Back in January, Razer previewed Project Christine, an ambitious modular PC concept designed for painless upgrades. A shipping version has yet to appear, however, and we now know a little more as to why that is. In an interview with TechRadar, Razer CEO Min-Liang Tan outlined the obstacles Project Christine is facing:
"The challenge is that it's not something we'd like to undertake alone," Tan said. "We've had conversations with OEMs. It's not entirely promising right now because OEMs are excited about pushing products and not really innovating on that front."
It's not all grim, though. Tan is hopeful that Razer will announce partnerships with two or three OEMs by "the end of the year."
While it's easy to chide PC OEMs, I understand their reluctance in this case. Christine appears to require a lot of expensive, complex hardware that only makes sense in high-end systems (closed-loop, mineral-oil cooling, anyone?). Yet according to this Polygon interview, Tan wants Christine and its modules to be available at a broad range of prices, an apparent contradiction.
Razer would also introduce a subscription model for Christine modules, ostensibly to solve the problem of slightly out-of-date hardware going unused. I've never had problems buying parts from PC gamers looking to offload their older equipment, though, or doing the same when it came time to finance an upgrade of my own. People don't just throw hardware away when the new hotness comes along.