UK consumer watchdog Which? has concluded that the Nintendo Switch Joy-Con controllers which are infamous for drifting are “likely due to a mechanical fault – pointing to design flaws and suggesting that the video game giant should act urgently to fix the issue and assist affected consumers more proactively.” The team at Which sourced five sets of faulty Joy-Con controllers from consumers, plus their Nintendo Switch consoles and then sent them to a specialist laboratory for teardown analysis. The lab reported back that the Joy-Cons did indeed suffer drift and that it commonly affected the left-hand stick. Here’s their findings:
“While there were dust proofing cowls on the joystick components of the Joy-Cons, the presence of dust and other contaminants in the internal components suggested that this protection was insufficient.
All the plastic circuit boards exhibited noticeable wear on the joystick slider contact points, despite only being used for months.
It was concluded that this wear, and the drift issue that resulted from it, were likely due to a mechanical issue.
The lab report stated: ‘Whilst there are variances between the construction of the individual controllers, the common features noted are the wear on the joystick slider contact points (present on all of the plastic circuit boards) and the ingress of dust/ contamination.
‘It may therefore be the case that the drift issue is caused by the wear to the circuit board or a combination of this wear together with the dust/ contamination ingress.”