The Nintendo Switch has been a massive hit for Nintendo, and the company is launching a cheaper “Lite” version of the console in just a few weeks. No game console is without its issues, though. Switch owners have increasingly reported “Joy-Con Drift” problems that cause unintended movements. It’s no “red ring of death,” but gamers are still annoyed. Now, Nintendo is reportedly taking it seriously, according to a leaked internal memo.
Switch owners started whispering about Joy-Con Drift shortly after the console’s launch. Because of some internal hardware fault, the thumbsticks on some Joy-Con controllers begin registering movement even when you’re not touching them. The result is in-game avatars that slowly creep across the screen.
Nintendo has always performed free repairs on Joy-Cons under warranty, but owners had to jump through all the usual hoops to confirm warranty status. If they couldn’t or the console was no longer under warranty, they’d have to pay for the repair. A new internal memo leaked to Vice Games indicates Nintendo is lifting restrictions in light of the problem’s scale. Nintendo has apparently informed reps that customers no longer have to provide proof of purchase for Joy-Con repairs. In addition, the company won’t even have to confirm warranty status.
So, anyone with a defective Joy-Con can get it repaired for free — probably. Nintendo won’t confirm the internal memo at this time. We may need to wait for Switch owners to report back with their experiences dealing with the company. Vice did call Nintendo to report Joy-Con Drift, and the phone rep seemed happy to initiate a free repair. If you’ve already had your controllers repaired, the memo says representatives should issue a refund after confirming the previous repair. Out-of-warranty repairs for Joy-Con Drift reportedly cost about $ 40 prior to this change, and Nintendo’s memo says customers who complain about the charge for previous repairs can get a refund.
Nintendo doesn’t acknowledge in the memo that there’s a pervasive problem with the Joy-Cons, but it is giving customers the benefit of the doubt. We can only hope the company is taking the issue seriously. The new Switch Lite doesn’t have removable controllers like the original Switch. If those thumbsticks have the same issues, it will be much more annoying to have the hardware repaired or replaced.
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