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Forge TV

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Android TV streaming boxes: An uneasy start and apparent death

Android TV is very much alive, as was made abundantly clear by the plethora of new Android TV powered televisions with Google Assistant capability shown off at CES 2018. Streaming boxes powered by Android TV, however, are conspicuously missing—the last Android TV set-top box to be released in the United States was the Xiaomi Mi Box in October 2016.

Apple TV and Amazon's Fire TV products both received hardware refreshes last September, while Roku products received hardware refreshes in October. In comparison, the three year old Nexus Player—arguably the flagship of Android TV—last received a software update in November, and will not be upgraded to Android 8.1 Oreo.

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Almost A Year Later, Razer's Turret Wireless Keyboard And Mouse Combo Is Finally Available For A Whopping $160

It wouldn't be fair to call the Razer Forge TV a failure. No, that simply wouldn't be right. If I did that, I'd miss the opportunity to call it a half-baked, poorly-supported product that lags behind even the limited field of Android TV devices like a three-legged dog chasing a nitrous-powered mail truck. Almost a year after its US launch the set-top box is still inexplicably incompatible with Netflix, the promised PC game streaming software feature has disappeared, and even after being injected with the decrepit soul of OUYA the Forge is basically a dead platform. But there's one last thing to report on before we can finally lay it to rest: the Turret.

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OUYA Owners Get A $50 Discount On Razer's Forge TV Controller Bundle, Plus $10 Cortex Store Credit

The dream of OUYA was not to be. It turns out that overturning a decades-old industry by disrupting it with mobile hardware and open-source software is a tough row to hoe, and adding on a semi-exclusive game market (you know, that thing that consoles do that's already universally hated) wasn't the best opening move. So OUYA floundered in the maturing set-top box market until Razer snapped it up in the hopes of bolstering its own Forge TV, which had been on the market for months and was already known as the worst option in an extremely limited field.

Huh. Maybe they just wanted some company to commiserate with. 

In any case, the customers who bought and paid for OUYA hardware are getting a couple of dividends out of the deal.

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Razer Resurrects The OUYA Store as 'Cortex' On The Forge TV [Update]

The saga of OUYA is a cautionary tale of how hard it is to build a new gaming platform. After an initial crowdfunding success, OUYA had trouble attracting developers and keeping gamers interested. The company was gobbled up by gaming giant Razer earlier this year, and now the OUYA store is back as Cortex for the Android TV-powered Forge TV.

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Razer's Forge TV Set-Top Box Makes An Ignominious Exit From The Google Store

Razer never seemed to really get behind its Android TV device. As far as we can tell, review units for the Forge TV were never sent to any of the tech media (not that we're bitter or anything. Razer. Not at all), and after brutal user reviews were splattered all over the Internet, the device still doesn't support the Android TV version of Netflix. Razer never released the neat-o mouse-and-keyboard combo designed specifically for couch gaming, the company's alternative to NVIDIA's PC game streaming software still hasn't materialized, and there have been no mentions of software updates or even notable game releases since the Forge TV launched in April.

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[Weekend Poll & Discussion] Is Android TV Yet Another Living Room Flop For Google? Do You Have One?

When Android TV launched, it did so to an attitude that, at best, could be described as lukewarm. Google has attempted to corner the living room for years now, and its most successful attempt  - the Chromecast - has essentially undercut Google's own more ambitious TV products.

Google TV never really had a chance - it was slow, the hardware was never particularly powerful, and the remotes were a nightmare. Google eventually let GTV die by slowly letting it fade into uselessness piece by piece.

Chromecast actually launched before Google TV was really "dead" in any official sense, and its success was immediate.

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Razer Offers A New Deal To Indie Developers Stiffed By Ouya's Free The Games Promotion, Exclusivity No Longer Required

Razer, PC gaming accessory maker and recent Android TV also-ran, bought Ouya. That left a lot of people hanging, and not just Ouya employees or customers. Those Android game developers who had taken the company up on its "Free The Games" funding offer for extra development money in exchange for timed exclusivity to the Ouya platform, and who hadn't yet been paid, got stung by a "bankruptcy or buyout" clause in the contract. Since Ouya was bought by an outside company, the matching funds from the original deal no longer have to be provided.

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Razer Forge TV Bundle Now Available From The Google Store In The US And Canada, Stand-Alone Serval Controller Too

The second Android TV device to be available directly from Google is also the second Android TV device to be sold, period: the Forge TV from gaming peripheral maker Razer. The Forge TV bundle is now on sale in the Google Store. This $149.99 USD package includes the Forge TV itself and one Serval Bluetooth controller. Oddly, the stand-alone Forge TV (which sells for $100 and requires an Android phone, since it has no remote) isn't listed on the Google Store. It's shipping to the US and Canada.

forge tv

The Serval controller is also available as a stand-alone purchase for a whopping $79.99.

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Rumor: Razer Is Looking To Buy Struggling OUYA To Bolster Its Android Gaming Efforts

There hasn't been much news out of OUYA for the last year or so, and Razer's first effort at mobile hardware, the Android TV-powered Forge TV, hasn't exactly been lighting the world on fire either. Would combining forces make either of these products better? Probably not. But according to a recent post on TechCrunch, at least someone thinks it might be a good idea.

TechCrunch reports that premium game accessory maker Razer is interested in purchasing OUYA, or at least what's left of it now that the "mini console" fad has come and gone. OUYA has tried numerous strategies to gain back the excitement of its initial Kickstarter campaign, including the addition of a subscription service and farming out its game library to competitors like MadCatz.

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[Lame] Razer's Forge Android TV Launches Without Netflix Support, According To Early Buyers

Razer's Forge TV/console/box thing, which runs Android TV, has started shipping to pre-order buyers, and they're not liking what they find once they kick back to watch some Netflix... because they can't.

Attempting to find Netflix on the Play Store is a no go, casting from your connected phone won't work, and even sideloading the Android TV Netflix v2 APK (and even with rooting and build.prop edits) won't get you around this issue. The only solution is to sideload the standard phone APK, which then reverts to 480p only mode and uses the tablet UI, which is of course terrible on a TV.

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