We spoke to Razer’s head of PC gaming & here’s what we learned
We spoke to Razer’s head of PC Gaming, Barrie Ooi about the company’s vision for the future, the PC performance peripherals industry, and what’s next for Razer.
“For us it’s always about improvements, improvements, and improvements, right” Razer’s head of PC gaming, Barrie Ooi said in a Microsoft Teams call. The company is riding high off of its latest announcements, the Razer Huntsman V3, alongside collaborations with D&G and new products at RazerCon.
The company has fought its way to the top of the PC gaming pyramid, as the de-facto brand for premium performance peripherals, laptops, and more. But, there’s been a quiet revolution in the PC peripherals industry, towards performance above all. However, Razer was beaten to the punch with one of the most disruptive gaming keyboard features in recent memory: Rapid Trigger.
Razer vs. Rapid Trigger
Rapid Trigger was first brought out into the world by Wooting, and popularized by the release of the Wooting 60HE, which is now being used by esports professionals worldwide. Rapid Trigger allows users to actuate, and reactuate a button with pinpoint accuracy, and Razer appears to only just be responding to the trend, around a year after the Wooting 60HE’s debut, in line with other brands like Steelseries.
“In fact, we’ve been working on Rapid Trigger for a while,” Ooi states, before continuing: “We really wanted to make sure it was the right implementation of Rapid Trigger.” This comes across as fairly curious, as the naming of the feature initially came from Wooting, with many others following in their stead.
“There’s a whole bunch of other stuff that we’re working on that I can’t talk about,” Ooi said, after explaining how Optical Switches are slightly less immune to environmental factors than hall-sensors, which are used in Wooting’s 60HE. “Ultimately, we want to see what the benefit is for the gamer”. But, the feature has already been implemented into its existing boards, too, albeit with slightly more limited actuation points.
Otherwise, we’re fairly excited about what Razer might be able to offer when it comes to future-forward tech. While they might not be first-to-market with the feature, getting a Razer keyboard is a hell of a lot easier than waiting for Wooting stock.
Razer is taking notes from the community
As shown with the Blackwidow V4 75% and now the Huntsman V3, Razer’s own product managers and product developers are keenly watching enthusiast communities to take notes on particular innovations. “If you look at the esports community, the Pros don’t want all this stuff, it’s all about no frills, and the most durable product”, which explains why you shouldn’t expect the same kind of versatility out of the Huntsman V3 as the Blackwidow V4 75%.
Razer’s next frontier
With the company now making what we consider to be some of the best PC peripherals around, we posed Ooi with the question of where the industry is headed next, to which he replied: “I think if you look at mice, we released the Viper Mini SE, where we went below 50g, it’s ultra-lightweight.” before reminiscing on picking up his first gaming mouse in 2006, and how far the industry has come. “It’s all about micro-adjustments, micro-improvements, that really get you there.”
He follows with innovations in the keyboard space, regaling us with trends like macro buttons, media buttons, optical switches, and now optical-analog switches. “We’re constantly challenging ourselves with how to think about what’s next.”
“Our goal is to make these peripherals a natural extension of you.” Before continuing, “We’ve already been working on the roadmap for the next two years”. Ooi is carefully tight-lipped about any upcoming, or unannounced projects. But, he does eventually hint that we might be more Signature Edition products from the company soon.
More Signature Edition products could be on the way
“We’re always open to doing more stuff. One thing at Razer is that we keep challenging ourselves all the time,” Ooi says, before mentioning that he “can’t talk about what they are today”. Meaning that the company could be planning more later down the line. Blackwidow V4 75% Signature Edition anyone?
It seems like an obvious fit, but we’ll just have to wait for Razer to announce something for themselves.