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The Verge 12 July, 2021 - 10:00am 62 views

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Four years in, Joy-Con drift isn't going away

Nintendo's latest Switch revision is just a few months away from release, with the super-slick Switch OLED model hitting stores on 8th October. Naturally, it'd make sense for gaming fans to hope that the new revision includes updated Joy-Con controllers that finally do away with the issue of Joy-Con drift, but Nintendo's latest statement on the matter isn't giving us any confidence.

As we already know, Nintendo has previously announced that the Joy-Con included with the Switch OLED "are the same as the controllers currently available." While this could be interpreted as being exactly the same, including everything from their appearance right down to the bothersome parts that cause Joy-Con drift, it could also mean that the new controllers are simply compatible with all of the same things, working in the same way as the originals but with potentially improved parts doing the job.

Perhaps that second possibility was just wishful thinking, though. The Verge – along with Wired, Polygon, GameSpot – put the question of Joy-Con drift to Nintendo; the question-dodging nature of the company's response probably tells us everything we need to know.

"Joy-Con controller configuration and functionality did not change with Nintendo Switch (OLED model)."

The Verge says, "...We didn’t ask about the 'configuration' or 'functionality,' as it was pretty clear from Nintendo’s announcement that the controllers would be the same. We asked about drift, which is a reliability issue. And when we asked the question again in an even clearer fashion, we were referred to the same statement."

It's not exactly a surprise, but if you were hoping for the new Joy-Con to finally be a bit more reliable, we're afraid you're probably out of luck.


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Comments (45)

They don't say it because it doesn't. Just get yourself a pro controller for all joystick intensive games and you're all set.

No chance they changed anything, the whole console is about minimal upgrades.

Average life span before Joy-Con drift is 2 years. I’ve got through two sets of Joy-Con with my second pair now beginning to suffer. The amount of people this affects is pretty horrible. My Switch doesn’t get massive amounts of action, either. They should really be doing something to rectify this …

I have had my Switch for less than a year and I now have upwards drift on the stick, which has utterly ruined my Pokémon Snap play. FFS Nintendo.

@SigmaNoire But doesn't playing with the Pro Controller imply that you are planning to play the games on TV which somewhat defeats the point of the OLED model since that one only improves the handheld-mode experience over the original model but not the docked-mode

Nintendo wouldn't mention if the new ones fixed Joy-Con drift even if they did because it would result in Nintendo losing the lawsuits about Joy-Con drift.

The problem will either be fixed silently or not at all.

It looks like sales from joycons are going to keep decreasing, as more and more people realize that they aren't worth it for 2 years, and that's if you're lucky to have good joycons.

In other news, the sky is blue.

@Diddy64 actually they sell a whole lot of them and thats why they are not going to fix them

@ottospooky Happened to me in first 6 months, so I guess I am especially "lucky".

@mariomaster96 I understand that, I would love to play in Handheld mode more, but playing Smash or a lot of other action games just wrecks the Joycons so fast. Imo because the handheld mode relies on Joycons, OLED model is just not worth it, even as a new buy.

I got about a year of drift free joy cons. That was without a pro controller for docked play. Now I just use compressed air and contact cleaner to keep my joy cons just about working. Still wouldn't use them for anything needing accuracy.

Doug Bowser sir, if you are listening, if you make a new revised Joy-Con without drift I promise to buy 10 copies of Mario Golf. Make this happen please Mr. Doug and I promise you won't be disappointed.

I hope all of this bites them in the ass in a huge way someday. A company shouldn't be able to get away with this. It's criminal, and I don't need to wait for a judge's ruling to know that for sure.

That is unfortunate, but not at all surprising. They already announced that the new system uses the exact same Joy-Con controllers; why would they somehow, magically, be any different? Oh yeah... they wouldn't. I am not too concerned because I almost exclusively use Pro controllers, and to this day I have never experienced drift on any of my own Joy-Cons.

Not suprised, but my Joy Cons don't drift anyway.

-however my Pro Controller does. Nobody is sage!

I hate drift! 4 joy-cons got drift of which 2 were hardly used which was surprising. They were fixed by nintendo with new parts and returned......within a few weeks 2 got drift again so I gave up.

However, my Pro-controller and Hori-split pads have been my go to and saved my Switch experience. Such a shame the Joy-cons are a heap of trash

I know for sure I got drift on my first set of controllers, my second set is having moments, but its not fully there yet.

