Nintendo pressured by UK watchdog to fix Switch’s Joy-Con issue

by Danny Craig  ·  Updated 
Nintendo pressured by UK watchdog to fix Switch’s Joy-Con issue

Which?, a UK-based consumer rights watchdog, has put out a press release that urges Nintendo to fix the highly-reported Joy-Con issue of stick drift. This comes following tests conducted by Which? in October 2022.

The details:

  • The issue of ‘stick drift’ has become prevalent among Nintendo Switch owners, with a survey carried out by Which? reporting that 40% of Switch owners in the UK experience their controllers moving in-game without any input from them.
  • Which?’s test began by sourcing five controllers purchased between 2017 and 2019 from players who reported issues with drifting. These were then sent to a lab for a full teardown and examination of what was causing the fault.
  • The teardown revealed that all five Joy-Con sets were suffering from drifting, with the left stick being the most commonly affected. Despite Nintendo's efforts to dust-proof the sticks in the controller’s design, there was enough dirt and dust within them to suggest that the protection was "insufficient.” According to Which?, the controllers' circuit boards also "exhibited noticeable wear" — despite the fact that they had "only been used for months" at the time of the test.
  • Following these findings, Which? is urging Nintendo to implement a "compensation or refund plan" for all UK customers who can "prove" they purchased replacement Joy-Cons due to stick drift. The compensation would include a free repair or replacement of the impacted controllers.

What did Nintendo say about the problem, and what should I do if my Joy-Cons have drift?

  • Nintendo said "the percentage of Joy-Con controllers that have been reported as experiencing issues with the analogue stick in the past is small" and that they have been "making continuous improvements" to the control sticks since 2017.
  • If your Joy-Cons have or are currently experiencing drift, you should contact Nintendo Support — even if they’re out of warranty. You can book a repair on Nintendo’s support site and they’ll provide a free printable shipping label. You then need to send your Switch, along with proof of purchase if you have it, to Nintendo. The repair should be completely free if your console is under warranty, with Nintendo allegedly taking an "open and lenient" approach to out-of-warranty repairs.
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