Razer Comms: In-Game voice/chat for PC gamers our preview of closed beta.
Razer a peripheral products company has just released another Beta preview: Razer Comms, just after Razer Game Booster (still in beta as of this writing). While Game Booster is re-branded and rehashed version of IOBit’s Gamebooster with a few additional features, Razer Comms is Razer’s very own service offering which is purely software and has nothing to do with their Peripherals as far as we can tell. i.e. you don’t need to buy their product to use their Software. Unfortunately its currently in closed Beta. This would be Razer second such Software release. We have “acquired” some beta accounts and promised some feedback. The post first appeared on CEO Min-Liang Tan’s Facebook where he mentioned that this was an internal software and he could share it with a few interested people only but now it has a sign up page
Razer Comms is a revolutionary software that brings the ease and convenience of leading instant messaging applications together with your favorite games for free. From here on out, you have the ability to socialize with your friends without compromising your gameplay. Built with advanced cross-game chat support meant to be used in-game, and with the crystal clear audio that you’d expect from a worldwide gaming leader, Razer Comms will give you the freedom to discuss tactics in an intense frag-fest, or to smack talk foes before owning them. This is how gamers were meant to communicate.
Razer Comms supports in-game overlay for several games right now and has clear voice in high quality, for unsupported games you can force the overlay and try your luck. You can create groups a.k.a. channels and host the voice while in-game. It is not clear whether it is Free, Freemium or free until release. As of now it is free with unlimited use. You can invite your friends if you get accepted for Beta.
We cannot give a comparative analysis with other VON services like Xfire (it is known to be crappy in free use) or Ventrillo for which again you need a paid server. Razer Comms is a completely hosted service so no additional server software or hosting is required. This could be useful for several games out there that are not on Steam or other platforms that support voice and one has to alt-tab out to use a Steam/Skype voice for example. The success of Razer Comms would lie in how well can it provide the quality of service to compete at a paid level though at free levels it seems to have no match.
Comments from our Gamers suggest that they are indeed looking forward to such a service where they can use a single service for all games instead of relying on each game’s built in capability or having to deal with each platform (Origin/Steam/bleh/etc) and maintaining lists.
Our Editor says: “Hey this like Skype with overlay” We are not sure about the rest of what he said. He is suffering from delusions and tripping out due to some extreme medication following his recent accident in the aftermath of a party.
We tested Comms with about 10-12 people while playing Planetside 2. Most of us were using always ON voice instead of push-to-talk. Here is what we found
- Crystal clear voice, high quality but not sure on codec, we think custom made. Voice call quallity
- seems to not use a lot of local resource which means a lot of computing is done server side. This is a good thing.
- very good noise cancelling so we were not hearing everyone’s background when they did not talk.
- overlay support is good but it takes some getting used to
- good hardware detection but detects only a few popular games.
- limited games are supported as of now. We could not get it to work non supported games even with force overlay. for e.g. killing floor. You can voice but you cannot use the Overlay.
- some lag when the call is first made, shows connected but takes a few seconds to actually start voice
- overlay stuttering with notifications (occasional and not for everyone)
- Easy way to submit feedback with one button click.
- Not integrated with games, supported means the overlay will work. It won’t detect your teams and stuff ofcourse. We think this could change if it were a publicly available service but it isn’t
- We found other Gamers who joined our Groups/Channel (the open ones) and we were also able to make private channels and password protected channels.
It remains to be seen if the general public will get access to this premium piece of technology.
If you have tried it it… troll on below and find other people who might be using this.
Update: Invites – we have a few. Let us know in the comments and we’ll give out on first-come basis till we run out. Invite trolls can get lost as we have seen some people sell it for $1-$5 in certain forums, really?