Seems like an odd setup, must be making more money from selling joy-cons than losing in lawsuits.

@Crockin Most are probably from kids parents, but even that won't last forever. Edit: I think that they purposely didn't fix it to evade losing the joycon lawsuit.

I like my switch but I am seriously getting fed up with the attitude of Nintendo on the two following issues :

@Kimyonaakuma Sage? What does being wise has to do with this?

Nintendo won’t admit Drift is an issue. By saying that they addressed it with this new configuration would be to admit there is a problem.

Nintendo will never publicly acknowledge whether JoyCon drift has been fixed or not as long as they are being litigated over it.

If they fix it without a full ‘Joycon 2.0’ design then it’s them admitting that it actually is a problem that requires fixing meaning they’re probably liable to fix any and all joycon.t we’ll probably have to ignore it until ‘Joycon Pro’ is released which completely redesigned innards

Joy cons are the worst main controller for any console I've ever owned and by far the least reliable and this is dating back to the Atari 2600 in the 80's which is still working perfectly

Full disclaimer, I never owned an Atari 5200 so I'm not including that 😛

No comment = 100% No fix then...

@Diddy64 if they stopped selling with momentum, they would have fixed it. The lawsuits are nothing for them, they are built into the losses. If they could make them even cheaper, they would. I promise you joycons will continue to be easy money as long they are releasing must have software.

Edit: plus they would never say there was something wrong with their product even without the lawsuits

I gave up on joy cons long ago, and I don't really want to spend money on them again.

Nintendo, I love you, but you really ought to be ashamed of yourselves on this one. It's fine if you have trouble fixing it I guess, but do not dance around the issue like it's not even there.

@Crockin Oh well, I'll just continue using third party joycons.

Imagine Nintendo doing anything but the bare minimum... That'll be a blissful day...

I don't even use joy con much at all and yet I have had them drift at points, though fixable. And my launch pair had the SL/SR buttons and the rail LEDs break too, so that's fun.

Wish the handheld experience was more comfortable. Then I would actually play it more, instead of doing so maybe once a week if that for like half and hour. Somehow I find the DS and 3ds way more comfortable to play despite them being literal rectangles and super small? Then with switch it never feels right to hold the thing handheld. I don't understand how they managed that.

Nintendo - great software, terrible everything else

Absolute clown world. Even if Nintendo had managed to produce joycons that don't drift, they wouldn't be able to promote them as such because that would mean admitting that the previous joycons drifted in the first place. Typical Japanese stubborness.

This is not something unique to Nintendo, it's worth pointing out, it's also not unique to Joy-Cons. This happens to Pro-Controllers too and the PS5 Dualsense has widespread issues with it as well. It's the components and their complexity and it's unlikely to be fixed any time soon.

The only solution they can do really, all of them, is to build controllers that allow for easy removal and replacement of certain components such as the analogue sticks. It's relatively easy to do with a JoyCon, but they could make it a lot easier and they don't sell official replacements. But even then that opens up a whole bunch more potential other breaking points.

It's easier for all of them to offer the repair service and settle a few lawsuits here and there. Especially as most will not think much of it and just buy a new controller.

Maybe Nintendo should adapt to the analog stick technology of the past, but that would require bulking up the Joy Cons. They'd have to redesign it from the ground up, remove the flawed components, and design a new frame to hold it all in. I mean, why do you think people prefer Microsoft and Sony over Nintendo, to a point of buying Xbox Series X/S and PlayStation 5 from Scalpers? I mean, Xbox has Halo and Rare, while PlayStation has Ratchet & Clank!

Still had no issues with any of my joycons, even on the launch model, I still feel this is a dust issue more than anything else, I always put my spare joycons away in a draw when not in use, and always put my Switch in a carry case charging with a usb-c cable, then dock or play as needed.


How do you explain the fact this does not affect everybody.


Yes gamers demand more precision from the joysticks, then complain they are more sensitive to external factors etc, you just have to be more careful with your tech.

The way Nintendo answer and their attitude is shameless, pedant, disrespectful and rude. That second answer...

But hey, they don't have time for fixing faulty hardware, they are too busy marketing their next full-priced port. I hope that they lose all the joy-con lawsuits.

@SigmaNoire You could probably buy a Spilt Pad Pro in order to play Switch portably without worrying about drifting Joy Con, or this controller if you want to use controllers both portably and on the TV could work too.

