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July 13, 2017

Logitech’s logic leads to its cash acquisition of Astro Gaming

by John_A

Why it matters to you

Console gamers should have a wider selection of premium Astro-branded headsets based on Logitech’s deep pockets and love for gamers.

Logitech said on Wednesday, July 12 that it plans to acquire console headset maker Astro Gaming for $85 million in cash. The move will help push the Logitech brand beyond PC gaming and into the console arena currently saturated with headsets sold by SteelSeries, Turtle Beach, HyperX, and more.

“Astro is the leading player for premium console headsets and is the preferred headset for console esports athletes,” said Ujesh Desai, vice president and general manager of Logitech G. “It’s a perfect complement to Logitech G’s focus on PC gaming and we couldn’t be more excited; we love the team, the brand, and the products. Together, we want to make game play even more fun for gamers everywhere.”

Astro Gaming currently provides a huge selection of headsets for the Xbox One, PlayStation 4, and PC ranging in price from $60 to $300. The company also sells “MixAmps” such as the M80, which provides Xbox One owners with gamepad-based audio controls complete with voice adjustments and three preset EQ modes. Astro Gaming even sells game-related accessories including cables and adapters.

Astro Gaming is a spinoff company of San Francisco-based Astro Studios. Founded in 1994, Astro Studios began creating accessories for Compaq’s IPAQ Pocket PCs, Alienware PCs, and eventually branched out to the Xbox 360 console and more. But the company wanted to expand its design philosophy by creating “gamer-centric tech-life products,” thus Astro Gaming was created in 2006. Skullcandy scooped up Astro Gaming in 2011, which in turn merged with Mill Road Capital in the summer of 2016.

“Astro Gaming is a separate company from Astro Studios, fueled by private funding and an obsessed management team comprised of lifestyle, design, gaming, and technology product and brand veterans,” the company states.

Logitech told Digital Trends that the Astro brand will remain separate rather than fall behind the company’s PC gaming-specific Logitech G name. The acquisition will also not impact the spin-off company’s hardware plans, nor will it disrupt Astro Gaming’s day-to-day operations. The team will continue to work from their current offices, most of which are in San Francisco.

The Logitech G brand mainly deals with peripherals in the PC gaming market, such as the Logitech Pro G mechanical keyboard, the Logitech G403 Prodigy gaming mouse, and the recent Logitech G433 7.1 gaming headset. Meanwhile, the Astro brand will continue to focus on console gaming accessories. The vanilla Logitech brand will cover everything else outside the two gaming markets.

The latest product released by Astro Gaming is the A10 headset for PC, Mac, Xbox One, PlayStation 4, Nintendo Switch, and mobile. It consists of a durable aluminum headband covered by damage-resistant rubber, over-the-ear cushions based on memory foam, an omni-directional microphone with flip-to-mute functionality, and a detachable cable system. It’s built for “extended comfort” for long gaming marathons.

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