CES 2014: Razer Unveils Project Christine, Fears of Haunted Cars Quickly Allayed

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Steve Anderson
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CES 2014: Razer Unveils Project Christine, Fears of Haunted Cars Quickly Allayed

The first thing I think when I hear the name “Christine”--especially one connected with a machine—is the haunted Plymouth Fury of Stephen King fame. And why not? It's probably the first thing a lot of people born after 1980 think of. But Razer wants to take back the name and make it a force for good again...at least, a force for good gaming. More specifically, it's now a part of Project Christine, which Razer showed off out at CES 2014.

Razer is no stranger to interesting concepts that become available hardware not too long after, and is a company well-known for PC gaming in both peripherals and full-on machines. From the Razer Hydra to the Razer Blade, there's plenty for gamers in just about every PC class at Razer. But there's still a lot to be said against PC gaming, no matter what the “glorious PC Gaming Master Race” might think. PC gaming isn't as accessible as console gaming, and many titles aren't available on PC, though with that the same can be said in reverse. Plus, there's always the issue of “will my PC play this game?” There are instructions of course to state basic stats, but even these don't always come off exactly as stated. So many look to upgrading a PC to keep it up with the new needs of gaming. New processors, more RAM, extra hard drive space and so on. But the Christine looks to make all that simpler with a new, modular design.

A modular PC?? That's a bizarre thought at best, but looking at the Christine—which resembles a series of containers in a big rack—it makes perfect sense. Want to upgrade a processor? Just unplug the old one and slap in afresh. More RAM, more ports? Unplug and replug. Right now, though, the types of upgrades are somewhat limited as said upgrades need to work with Christine's format, something most aren't doing. But Razer believes that the design can catch on, and make it easy to remove old parts and slap in new parts.

It's a concept worth exploring; after all, we're pretty well used to desktops and laptops that are just one box, often with a lot of empty air inside that's fairly a magnet for dust, dirt, loose hair and occasionally even insects looking for a place to lie low. So why not break it down into components that can easily be plugged in and unplugged as needed? We have plenty of USB hard drives out there; why can't the RAM connect in a similar fashion? That's the kind of question Razer seems to be asking, and the answers are taking on a new and wildly unusual shape.

Sure, a lot of people might say that the current configuration really doesn't need changing, that building a PC from scratch really isn't that tough and this is solving a problem that isn't really there. But for many, the thought of building a PC is on par with building a car or a helicopter. It's well beyond their capability. Something like this might change that, but in order for it to be any kind of worthwhile, it would have to be sufficiently low-priced that the modern consumer who has a problem with from-scratch builds could take advantage of this. Only time will tell if that's the prospect Razer's looking to offer, but this could be one of the biggest advances that the PC gaming market has seen in quite some time.

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