The chances of Nintendo fixing Joy-Con drift with new Switch are slim to none
The company has been characteristically tight-lipped about any sort of solution with the 'upgraded' console.
Nintendo’s forthcoming follow-up to the Switch is a minor upgrade. It is not a Switch Pro by any stretch of the imagination, and longtime Nintendo fans are mighty disappointed about it. Some of the most-requested features for a new Switch console, including the ability to play titles in 4K, have been scrapped in favor of a slightly larger OLED screen and… a wired internet port.
But if there’s any one feature that current Switch owners have been anxiously awaiting since the console’s release in 2017, it’s replacement controllers that actually work. The analog sticks on the Switch’s Joy-Con controllers have a long and tired history of drifting — a history Nintendo steadfastly refuses to acknowledge.
That’s almost certainly not changing with the OLED Switch. In its announcement of the “upgraded” (quotes for sarcasm) console, Nintendo mentioned that the Joy-Cons included with the new Switch are “the same as the controllers currently available.” That doesn’t exactly inspire confidence.
And it only gets worse from there. Any reporters who have asked Nintendo about the OLED Switch’s Joy-Cons have been met with a whole lot of dodging.
Nintendo won’t say yes (or no) — When Nintendo dropped its announcement trailer for the OLED Switch last week, it left out some conspicuous details. No mention was made of the new Switch’s processing power, for example; same goes for info about the controllers and the console’s output quality.
So it was up to fans and journalists to put in the foot work to find out these pertinent details. Several prominent outlets, including the likes of The Verge, Wired, and Polygon, reached out to Nintendo directly about the OLED Switch’s controller situation. The company’s tepid, guarded response — which it sent to everyone who asked — speaks loud and clear.
“Joy-Con configuration and functionality did not change with the Nintendo Switch (OLED model),” the company said. Which doesn’t answer the question even a little bit. If anything, it confirms Nintendo will be sticking to the status quo with this one — and, therefore, brushing off Joy-Con drift until every last one of the controllers is in a landfill.
Same old story — Joy-Con drift has been an issue since the dawn of (the Switch’s) time. That’s how it feels, at least; controller issues have been a problem for the Switch since just after the console made its way into our homes. The only recourse Nintendo has taken since the Switch’s initial release in 2017 is to reduce the price of a Joy-Con down from $50 to $40. So now it’s slightly more affordable to buy new controllers when yours seem possessed.
And so, with the release of the Switch (OLED edition), Nintendo continues to do what it does best: rake in the big bucks and hope fans don’t make too much of a fuss when their controllers go on the fritz. We’ll definitely keep complaining about it — but there’s also no chance a faulty joystick or two will stop us from buying up all the new hits coming to the Switch this year.