I have a theory that drift is more likely to present after a period of inactivity, just going by personal experience. Anyone else found this?

At this point I would have hoped people would stop buying joy-con.

Nintendo don't want to know and they are repairable. So people need to stop giving Nintendo money for these pieces of junk.

Once model ≠ new controllers. I don't think it'll ever coincide with the release of a newer console model.

@noobish_hat not exclusive to Japan at all. Apple is WAY worse about this. Literally any big company that sells consumer goods is doing this. Drug companies, construction, food, auto parts, software, electronics, on and on.

Nintendo has only ever obliquely admitted that Joy Con stick drift even exists. At least in North America, they still repair Joy Cons for free. I think that's as close as they've ever come to a direct acknowledgement that it's a problem.

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"Realistically, he’d be on a toilet"

Everything you need to know about the new console

Controller updates arrive with Version 12.1.0

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Read full article at The Verge

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GamesRadar 12 July, 2021 - 11:16am

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Nintendo won’t say if the OLED Switch fixes the console’s worst problem

Yahoo Entertainment 12 July, 2021 - 09:46am

For years, Switch owners have been experiencing issues with the removable Joy-Con controllers. The analog sticks on the controllers input random commands even when the player is not touching them. It’s still not entirely clear what causes this issue or why it occurs so frequently. Nintendo even set up a page on its support site specifically for Joy-Con repairs. There was some hope that despite the lack of 4K graphics or improved battery life, the OLED Nintendo Switch would at least address the Joy-Con drift problem. Sadly, this doesn’t appear to be the case.

After the OLED Switch reveal, several publications inquired about changes to the Joy-Con. Here is the response that each of them received from a Nintendo representative:

“The Joy-Con controller configuration and functionality did not change with Nintendo Switch system (OLED model),” the representative told The Verge, Wired, Polygon, and GameSpot. “The configuration and functionality is the same as that of the Joy-Con controllers for the Nintendo Switch console.”

The statement goes on to note that Nintendo is “aware of reports that some Joy-Con controllers have not responded correctly.” They then encourage anyone experiencing problems with their controllers to visit so they can get the help they need.

This certainly isn’t the response that fans were hoping to receive. That said, it won’t come as much of a surprise after Nintendo confirmed that every previously released Joy-Con would be compatible with the OLED Switch, and that every upcoming Joy-Con would work with the older Switch models as well. It looks like we’ll be waiting until the actual Switch Pro arrives for a Joy-Con update.

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Nintendo does a 'no comment' on whether or not the OLED Switch will have Joy-Con drift issues – Destructoid

Destructoid 12 July, 2021 - 09:00am

It took me several years to experience Joy-Con drift, but when it hit, it hit. Both of my original Switch units were struck with it, and although I was able to send both pairs of Joy-Con in for repair for free through Nintendo of America; I did need to pick up a backup set to do my job. And for folks that only have one pair of the pricey controllers, I feel for you.

As a whole, Nintendo has been fairly mum on the drift issue, as they have pending lawsuits afoot. Nintendo’s president has tried to change the subject during several investor Q&As, and in basically any interview with any arm of the company, they try and steer the conversation away from drift. That includes this past week, when The Verge asked about potential Switch OLED model drift. Speaking to the outlet, Nintendo provided the following statement when asked if the OLED Joy-Con would have drift issues:

“The Joy-Con controller configuration and functionality did not change with Nintendo Switch (OLED model). The configuration and functionally is the same as that of the Joy-con controllers for the Nintendo Switch console. At Nintendo, we take great pride in creating quality products and we are continuously making improvements to them. We are aware of reports that some Joy-Con controllers have not responded correctly. We want our consumers to have fun with Nintendo Switch, and if anything falls short of this goal we always encourage them to visit so we can help.”

When pressed again, as the statement didn’t actually address drift directly, Nintendo “referred [them] to the original statement.” When in doubt, rely on launch teardowns and hands-on experience: but don’t expect drifting to be fixed. In any case, hopefully they can still be fixed for free by the time the OLED console is in full swing.

Filed under... #Hardware#Nintendo#Nintendo Switch

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Who is the Nintendo Switch OLED really for?

TechRadar 11 July, 2021 - 09:00am

Opinion: The new Switch is a bit of an OLED down

Why? Well, because it comes with a 7-inch OLED screen, of course, which should make Switch games look more vibrant and alluring when played in handheld and tabletop mode. It’s also slightly larger than the 6.2-inch display of the original, so competitive games of Mario Kart 8 Deluxe when played in tabletop mode should feel less cramped.

