A quick look back at Razer’s CES concept devices that were never launched (and one that did)

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CES 2024 is now over, which means over 130,000 tech and gadget exhibitors, along with investors, members of the press, and tech fans are heading away from Las Vegas to head back home after a long week of press conferences, announcements, reveals, and parties.

One of the highlights of any CES is seeing what PC and console gaming hardware maker Razer shows off at their booth. This year, the company showed off new models in its Blade Windows gaming laptop lineup with some impressive OLED displays. It also showed the Razer Iskur V2 Gaming Chair which you can go ahead and buy right now at Amazon. There’s also a new USB C Dock from the company that you can buy now.

project esther

However, Razer also usually announces at least one “concept” device during its CES product reveals. They typically never get released, at least not in the form that they were first presented. CES 2024 was no exception as the company revealed “Project Esther”. It is a cushion made to be placed on gaming chairs but has 16 haptic actuators embedded inside. With the help of Razer’s own Razer Sensa HD Haptics software, the cushion will be able to let gamers feel what’s going on in the game world.

Will we see a haptic gaming cushion launch from Razer in the future? The jury is still out. However, many of the company’s CES concepts never really made it into a shippable product. Here’s a quick look back at just some of the company’s CES concepts, including one that actually did become a real product.

Project Brooklyn – CES 2021

At the digital-only CES 2021, Razer showed off Project Brooklyn, a gaming chair that included RGB lighting and, more importantly, a 60-inch curved OLED rollout display for a truly immersive gaming experience. While these kinds of gaming chairs with embedded displays have been released by others, this design certainly looks cool and can turn back into a “normal” chair without the screen. If Razer ever does release a version of Project Brooklyn, expect it to be extremely expensive.

CES 2022 – Project Sophia

During CES 2022, Razer showed off Project Sophia, a PC desktop that’s also literally a desk. The idea is that buyers of this PC can hot-swap modules of different products like RAID controllers, media controls, and more inside this desk design, with a huge screen over it. It’s certainly a different way in both designing and using a desktop PC.

CES 2017 – Project Valerie

At CES 2017, Neowin actually got to see Project Valerie at Razer’s booth. It was a triple-screen laptop design, with each screen sized at 17.3 inches with 4K resolutions that rolled out of the notebook. It looks like something Razer could actually make today. Unfortunately for Razer, it was too tempting for some CES attendees. Some people decided to steal the two Project Valerie prototypes from Razer’s exhibit. Just a few days later, they briefly showed up on a China-based e-commerce site for sale. There’s been no word since then on if those prototypes were ever recovered, or if the people who stole them were found and arrested.

CES 2017 – Project Ariana

Another concept device that Razer showed off at CES 2017 was Project Ariana. This was a projector that was designed to extend the PC gaming experience beyond a gamer’s monitor. Razer said at the time that Project Ariana combined “a pair of 3D cameras together with a custom calibration software to automatically detect your monitor and environmental factors such as furniture and room lighting” to create the effect. This was extremely similar to another concept announced by Microsoft in 2013 called IllumiRoom. Neither concept projected ended up becoming a real retail product.

CES 2014 – Project Christine

Much like the later Project Sophia, Project Christine at CES 2014 was an attempt by Razer to come up with a new desktop PC design. This time, the idea was to come up with a desktop tower with hot-swappable modules to upgrade its CPU, GPU, storage, connections, power supply, and more. It’s certainly a good idea, but 10 years later, we have yet to see something like this become a mainstream consumer product.

CES 2012 – Project Fiona

12 years ago, Razer announced Project Fiona at CES 2012. It was a high end Windows tablet that included two controllers that were attached to either side of the tablet for gaming. Unlike most of Razer’s future concept designs, Project Fiona was announced to see if the public would like to use this kind of gaming tablet. In October 2012, Razer announced it would actually make Project Fiona, and in 2013, it launched to the public with its official name, the Razer Edge. the Windows 8-based 10.1 inch tablet would have a starting price of $999. Unfortunately, like most Windows 8 tablets, the Razer Edge failed to find its audience.

CES 2011 – Project Switchblade

Long before the release of the Steam Deck, Razer had an idea for a portable gaming PC called Project Switchblade that it announced at CES 2011. It included a small 7-inch touchscreen display with an embedded keyboard. The keys had LED displays that could actually change visually depending on which game you were playing. Razer said the Switchblade design was made for third party PC makers to use to make their own portable gaming PCs. However, it never moved beyond that concept stage, and Razer instead launched its more conventional Blade gaming laptops that went on sale later in 2011.

Again, that’s just some of the Razer concepts that the company has revealed during past CES events. Which of these concepts would you like to see made into real products?

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News Article Courtesy Of John Callaham »