A new study from UK consumer group Which? Nintendo has found evidence that the Switch’s infamous Joy-Con slide is caused by a mechanical fault that points to major design flaws.
The study showed that the Joy-Con’s plastic circuit boards had noticeable wear on the joystick slide’s contact points, despite only being used for months. It is this clothing that ultimately results in drifting.
In addition, dust and other contaminants have been found inside the Switch’s internal components, despite Nintendo’s efforts to protect said areas from dust.
Which one? also criticized Nintendo’s handling of the situation and its response to affected consumers.
The organization called on Nintendo to introduce a compensation or refund scheme to any UK consumer who can prove they bought a replacement Joy-Con due to drift since 2017, and said the scheme should be widely promoted.
It also called on Nintendo to offer an “indefinite” repair or replacement of all Joy-Cons that have developed drift since 2017, completely free of charge.
In response to the study, Nintendo issued the following statement: “The percentage of Joy-Con controllers that have reported problems with the analog stick in the past is small, and we’ve been making continuous improvements to the Joy-Con since its launch in 2017.”
“We expect all of our hardware to function as intended, and if anything falls short of that goal, we always encourage consumers to contact Nintendo customer support. ‘ analog sticks, including cases where the warranty no longer applies.”
It’s worth remembering that if the Joy-Con has developed drift, it should be your first point of contact Nintendo Support, which will likely repair your controllers at no charge, including shipping. In my experience, you don’t even need to provide proof of purchase, but if you are under warranty, it will certainly help your case.
Which one? also prepared a report earlier this year found that two out of five Joy-Con controllers of the original Nintendo Switch release suffered from lag.
Of course, Joy-Con drift issues have been going on for a few years now. In 2019, A A class action lawsuit has been filed against Nintendo in the US on the problem, and last year The European Commission has said it is considering launching an investigation.