The new display is a huge plus, then, as anyone who has seen an OLED screen in action can testify how its inky blacks and superior contrast ratios make it one of the best display technologies around. Nintendo’s artstyle and bold color palette will also lend itself wonderfully to the punchy picture quality an OLED display can provide, too.

But what about the rest of the Switch OLED’s package? Well, there’s more to be annoyed about than pleased, with five standout issues that make Nintendo’s new $349.99 / £309 / AU$539 machine a hard sell to anyone but new adopters. It ultimately begs the question, then: who is the Nintendo Switch OLED really for?

One of the most widely suggested rumors about a Nintendo Switch upgrade was that the console would output at 4K resolution when docked. And honestly, that made total sense. 4K has become the standard for most households these days, and Switch games tend to look noticeably soft when outputting at 1080p on larger displays.

Surely, then, Nintendo’s new Switch outputs at 4K? Well, no. Amazingly, in 2021, we’ll still be bound to a resolution of 1080p when playing Switch on a TV, which feels horribly outdated when 4K TVs offer quadruple the pixels of 1080p. Yes, Nintendo would have had to probably update its software to support higher resolutions, but the results would have been extremely impressive. Just look how good Mario Kart 8 Deluxe looks running at 4K in the video below.

It’s a real shame that the Switch OLED can’t output or at least upscale to 4K when connected to a TV, then, something which the Xbox One S was able to do when it launched back in 2013. I guess we’ll have to wait for the Nintendo Switch 2 before Ultra HD comes to a Nintendo system.

With no 4K output on the new Switch, it’s less of a surprise that running games on the Switch OLED won’t result in any tangible improvement to a game’s framerate or graphical quality, but it certainly would have been welcomed. With the PS5 and Xbox Series X making 60fps the standard, and 120fps support now widely adopted by Microsoft’s flagship console in particular, the knowledge that the majority of Switch OLED games will run at a treacle-like 30fps and below is hard to take.

An increase in horsepower could have helped smooth out older titles such as The Legend of Zelda: The Breath of the Wild, which has never managed to run at a solid 30 frames per second. More games could have targeted a native 720p resolution when running in handheld mode, too, instead of the sub-native resolution numbers we see today, like how The Witcher 3 runs at 540p. Urgh. 

As most of the benefits for the new Nintendo Switch OLED are in handheld mode, it’s a genuine concern that, hopefully, Nintendo hasn’t overlooked this time around.

The new Nintendo Switch OLED has smaller bezels than the original, giving it a modern facelift as well as a larger display, increasing the existing 6.2-inch screen to 7-inches. That would be fine, but the resolution is still capped at 720p in handheld mode which could mean you’re going to get less pixels per inch and potentially a less crisp image as a result.

You’re still going to get the original 1080p resolution when the console is in docked mode, but given how close you’ll be to the display when playing it as a handheld device, the extra 0.8-inches of screen will need to stretch the image quality. It’s claimed that if you hold a 7-inch display at least 16-inches away from you then pixels become indistinguishable anyway, but it’s fairly bold to assume that gamers will keep the Switch OLED at a sizable distance at all times, and a lot of Switch games don’t even run at 720p, with the likes of Super Mario Odyssey, Xenoblade Chronicles 2 and Doom all falling below the 720p native resolution of the Switch’s display.

Nintendo games are hardly known for their awe-inspiring realism, but popular titles like Zelda: Breath of the Wild boast beautiful graphics, and playing them in docked mode was already preferable to playing them on a cramped display. If the larger display size impacts the quality of gameplay, then the benefits of the OLED will be outweighed by the decision to play them at a higher resolution.

The situation could be similar to the Nintendo 3DS XL, which despite having a bigger display, made games look more pixelated as a result.

The Nintendo Switch isn’t an attractive proposition for those who wanted better performance and 4K output, then, and those who play exclusively in handheld mode will have already opted for the cheaper Nintendo Switch Lite

As a replacement for the aging Nintendo Switch it makes more sense, but it costs $50 more than the original, and it isn’t packed with the types of improvements people have been clamoring for. New adopters will obviously benefit from being able to buy the best Nintendo Switch made to date, but for everyone else, it’s hard to justify upgrading to the Switch OLED.

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