Nintendo engineers say Switch Joy-Con drift is caused by wear, and is unavoidable

Shawn Knight

Posts: 13,615   +139
Staff member
Recap: Nintendo has been grappling with Joy-Con drift – an issue in which the joysticks on its Switch handheld console register inputs without even touching them – for years. The problem has also plagued Switch Lite owners, and it’s even worse for them because the culprits are built into that handheld.

One enthusiast recently shared a simple fix for the issue, but it doesn’t appear as if Nintendo will be able to totally stamp out the problem.

In a recent Q&A session with developers regarding the Nintendo Switch OLED model, Nintendo executive Toru Yamashita said they have repeatedly improved the wear resistance and durability of the analog sticks that ship with various Switch models. Nintendo has also improved its internal reliability testing procedure, Yamashita added.

Even with the improvements, wear is unavoidable.

Another executive, Ko Shiota, likened the matter to a vehicle’s tires which wear out over time due to the constant friction of being in contact with driving surfaces. “So with that same premise, we asked ourselves how we can improve durability, and not only that, but how can both operability and durability coexist? It’s something we are continuously tackling,” the executive noted.

Yamashita added that the degree of wear depends on multiple factors including the combination of materials and forms. As such, Nintendo is constantly researching to determine which combinations of materials are least likely to wear down.

Nintendo has faced multiple class-action lawsuits over the Joy-Con drift issue, but that has done little to slow the success of the Switch platform. The company’s latest iteration, the Switch OLED model, launches today alongside Metroid Dread priced at $349.99.

Image credit Pixabay, Ehimetalor Akhere Unuabona

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Dimitriid

Posts: 1,334   +2,606
Much like Apple, it shows you why Nintendo and these companies are so adamant about establishing a walled garden: They can basically laugh off and dismiss quality concerns because where else are you going to find the same 10 franchises they've been milking for almost 40 years now?

Just buy another one, here we'll make one that has Mario doll that comes with it, call it exclusive edition and intentionally make like 1/10th the volume so it becomes a sought after commodity to collect the 30 cents plastic doll.
 

Avro Arrow

Posts: 1,859   +2,215
TechSpot Elite
"Another executive, Ko Shiota, likened the matter to a vehicle’s tires which wear out over time due to the constant friction of being in contact with driving surfaces."
Well if that's the case, why doesn't it happen to Playstation and Xbox controllers? What does this guy think, that game consoles are some new thing?
One enthusiast recently shared a simple fix for the issue, but it doesn’t appear as if Nintendo will be able to totally stamp out the problem.
I know a permanent fix:
*Whistles at Logitech to get working on their version of the Switch controller*
 

defaultluser

Posts: 280   +243
So four years after Nintendo introduced the heap that is the Joycon (with it;'a associated low threshold for wear, because they packed tiny things into as convertible shell, their response is:

1. Finally acknowledge Joycon Drift and
2. basically say "Suck it, you already bought into the system!"

If anyone ever wants to know why I won't buy modern Nintendo products, it's because they have this attitude like "and, what are you going to do about it? Build your own portable?"

When they just castrate an idea they spent 40 long years on (their Dpad, in use since the Game and Watch), just because they had a GRANDE VISION up their *** about convertible-half-controller that ends up being still-too-tiny-for-anyon-over-the-age-of-6-to-actuaslly-hold, while also packing these devices into the smallest shell ever imagined!

I'm not surprised that these things sold (I mean, fools already bougtht nearly 15 million Wii-Us,) but this clear " You know you want a pice of this" attatuide just turns me off!
 
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Rayneofpayne

Posts: 480   +410
While I can understand what they are saying, perhaps make a new mechanism then? And stop using cheap plastics perhaps?
I still have PS2, GameCube, PS3, N64, as well as Psp, Vita and such never wore out the joystick in a way that would lead to drift, and I am hammering them since I bought them playing fighting games.
What in the nine hells half assed engineering or materials can you possibly be using? The only drift issues I have had was with my Valve Index controllers and I fixed it by soldering in a better actuation potentiometer, even My Rift S controllers are nearly indestructible.
So I have to ask why is the all mighty nintendumb not just increasing the quality, sell an adult version of the switch for $500 I dare you all metal magnesium frame glass lcd of better quality and fix your crappy joycon design.