Joy-Con drift is an issue that’s plagued Nintendo since the launch of the original Nintendo Switch in 2017 but it appears the problem won’t be going away any time soon.
The hardware refresh gave Nintendo the perfect opportunity to revisit the hit console and improve on key features — but while the console will include an updated screen, a better kickstand, improved audio and a LAN port, the OLED model reportedly won’t include upgraded Joy-Cons that address those pesky drift issues.
As reported by The Verge, Nintendo has confirmed that, “Joy-Con controller configuration and functionality did not change with Nintendo Switch (OLED model).”
When The Verge sought to clarify whether drift would be addressed with these new white Joy-Cons, it was referred to the same statement and provided no further details.
So while we can expect a refreshed Switch model perfect for first time users and those looking for a larger screen, the console will likely face the same drift issues currently impacting the entire Switch controller line-up (including the Switch Lite).
Nintendo is aware of Joy-Con drift issues
In the same statement provided to media outlets, Nintendo confirmed it was “aware of reports that some Joy-Con controllers have not responded correctly” but encouraged users suffering issues to contact Nintendo support for repair.
Many Australian users report being able to have heir Joy-Cons repaired for free under the Australian Consumer Law, but repair processes are often difficult and take time gamers may not want to spare.
It’s an unfortunate situation yet to be addressed — but the decision not to refresh the Joy-Con technology may be part of a larger problem.
Drift isn’t an issue only impacting Nintendo Switch consoles. In fact, it’s been reported by PlayStation and Xbox users, too. While reasons differ, the main ‘weak link’ culprit appears to be wear and tear on a controller’s ‘potentiometer’, the device regulating voltage and controlling directional movement.
This technology is fairly standard and exists in most modern controllers, but a natural consequence of use is the potentiometer loses sensitivity and effectiveness over time, leading to drift.
While a refreshed Switch model would have been the perfect opportunity to update the technology backing the Switch Joy-Cons, it appears the issue is a bit more complicated, and may not have an easy fix. This makes it yet another feature of the new Switch that remains the same as the previous gen.
For now, we’ll just have to wait and see if a ‘Joy-Con 2.0’ is in the cards at Nintendo. In the meantime, there are plenty of options for a repair in the event your current controllers fail.