If you’ve been a dedicated Nintendo Switch user for the past few years, then you’d be very familiar with the dreaded “Joy-Con Drift“. It looks as though Nintendo aims to literally fix your Joy-Cons that have the issue. For free.
Joy-Con Drift has long plagued owners of the original Switch since its introduction in 2017. For the uninitiated, what Joy-Con Drift is is a passive movement of the analog stick (usually on the left Joy-Con, but others have reported the right side to have the same issue as well) even when you’re not touching it.
It’s very similar to how banged up DualShock or Xbox controllers are, and it can get quite annoying. While nowhere nearly as deadly as the Xbox 360’s “Red Ring of Death” back then, Joy-Con Drift still can be rather irritating.
What makes Joy-Con Drift even more of a nuisance is that it occurs not very long after one purchases it. A report from Kotaku highlighted that it affected their controller just four months after purchase.
And the worst part is that, apparently, Nintendo hasn’t been doing much so far to fix the problem, so much so as to even require the user to pay for shipping and a staggering US$40 repair fee just to repair their faulty Joy-Con.
Vice even went so far as to prod Nintendo of America regarding the matter, and somehow matter, which prompted Nintendo to respond in kind, with a rather apologetic statement:
Customers will no longer be requested to provide proof of purchase for Joy-Con repairs. Additionally it is not necessary to confirm warranty status. If a customer requests a refund for a previously paid Joy-Con repair […] confirm the prior repair and then issue a refund.
Following that statement was another statement by Nintendo, encouraging Switch users to be more forthcoming with their Joy-Con Drift issue and the staff at Nintendo will help them out as best they can.
At Nintendo, we take great pride in creating quality products and we are continuously making improvements to them,” a representative from Nintendo told Kotaku in response questions about Joy-Con drift. “We are aware of recent reports that some Joy-Con controllers are not responding correctly. We want our consumers to have fun with Nintendo Switch, and if anything falls short of this goal we always encourage them to visit support.nintendo.com so we can help.
What does this mean for the industry as a whole? No other major console has offered their services for free like this, and as such will most likely prompt major competitors such as Sony Playstation, Xbox and Google Stadia to reconfigure their customer service systems.
For now, Nintendo Switch users can most certainly breathe a sigh of relief knowing that their Joy-Con Drift woes may well be over, or at least alleviated.
However, this level of customer of support only appears to service Switch owners in the US for now. Speaking to local video game retailers, it would appear Joy-Con drift is a phenomenon experienced globally with some warranties only honored for only 3 months from date of purchase. We have reached out to the Singaporean distributor to their comments and will update once we hear back.
As it stands there are a few options for consumers right now. One of which is purchasing the new Nintendo Switch Lite (with attached Joy-Cons), or the updated original Switch model with improved battery life and other internals. Hopefully these come without any Joy-Con Drift.
Marion has a serious RPG addiction. Sometimes it bleeds into real life; he forgets to sleep because he thinks he has a Witcher’s body clock. Forgive him in advance if he suddenly blurts out terms such as “Mind Flayer” and “Magic Missile”, because never once does he stop thinking about his next Dungeons & Dragons game.