The PC peripherals company hopes to crack the console gaming market.
Sean HollisterSenior Editor / Reviews
When his parents denied him a Super NES, he got mad. When they traded a prize Sega Genesis for a 2400 baud modem, he got even. Years of Internet shareware, eBay'd possessions and video game testing jobs after that, he joined Engadget. He helped found The Verge, and later served as Gizmodo's reviews editor. When he's not madly testing laptops, apps, virtual reality experiences, and whatever new gadget will supposedly change the world, he likes to kick back with some games, a good Nerf blaster, and a bottle of Tejava.
Logitech is one of the best-known brands of keyboards, mice, headphones and webcams, whether you're a gamer or not.
Now, Logitech's carving a deeper niche in the gaming peripheral market -- by purchasing headset maker Astro Gaming for $85 million in an all-cash deal.
While you could technically call Astro Gaming a rival, as both companies produce headsets, Astro is best known for its pricey, high-quality Astro A40 and A50 headsets -- which retail for upward of $250 -- whereas Logitech's highest-end headset originally cost just $200 and can be had for closer to US $130 today. Converted, that's about £100 or AU$170.
According to the press release, Logitech has a pretty specific aim by buying Astro: It wants to expand its product line into the game console market. (While some of its gear can technically be used with consoles, Logitech has mostly targeted PCs, tablets and phones as of late.)
"With the addition of Astro, we're investing in an adjacent gaming market -- the console gaming market -- to help accelerate the long-term growth of our gaming business," reads a line in the press release.
The Logitech-Astro deal is expected to close in early August, according to the company.
Update, 4:27 p.m. PT: In an interview, Logitech gaming boss Ujesh Desai and Astro Gaming VP Aron Drayer tell CNET that Astro and Logitech G will stay separate brands with separate teams, even though they'll both technically report to Desai. Logitech will be focused on PC and Astro on the console market, and Astro may even expand beyond its core headset business with Logitech's help.
"Certainly there is a desire to do more, we don't see ourselves as an audio company by any means. We think of ourselves as a gaming company making the best gaming products for people," said Drayer. "There's a lot of things we'd like to do on our road map that'd make the experience better."
And as far as Astro's headsets are concerned, Drayer hints that the company's taking an "if it ain't broke, don't fix it" approach.
"We don't want to just jam a new product down your throats every year just because we can," he said, using venerated headphone maker Grado as an example. "Grado's headsets haven't changed that much in 60 years ... they were custom-designed at the time to be the best solution, and they're still the best solution today."
Correction: This story originally stated that Incipio bought Skullcandy (and thus Astro Gaming) in June 2016, but that deal never closed, and Mill Road Capital became the owner instead. We regret the error.