NINTENDO SWITCH JOY-CON Controllers Are Reportedly Manifesting “DRIFT” Control Errors

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Sony and Microsoft can continue to hold their current videogame consoles as the most powerful entertainment platforms around, but they cannot deny that the more recent entry of the Nintendo Switch to the competition in 2017 has cemented its reputation as the most “fun” way to play. From seeing the action on TV at home, to taking the system on the road for multiplayer gaming, the Switch does it all. One important factor is the Joy-Con controller that can be passed around to more participants, with one controller being split into two. The innovation is amazing. But as the years go by some problems with the Joy-Cons have started emerging.

The Verge has it that a rising number of Nintendo Switch owners have been seeing some control errors manifesting in their hybrid console’s Joy-Cons. The most notable of them is the so-called “Joy-Con Drift” that affects the joystick components. Switch Joy-Cons are by default two halves of a controller connected to a handheld dock. But they can be taken off and each half be used as a full, if compact, controller. The left- and right-side Joy-Con has similar analog joystick and four-button setup. When used independently, the left-hand direction buttons become the control (ABXY) buttons.

But the drift issue is spotted at the Joy-Con mini-joysticks on both halves. What happens is that the joysticks apparently receive movement commands that are reflected on the game being played at the main Switch unit, even when there are no hands on the joystick. So far the bug appears to be prevalent with the left-hand Joy-Con stick, the one that normally gets more use when the two halves are docked for solo-player use. However, users have reported online that only some units have been suffering from Joy-Con drift while others released just as long continue to function without issues.

Analysis of the Joy-Cons by users have proposed the cause of the drift as anywhere from dust getting inside the controllers or normal wear and tear from constant use, resulting in poor contact with the internals. However, the official Nintendo stance on the Joy-Con Drift reports is to contact customer support, so there is no final word on the cause, and therefore fixing such a bug when it happens is a chancy option at best. Not helping is the official Nintendo repair fee of $40 when the Switch unit and accessories are past the 90-day warranty. With that cost, a player can almost buy a replacement Joy-Con from the market.

Speaking of which, Nintendo did recently announce new colored Joy-Cons for retail, if one is bored of the original neon red-blue and all-gray options. New bundles of dark blue-neon yellow and neon purple-orange Joy-Cons will become available by October 14.

Image courtesy of Nintendo Life

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