Let's be honest here: there hasn't been much movement for Android TV since the Nexus Player was released way back in November. Though Sony has committed to using ATV in its upcoming smart TVs, the actual availability of Google's latest set-top box is depressingly low. But two gaming-centric Android TV units are on the horizon, and one of them is from veteran PC accessory vendor Razer. The Forge TV now has an unconfirmed release date (May 1st) and at least one pre-order retailer (Amazon).

The only thing available at the moment, and indeed, the only hint of the Forge TV we've seen since its unveiling at CES in January, is the "Forge TV Bundle." This includes the tiny Android TV set-top box and a premium "Serval" controller for $150. When Razer announced the Forge, it said it would sell the hardware itself for $100, the controllers for $80 a piece, and the Turret mouse and keyboard combo for $130. So far only the bundle is available on Amazon, though there is an out-of-stock listing for the Serval.


Compared to the Nexus Player, the bundle is a pretty good deal - you get Razer's excellent controller for just $10 more than Google's set-top box and first-party controller combined. The Forge is also considerably more powerful than the Nexus Player thanks to its Snapdragon 805 chipset, though it's limited to 16GB of storage space. The Forge includes high-speed Wi-Fi, a full-sized USB 2.0 port, and a built-in Ethernet jack. The latter is meant for lag-free gaming with Razer's upcoming Cortex software, which streams games from local high-powered gaming PCs in the same way that NVIDIA's GameStream does. It will cost an extra $40.

Which brings up an interesting comparison with the only other stand-alone Android TV unit we're expecting in the near future: the NVIDIA SHIELD set-top box. Though the starting price for NVIDIA's box is $200, it also includes a controller and local game streaming for free, to say nothing of the much more powerful Tegra X1 chipset and exclusive games. It will be an interesting showdown when both Razer and NVIDIA face off in the same market segment - the SHIELD is scheduled to be released sometime in May.