Razers Project Christine was already set to shake up the gaming PC scene by making hardware upgrades easier than ever. Now it looks like Razer may let you pay a subscription fee for those upgrades so your system always runs top-of-the-line gear.
CEO Min-Liang Tan told GameSpot that its a possibility, and really its not all that different than what Dell has been doing for years as far as the monthly fee goes. The big difference is that the $50 or $60 a month youd be paying Dell doesnt entitle you to any new parts while youre paying it. And when youve made your last payment, thats it. You can either start all over with a new rig or keep using the one youve got.
Tan says that instead of having to pay thousands of dollars in a single shot, there could be a standard subscription fee and you could have always, at any point of time, the best possible PC.
Its a real possibility for Razer because Project Christine has been designed so that anyone not just hardcore PC enthusiasts can upgrade their system really easily. But how would it actually work?
Since Razer hasnt said what Project Christine systems might cost, we can only speculate what kind of monthly fee theyd have to charge based on competitors who offer financing. A high-end Alienware Aurora configuration sells for around $2,400 which translates to $72 a month from Dell. Thats already a big commitment, and there arent any future part shipments included in that price.
Granted, Razer doesnt necessarily need to cover the full retail price of an upgrade part. Youd be sending your old part back, which lets them recoup a little cash perhaps by setting up a web shop where other Christine owners could buy refurbished, swapped-out parts. Whatever the plan is, theyd still need to bump that $72 up by a healthy amount.
Is there a huge market for an evergreen gaming system that could cost $100 to $150 a month? Probably not. But theres a big enough market for Razer to pursue subscriptions for Project Christine. It might be a lot of money, but many shoppers would find it easier to deal with as a recurring fee than as a one-time outlay.
And Razer is the same company that already proved some gamers were willing to spend $1,500 on a high-end tablet (the Razer Edge). Razers got the name recognition and track record to make Project Christine a success, and subscription PCs might just entice some who thought a Razer-quality system was out of reach to take the plunge.