Thursday, January 16th 2020

Razer at CES 2020: Kishi Mobile Controller, Tomahawk Gaming Desktop, and an Epic Sim

Razer had an interesting outing at CES 2020. There were no new PC gaming peripherals, other than Star Wars "storm trooper" co-branded Kraken, Goliathus, and Atheris; but three interesting exhibits. To begin with, Razer Kishi is an adjustable, split game controller for smartphones. The controller's two ends (meant for your left and right hands, wrap around the two ends of your smartphone. You get two analog thumbsticks, a D-pad, four action buttons, and four triggers. The Razer Gamepad app lets you map the controller to your smartphone over Bluetooth, and provides custom button mapping. The company also showed off Arctech line of smartphone sleeves that are designed to dissipate heat.

Having made its mark as a leading gaming notebook vendor, Razer is turning its attention to pre-built gaming desktops, and we saw one of its first creations, the Tomahawk SFF. Much like Apple, Razer has a serious focus on form as much as function, and that's evident with the aluminium CNC precision-milled chassis with tempered glass side-panels, and a size that's fit both for desks and the living room.
Under the hood, the Tomahawk is based on Intel's "Ghost Canyon" NUC 9 Extreme Compute Element, featuring a Core i9-9980HK (8-core/16-thread) processor, dual-channel DDR4 SO-DIMM memory (32 GB at 2667 MHz or 64 GB at 2400 MHz options), M.2 NVMe SSD storage, and NVIDIA GeForce RTX 20-series desktop graphics, with options going all the way up to the RTX 2080 Ti. The NUC 9 Extreme Compute Element is a single-board computer with a dual-slot rear I/O, and a PCI-Express x16 physical wiring that has PCIe x8 (toward PEG), and other I/O. This SBC sits alongside the discrete RTX 20-series graphics card on a PCB that has two x16 slots, an M.2-2280 slot, and some other basic I/O.
The star attraction at the Razer booth, however, was the Driving Simulator Razer co-designed in partnership with Vesaro, Simpit, SynthesisVR, and IoTech Studios. The contraption involves a 202-degree FOV curved projection screen with multiple overhead Full HD projectors beaming onto it; and a chair that has motion simulation along heave, pitch, and roll movements. A racing wheel and pedal set by Razer complete it. It's also got a seat-belt tensioner system that simulates the inertia of braking.
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