Nintendo says Switch’s Joy-Cons have been upgraded to combat drift

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Nintendo has confirmed that the Joy-Cons included with the OLED Switch are the “latest release,” with improvements made to combat Joy-Con drift.

In the latest of its Ask the Developer (formerly Iwata Asks) features, GM Ko Shiota and Deputy GM Toru Yamashita of Nintendo’s tech development division were asked about improvements to the analog sticks on the Joy-Con controller. .

“Joy-Con controllers have a lot of different features, so we’ve continued to make improvements that aren’t always visible,” Yamashita said. “Among other things, the parts of the analog stick have been continuously improved since launch, and we are still working on improvements.

“The first version analog stick passed Nintendo’s reliability test using the stick rotation method while continuously applying a load to it, with the same criteria as the Wii U GamePad’s analog stick.

Official unboxing OLED switch

“As we have always tried to improve it as well, we have studied the Joy-Con controllers used by customers and repeatedly improved the wear resistance and durability,” he continued.

“The parts for the Joy-Con analog joysticks cannot be purchased off the shelf but are specially designed, so we have done a lot of thinking to improve them. In addition, we have improved the reliability test itself and we have continued to make changes to improve durability and pass this new test.

“When the effects of our improvements were confirmed, we quickly incorporated them into the Joy-Con controllers included with the console, Nintendo Switch Lite, and those sold individually, which were manufactured around this time.

“It involves the internal components of the Joy-Con, so you can’t tell the improvements from the outside, but we use the new versions of the parts when we fix them. In addition, similar continuous improvements have also been made to the Nintendo Switch Pro controller.

Shiota explained that all analog sticks wear out over time because the parts are physically in contact. “For example, car tires wear out when the car is in motion because they are in constant friction with the ground to turn,” he said.

Nintendo says Switch's Joy-Cons have been upgraded to combat drift
Joy-Con drift is an issue plaguing the Switch since launch

“So with that same premise, we asked ourselves how to improve durability, and not just that, but how can operability and durability coexist? This is something that we are constantly addressing.

Yamashita added, “The degree of wear depends on factors such as the combination of materials and shapes, so we continue to make improvements by looking for the suits that are less likely to wear out.

“We mentioned that the specifications of the Joy-Con controller had not changed in the sense that we had not added new features such as new buttons, but the analog sticks of the Joy-Con controllers included with the Nintendo model. OLED switch are the latest version. with all the improvements.

“Needless to say, the analog sticks included in the Nintendo Switch, Nintendo Switch Lite, Joy-Con controllers sold separately, and the Nintendo Switch Pro controller currently on delivery.”

Joy-Con drift has been a recurring issue for Switch owners since the console’s launch in 2017.

Earlier this year, the European Commission was asked to investigate Nintendo Switch Joy-Con drift issues by the consumer rights coordination group BEUC.

The group, which represents 44 independent consumer organizations from 32 countries, lodged a letter of complaint with the European Commission regarding “a widespread breach of the European dimension of EU consumer law, linked to premature obsolescence of the product called Nintendo Switch ”.

The Switch isn’t the only console to be the subject of complaints about analog stick drift. A class action lawsuit filed against Sony in February 2021 alleges that the PS5 DualSense controllers “contain a defect that causes characters or gameplay to move around the screen without user control or manual joystick operation.”

Another lawsuit filed in April 2020 and transferred to arbitration this year alleges drift issues were experienced by a large number of Xbox owners on various models.

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