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Razer Comms disrupts the VOIP arena with a free public beta

Nate Ralph | April 25, 2013
The erstwhile peripheral maker is taking a stab at the VOIP space with Razer Comms.

Razer Comms is free to try, but it's still in beta so be ready for bugs.

The service is only in beta, but it works rather well: after convincing a friend to give it a shot, I gave them a call and proceeded to play games and just chat casually with nary a hint of latency issues throughout our conversations. Much of that is owed to my capable PC and decent broadband connection here in San Francisco, but Razer Comms' technology certainly doesn't fail to impress at first blush. The software is definitely still in a beta state, but shaping up rather nicely. It's simple and fairly attractive--Razer loves that black on green motif--but the overlay can be a bit sluggish in-game. I'm also getting a bit frustrated with in-game overlays in general. Try firing up Assassin's Creed III: there's one overlay for Ubisoft's Uplay, one for Steam, and one for Comms, all shooting off the occasional notification on screen.  This of course isn't Razer's fault, but kind of a hassle all the same.

Razer's built it; will the gamers come? That's questionable: A free VOIP service from a company gamers are likely familiar with is a tantalizing prospect, but so many of us have been using apps like Teamspeak and Ventrilo for years. Monthly fees and server addresses might seem daunting to the uninitiated but established VOIP platforms offer a legacy of reliability and familiarity, and a slew of additional features for large gaming groups.

That said, it's hard to beat free. But there's no word on how long this will stay free: the beta offers unlimited voice calls and only serves up a single advertisement along the bottom of the application's window, and I can't imagine this is a sustainable business model. But what do I know -- head on over to Razer's site and give Comms a go for yourself. If you can't convince friends to take the plunge, there are already plenty of public groups popping up out of the woodwork.


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