Nintendo US makes it easier to report ‘controller drift’

A Nintendo Switch on display at a special event in Madison Square Park in New York, March 2017. — AFP pic
A Nintendo Switch on display at a special event in Madison Square Park in New York, March 2017. — AFP pic

JULY 23 — Nintendo’s popular Switch console is getting ready for a new surge of popularity, with the release of a more affordable Switch Lite and the long-awaited “Pokémon Sword and Shield” this fall, but malfunctioning Joy-Con gamepads could slow its momentum.

Nintendo’s first revision of the Switch games console, the Switch Lite, will sport integrated controllers instead of detachable Joy-Cons when it launches in September 2019.

Having its controllers built-in and doing away with TV mode are two ways in which the Switch Lite lessens its weight and retail price.

However, the remodel prompted some existing users to raise concerns over an apparent defect referred to as “Joy-Con drift” that affects the standard model: replacing faulty controllers won’t be as straightforward when they are part of the console as a whole.

Joy-Con drift occurs when a Nintendo Switch detects movement in its controller sticks, without corresponding user input.

Following an initial report on the condition from Kotaku, a Nintendo representative said that the company takes “great pride in creating quality products” and that “we are aware of recent reports that some Joy-Con controllers are not responding correctly.”

Visiting the Nintendo website support section was the recommended course of action.

As Kotaku then noted, the site has been recently updated so that not one of five but three of four initial options relate to Joy-Cons: repair, troubleshooting, and diagnosis of incorrect controller response.

However, the earlier report had noted that Switch owners did not appreciate paying for shipment and repairs on a US$79 controller that should work sufficiently well without intervention.

Concurrently, law firm Chimicles Schwartz Kriner & Donaldson-Smith has filed a class action complaint against Nintendo of America regarding faulty Joy-Con controllers.

The Nintendo Switch has been a commercial success since its March 2017 introduction, an atypical hybrid of home and portable console features that can be plugged into a television dock or taken on the go, with a pair of controllers that can be attached or removed from the console housing.

Over 34 million units were shipped to stores between March 2017 and March 2019, in the same ballpark as PlayStation 4 shipments over the home console’s first two years.

“Mario Kart 8 Deluxe” is currently the console’s best selling title, achieving 16.7m sales by March 2019, followed by “Super Mario Odyssey” (14.4m), “Super Smash Bros. Ultimate” (13.8m), launch title “The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild” (12.7m) and November 2018’s “Pokémon: Let’s Go!” (10.6m).

The Nintendo Switch Lite, due for release from September 20, 2019, arrives in advance of the eagerly anticipated “Pokémon Sword” and “Pokémon Shield” games, which debut worldwide on November 15, 2019. — AFP Relaxnews

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