Razer Inc. was founded in 2005 with the sole purpose of providing high-end computer peripherals to the masses. Since its founding, the company has gone on to create a wide range of gaming-related products including headphones, keyboards, video card docks, and laptops, helping them to become a leading name in the industry. The company's newfound success has spurred them to develop other technologies, and eventually released their own smart band in 2014.
Over the last few years, Razer has continued to branch out, establishing its own line of smartphones and investing heavily into cutting edge virtual reality technology. While the company has achieved success with most of its products, it hasn't been able to capture the attention of the public when it comes to mobile gaming. Now, after nearly five years, recent patent submissions seem to suggest that it's developing a handheld device that is very similar to the Nintendo Switch in both appearance and functionality.
With the number of things that Razer has developed over the years, it isn't all that surprising to learn that they are attempting to release their own handheld console. While their last attempt at a handheld fell flat, it's safe to assume that they will be able to create something truly unique given that their smartphones based on the same concept have received high praise.
According to NintendoSoup, Razer Asia Pacific recently submitted a patent for a gaming controller and a method for operating it. In discussing the images associated with the new handheld, they point out that it looks very similar to the Nintendo Switch, having a set of detachable controllers which Bluetooth functionality built-in. Though they are similar, Razer's new handheld differs from the Switch in that it uses magnets, rather than rails, to attach its controllers. Furthermore, while both consoles look the same, there aren't any details on the resolution or functionality associated with Razer's new handheld.
Given the results of recent patent battles involving Apple's iPhone, it's safe to assume that the look and shape of the Switch may not be something that can be patent protected. With the amount of money and legal advice that Razer has at its disposal, it would be hard to imagine that they would submit a design that would ultimately be rejected due to the breaking of patent laws.
Regardless of how the public feels about Razer taking the design away from Nintendo, it all boils down to if it's legal to do so or not. They wouldn't be the first major company to piggyback off someone else's idea, and as long as they offer a good amount of innovation there isn't likely to be any major blowback.