Project Christine ambitions blocked by lack of OEM support

By Andrew Yoon, Mar 24, 2014 11:45am PDT

Project Christine is one of the most exciting announcements from CES this year. Razer created a prototype for a fully modular PC that would allow users to easily and quickly swap components, including hard drives, GPUs, etc. In addition, Razer CEO Min-Liang Tan proposed a subscription service, one that would enable power-hungry PC gamers to always get top-of-the-line gear. Cheaper subscriptions would then use the outdated components for gamers that don't need bleeding edge power. For many, it seemed like a win-win solution.

Unfortunately, Christine may never be more than just a concept. Why? Tan says that manufacturers simply aren't interested in participating.

Tan explained that Christine works. However, getting OEM partners is the only thing preventing a release. "I throw it out there to talk to the OEMs about it. That's really the final piece of the puzzle. Everything else has pretty much been done," he told Polygon. "All they ask about is, 'How much money can I make out of this?' They're not interested in innovation at all."

Of course, couldn't Razer simply build everything by themselves? The company already has experience making their own gaming rigs. However, Tan wants to avoid that solution. "Christine's a bit different because if we went out and built our own modules and platform, we would literally be creating a walled garden, which is something that we don't want to do," he said. "It's got to be open. It's got to be stuff that you can swap out modules and stuff like that because we won't always have the best." Essentially, what's the point of having the ability to swap out components if the only distributor you can choose from is Razer?

So for now, the Project Christine prototype is simply an idea--a damn good one, at that--but just an idea.

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