One Nintendo Switch Joy-Con repair center was constantly overwhelmed

Daniel Sims

Posts: 453   +18
Staff
A hot potato: Joystick drift has constantly dogged the latest game consoles over the last few years. This week, one former Nintendo Switch repair center supervisor shed some light on just how bad the problem has been for Nintendo's machine.

Every defective Nintendo Switch Joy-Con that users have sent back from the Eastern US has gone through one repair shop in Syracuse, New York. An anonymous former supervisor there told Kotaku that from around the time the console launched in 2017, the shop was constantly inundated with repair and replacement orders.

The supervisor said thousands of Joy-Cons came through the repair center every week, requiring their own dedicated space and overwhelming the workers there. The tidal wave of work orders caused a high turnover rate, leading to more mistakes from inexperienced temporary employees.

During the first year of launch, the repair hub replaced the Joy-Cons, which relieved some staff pressure. However, after 2018 the shop was forced to repair all Joy-Cons it received and struggled to keep pace. Nintendo expected the shop to fix 90 percent of returned units within four days, regardless of staffing levels.

Joystick drift — the leading cause of the repair orders — persists and shows no signs of going away soon. Late last year, Nintendo's engineers said it was unavoidable and resulted from wear. Drift has also recently affected Xbox and PlayStation controllers. All three console manufacturers face class-action lawsuits over the issue.

After analyzing the PlayStation 5's controller in February, iFixit claimed that the problem might originate from cost-saving measures from the three companies. It remains to be seen whether that decision was worth the cost of the many repaired and replaced controllers and the lawsuits.

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trparky

Posts: 1,087   +1,232
Ah yes, in an effort to save money they, in the end, shot themselves in the foot. When are these companies going to learn that taking a shortcut to make more profits will always come back to haunt them?
 

NintPlayBox

Posts: 55   +45
Why am I not surprised to hear about the massive amount of defective joy cons

But what it is surprising is the fact that many of those joy cons went back to customers still defective and Nintendo knowingly kept quiet about it.
 

merikafyeah

Posts: 334   +318
Riddle me this: if drift is so "unavoidable", why are the joysticks on my Gamecube controller still fine despite being 15 years old?! All controller manufacturers need to stop cheaping out, unless they intentionally make them prone to fail to get more money from extra controller sales, but maybe I'm being too cynical?
 

VariableSpike

Posts: 83   +113
Riddle me this: if drift is so "unavoidable", why are the joysticks on my Gamecube controller still fine despite being 15 years old?! All controller manufacturers need to stop cheaping out, unless they intentionally make them prone to fail to get more money from extra controller sales, but maybe I'm being too cynical?
Exactly, I have a PS2 dualshock controller that is nigh on 22 years old, and apart from a cable jacket that is splitting from age, everything else works to a T, so it beggars belief that they are able to claim stick drift after a few years as 'wear'

Something teels me that Nintendo's "it's not a problem, just wear" attitude has meant that Sony and MS have just gone "If they can get away with it, why can't we?", which is far from a good thing
 

Neatfeatguy

Posts: 838   +1,449
Riddle me this: if drift is so "unavoidable", why are the joysticks on my Gamecube controller still fine despite being 15 years old?! All controller manufacturers need to stop cheaping out, unless they intentionally make them prone to fail to get more money from extra controller sales, but maybe I'm being too cynical?

I was going to say something similar. I picked up two replacement controllers for my PS2 shortly after I got it because one of my dogs thought the cables on the original ones would be a fun chew toy..... Those two two controllers still work without issue when I last tested them and I put a lot of play time over 4-5 years on those controllers.

The PS3 controllers I have still work fine, too.

At least so far my kid's Switch Lites haven't had any drift issues, they've had them almost 1.5 years, but they don't play on them that often, maybe an hour or two a week (on average).
 

Destrukshawn

Posts: 21   +8
Just one of the negative factors of designing and manufacturing retail products with built-in obsolescence in mind. The consumer doesn't care about your bottom line, they care about quality products that last. If you fail to provide and continue to monopolize for personal gains, you too will disappear. Consumers speak with their wallets, businesses rely on consumer spending, you do the math.
 

BadThad

Posts: 1,039   +1,193
Undoubtedly, a consequence of trying to make it cheaper. As far as controllers, they must be of the highest quality materials or the end-user will hate it.