Since the Nintendo Switch was released in 2017, the console’s controllers, called Joy-Cons, have been plagued with a variety of hardware problems, the greatest of which is “stick drift” – the tendency of joysticks to move even when not touched. Despite five years of complaints and even a lawsuit at one point, Nintendo has yet to make any overarching change to their controllers, only promising in 2019 that they would fix any Joy-Cons sent back for repair. While this promise remained intact for the last three years, Nintendo supposedly making improvements to the Joy-Con along the way, a recent study from consumer group Which? has revealed that, in a group of 919 UK-based Switch owners, almost 40% of users reported problems. Of that demographic, 73% contacted Nintendo about it.
However, of that 73%, almost 20% of users reported that, despite turning in their complaints to Nintendo, they never received a replacement, repair, or any word relating to the two. Rocio Concha, Which?’s director of policy and advocacy, released a statement yesterday, June 14th, stating:
Our research shows that ‘drift’ problems continue to plague Nintendo Switch owners yet too often they can be left footing the bill themselves to replace faulty controllers or face a lottery when they contact Nintendo for support.
As a result, Concha urged Nintendo to run their own investigation on the matter, looking into what causes the hardware problem and pleading to make the findings public once complete. Further, Concha believed that Nintendo should commit to free-of-charge repairs and replacements, especially due to the long-running nature of the hardware issue.
When the study was released, Which? reached out to Nintendo for a statement. In reply, the company said:
The percentage of Joy-Con controllers that have been reported as experiencing issues with the analogue stick in the past is small, and we have been making continuous improvements to the Joy-Con analogue stick since its launch in 2017.
The company goes on to encourage Switch owners to reach out with their disabled Joy-Cons and that they will be “happy to openly and leniently resolve any consumer issues related to the Joy-Con controllers’ analog sticks,” even in situations where the warranty no longer applies. Whether or not this will be the reality of the situation as it continues to play out remains to be seen. However, by all intents, Nintendo appears ready and willing to help users with their Joy-Con issues.