Razer has announced its take on wrist wearables with the Razer Nabu smartwatch, but the device has been marketed for consumers in the tech press. This has an obvious benefit: market it to a wider customer base, and you’re bound to gain some profit from it. Unfortunately, if you market it to a customer base for which the device was not designed (assuming it wasn’t designed for all customers), you send the impression of desperation, that you’ll do anything to garner smartwatch sales. Razer isn’t guilty of the latter, but a number of journalists in the media are guilty of assuming something about the Razer Nabu watch that isn’t true. So the question comes down to, “Is the Razer Nabu smartwatch for consumers in general, or gamers, a particular consumer subset?” I won’t spoil the answer; you’ll have to keep reading.
Razer says the Nabu smartwatch is for gamers
Read Razer’s own website about the Nabu watch, and you’ll find this sentence: “The Razer Nabu Watch is our ultimate expression of a wrist-worn wearable that is For Gamers. By Gamers.”
Did you catch that? The Razer Nabu Watch is not for everyday consumers who just want a smartwatch or wrist wearable to track their steps. No; it is designed “for gamers, by gamers.” If you don’t game on a regular basis or have no interest in arcade games, video games, or anything remotely close to it, then Razer hasn’t designed the Nabu with you in mind. Razer will still be happy to have your business, of course, but the company has a specific consumer in mind with its latest smartwatch.
This is an important thing to point out because the last thing any tech journalist should want is to have consumers purchase a device thinking it’s designed for them with their needs in mind when it isn’t. The current Nabu smartwatch doesn’t have much beyond what everyday consumers expect of smart wearable devices, but that doesn’t mean the company can’t branch out in the future and create smartwatches that are for gamers in every respect.
How Razer could market the Nabu smartwatch for gamers
So Razer has designed its smartwatch for gamers; that piece of the puzzle is now in place. At the same time, however, there’s very little information on just how Razer has tailor-made the smartwatch experience for gamers. There are some clues that show us the potential for the Nabu smartwatch in the future, though.
Razer Nabu has an arcade, 8-bit graphics visual appeal
The Razer Nabu has an arcade, 8-bit graphics visual appeal to it when you see it for the first time. It is reminiscent of something you’d expect out of arcade games – the times before we got the 32-bit and 64-bit graphics to which we’re accustomed. I thought of 8-bit graphics when I first saw it, with the green notifications, digital clock, and on-screen options. This is the part of the device that makes you feel as though Razer has the gamer crowd in mind.
On this front, though, there are two things worth noting. First, I think Razer should use the name of the device to market it. The word “Nabu” could be Hebrew for prophet here (with the watch predicting Razer’s success in the smartwatch market since the word “Navi” means prophet, and “nabu” is a different tense for the same word), but I think Razer hasn’t utilized the look of the device fully. Since it looks like a watch for the 8-bit-graphics lovers, why not call it the “8-bit” (not trying to make it sound like “Fitbit” here)? The 8-bit would have a name that would say to consumers that Razer had the gamer in mind, specifically the arcade gamer, with the device.
Razer could make the smartwatch with different graphics models
Okay. Let’s say that Razer doesn’t want to call the Nabu watch the “8-bit.” This wouldn’t stop the company from making different graphics models – after all, not all gamers hail from the same era. Some prefer 8-bit graphics, others 16-bit, some 32-bit, and modern gamers prefer 64-bit graphics. Razer could make smartwatches that differ in gaming graphics to appeal to different generations of gamers.
These various graphic models could also have something similar to Motorola’s MotoMaker for smartwatches – but also provide a different game theme for each Nabu (or “8-bit”) smartwatch. The end result would be that gamers would be appreciative of a watch that meets the mantra “for gamers, by gamers.”
Razer’s Nabu smartwatch has some things to commend itself, such as a notification window in addition to the wide display, not to mention the dual battery setup that uses one battery to power the main display and one to power the notification window. The Razer Nabu can be a game-changer if it increases the gaming feel and look of the device for its targeted consumer base: gamers. The Nabu Watch isn’t targeted to everyone, a fact that, like Casio’s WSD-F10 Smart Outdoor Watch, may be its most attractive.