Razer’s Project Christine
The question, “what in the world is that?” first popped into my head when perusing new projects displayed at CES 2014. A modular desktop computer from the gaming company Razer? Color me intrigued. I am an avid gamer and a person who regularly updates his computer hardware, and I have a propensity for laziness; so the idea of simplifying something that used to take some time and effort is something I am more than OK with.
Razer has always had my respect as a company for how intertwined they became with the pro-gaming scenes that span from the Couterstrikes to the Starcrafts, and League of Legends of the world. If a game was gaining traction, Razer wasn’t far behind to put their stamp on it.
Razer’s calling the concept Project Christine, and it promises to open up the difficult world of PC hardware to the general population.
Each of the branches on the tower is a component. Everything from a CPU to the memory all simply plugged into a neural hub so to speak. Once slotted in, Project Christine auto syncs the new module through PCI – Express (same as current graphics cards currently use).
There a two questions that go hand in hand when discussing the model for success when it comes to Project Christine.
1. What is the base pricing of the hub?
Razer has discussed the possibility of a subscription based model for the project in which you pay a monthly fee and have components shipped to you when they become available, so at any point in time you could have the top of the line computer without dropping thousands of dollars at one time. No need to worry about compatibility, as everything that’s sent will be picked to fit your system. You would be responsible for shipping the parts back as you received new ones.
2. How quickly will the newest hardware be available in module form?
The released statement says that the highest end products will be available out of the gate, but I’m more curious as their plan to keep up with component manufacturers.
Avid PC gamers generally know how to build and upgrade their computers. Simplifying it is all well and good, but if the cost outweighs the benefit, they’re going to have problems on a grand scale. How much is going to be added on the pricing for modularizing each component? How much is the Hub going to cost? I really want that new video card NVidia just released, but is it going to be available as a modular component for my Hub? On a bright note it was stated that Project Christine would be capable of running multiple operating systems.
I don’t foresee any concrete answers to those questions in the near future. For now, all we can do is take what Razer has said and choose to believe they can radically change the PC world or just brush it aside with a “I’ll believe it when I see it” mindset. I’ve yet to determine exactly what category I fall under, but I would definitely welcome such a change.