the previous two generations of phones development.

For other brands like Xiaomi, ASUS, Vivo and Nubia, they’re really capitalizing and focusing resources on growing their mobile gaming market. Despite that, Razer CEO Min-Liang Tan never admitted defeat and said it was the company’ new gaming strategy. They're shifting focus towards software as well as transitioning the industry to 5G.

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Min-Liang Tan - Singaporean, co-founder, CEO and Creative Director of gaming hardware company, Razer Inc.

Tencent Collaboration

Just around last week, Razer announced the collaboration with Tencent - the famous Chinese publisher behind PUBG Mobile, Fortnite and Arena of Valor. They will focus on optimizing gaming experience on mobile devices across multiple software, hardware, and services. Tan clarified this by explaining how gaming experience on mobiles is affected by I/O "hacks". These “hacks” are particularly mouse and keyboard support as well as button-mapping features. Such features allow players to have extra buttons on the screen, mid-frame, and even backside.

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Razer gaming gears: mouse, keyboard, mousepad, and smartphone.

Despite such selling features, Tan believed that these "hacks" bring a bad mobile gaming experience into the pro scene and turn away enthusiastic gamers. However, Tan also admitted the popularity of keyboard and mouse usage among Chinese players in PUBG Mobile. Therefore, there might still be some demand for such “hacks” towards improving (or lowering) the quality of experience. In fact, let’s keep in mind that Razer has an Android phone gaming controller itself, the Raiju Mobile.

To resolve the inconsistency, Razer is co-operating with game developers, with Tencent being one of them now, to standardize the I/O platform. The aim is to set up a benchmark and then rebuild games from the beginning with native integration in said platform. Nonetheless, we don’t know for sure the type of products to come out. It’s likely to be an optimization for the Raiju Mobile and even potential mobile accessories.

In reality, standardization won't be just I/O. The CEO looks forward to having uncapped frame rates in accordance with faster displays, namely the 120Hz LCD currently on both Razer Phones.

The future of a new Razer smartphone

Razer' aim to set the standard for mobile gaming aligns with the development of their own smartphone. With February’s job cuts, it’s quite uncertain to predict the future of Razer Phone. Tan also refused to answer questions on any potential new smartphones, although to him, Razer Phones has done a phenomenal job.

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Razer 2, showing Fortnite gameplay.

Furthermore, Tan confirmed Razer’s capability to create smartphones, thanks to the large engineering team. Although, the industry is witnessing a tricky transition towards 5G. If someone wants to buy a gaming phone this year, it should preferably be a 5G phone. Yet again, there’s no available network to use it on. Tan therefore doubted to see any new Razer Phone to come out in the near future.

For Tan, better connectivity from 5G can really accelerate the convergence of gaming on multiple platforms. I/O peripherals are becoming more and more important. It's even more crucial when Google’s Stadia is taking a stab at the client devices' role to handle streaming.

Overall, the denial of a new smartphone definitely disappoints the fans. Gamers are indeed having two great gaming phones from Razer at the moment, yet they’re facing fundamental issues as stated by the CEO. It somehow implies that the problem lies inside the software, disregarding effort to improve the hardware. Us gamers would really want Razer's mission to succeed. By the time it does, 5G would probably be everywhere and we would be holding our "Razer Phone 3”.