A familiar-looking gaming device has been patented by Razer Asia Pacific. The device features a central screen with removable controllers like the Nintendo Switch does. However, this Razer handheld is heavier than the Switch, weighing in at about three pounds. The controllers connect via magnets instead of the Joy-Con rails. And the device will also definitely not have Breath of the Wild, at least not legally.
It’s easy to point and say that Razer is ripping off the Switch, but Razer made a similar device back in 2013. The Razer Edge was a tablet marketed towards PC gaming and featured detachable controllers four years before the Switch’s launch. Razer as a company is responsible for many gaming accessories, like mouses and keyboards, so it’s not a huge shock to see a wide variety of tech patents from them.
Technology patented doesn’t always go into production, so it’s possible nothing more ever comes of this. Nintendo also has some patents entering the limelight right now, like this hinged Joy-Con or yet another try at VR headsets. Even back during the Switch’s launch period, Sony put out a patent for its own Switch-like system. Needless to say, nothing came of that.
Sometimes it’s hard to draw the line between inspiration and infringement. We can look at the DualShock controller and how that went on to become the standard controller. Even classic handheld gaming went beyond just the Game Boy. I think there could potentially be room for more than one Switch-style console on the market.