Apparently, Razer isn't satisfied with the industry-standard Cherry MX switches - due to them originally being designed for typing - used on nearly 95% of all mechanical gaming keyboards. As such, it has designed and engineered its own mechanical keyboard switches.
Two switches will be available:
The Razer Green Switch is tactile and clicky, requiring a force of 50 g to actuate. These specs make it seem very similar to Cherry MX Blue switches (used currently on Razer's Blackwidow keyboard).
The Razer Orange Switch is tactile yet silent, requiring a force of 45 g to actuate - which looks very similar to Cherry MX Brown switches (also currently available on Razer's Blackwidow keyboard).
Despite the specs making Razer's new switches look suspiciously like Cherry MX clones, Razer states that its engineers have "identified the optimal actuation distance for a gaming switch to a fraction of a millimeter and reduced the distance between the actuation and reset point by almost half to allow for faster, more precise gaming commands when compared to standard mechanical switches."
Its new switches are apparently also made using an ultra-precise manufacturing technique that, along with gold plated contact points, result in a lifespan of up to 60 million key strokes. For comparison, Cherry MX switches are rated for 50 million key strokes.
The new Razer Mechanical Switches will be produced by a third party manufacturer, but Razer assures us that its own quality assurance experts are on the production floor to ensure that each switch meticulously follows the design blueprint and specifications defined by Razer.
Some of Razer's pro gamers have also been testing the new switches. Jens "Snute" Aasgaard, Team Liquid StarCraft player, commented:
"The new switches on the Razer BlackWidow have a lighter and smoother feel, allowing me to play at a faster pace than before. It's comfortable and solid - perfect for long practice sessions and tournaments."
Min-Liang Tan, Razer co-founder, CEO and creative director, explained the direction behind the new switches:
“Instead of focusing solely on typing comfort, as traditional mechanical switches have done, we had to completely rethink the conventional approach behind the actuation and reset points of mechanical switches in order to fine-tune them for gaming. Our engineers’ focus for the specification was on speed, accuracy and durability to bring the unfair advantage to gamers worldwide.”
The Razer Mechanical switch will be available on the new Razer Blackwidow family of mechanical gaming keyboards, and Razer is also open to other gaming peripheral makers who wish to manufacture mechanical keyboards with its switches. Pricing and availability is currently unknown.