Nintendo Switch Joy-Con Defect Found By New Research

nintendo switch joy con defect found by research 182015

Drift issues have persisted with Nintendo Switch Joy-Con controllers since launch in 2017, and a new study points to a fundamental flaw causing the ‘drift’ problem.

The Nintendo Switch has had a continuous problem with its joy-con function since it arrived on the console scene, and a new report by Which? points the finger at what could be causing such a prime issue with a console that has sold in the millions. The issue is ‘drift’ on the controller analog functions, which is caused by a design flaw with the plastic construction for the interior circuit boards.

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‘Drift’ is basically a defect that when it occurs, the player character moves without the proper analog input and creates impossible-to-play scenarios. Back in June, the report designated the drift issue happening in two out of five original Nintendo Switch joy-con pairs, forcing consumers to shell out the ransom for an expensive new pair.

Which? Report on Joy-Con Degradation Upon Disassembly

  • While there were dustproofing cowls on the joystick components of the Joy Cons, the presence of dust and other contaminants in the internal components suggested that this protection was insufficient.
  • All the plastic circuit boards exhibited noticeable wear on the joystick slider contact points. 
  • It was concluded that this wear, and the drift issue that resulted from it, were likely due to a mechanical issue.
– Which? Report
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With further detailing, “While there are variances between the construction of the individual controllers, the common features noted are the wear on the joystick slider contact points (present on all of the plastic circuit boards) and the ingress of dust/contamination. It may therefore be the case that the drift issue is caused by the wear to the circuit board, or a combination of this wear together with the dust/contamination ingress,” regarding the issue.

The problem has been prominent since launch, but Nintendo President Shuntaro Furukawa apologized publicly in 2020 and the company has seen many class action lawsuits since, and a program to have the controllers repaired by Nintendo has seen itself overwhelmed. Consumers can still potentially utilize this program through Nintendo if their console meets the requirements of the program details, and to check fans can visit their customer support site.

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