Nintendo Steps Up To Fix Your Finicky Switch Joy-con Controllers
At the time, Nintendo provided us with the following guidance:
We have received some reports and are looking into them. As with all Nintendo video game systems, we will continue to monitor the performance of Nintendo Switch hardware and software, and make improvements when necessary. For help with any hardware or software related questions, visit http://support.nintendo.com.
Now that Nintendo has had over two weeks to examine the problem, it has issued the following statement on its findings:
There is no design issue with the Joy-Con controllers, and no widespread proactive repair or replacement effort is underway. A manufacturing variation has resulted in wireless interference with a small number of the left Joy-Con. Moving forward this will not be an issue, as the manufacturing variation has been addressed and corrected at the factory level.
We have determined a simple fix can be made to any affected Joy-Con to improve connectivity.
There are other reasons consumers may be experiencing wireless interference. We are asking consumers to contact our customer support team so we can help them determine if a repair is necessary. If it is, consumers can send their controller directly to Nintendo for the adjustment, free of charge, with an anticipated quick return of less than a week. Repair timing may vary by region. For help with any hardware or software questions, please visit http://support.nintendo.com.
Even though Nintendo says that there is no design defect, it is nonetheless taking the added step of repairing defective controllers for Switch owners. Instead of making your own home-brewed solution (like adding wire to improve antenna reception), it might be in your best interest to take Nintendo up on its offer for a warranty repair.
That’s just what CNET’s Sean Hollister did; he sent his left Joy-Con controller off for repair, and it was returned to him in less than a week. When he cracked open the returned Joy-Con controller, the only change he could find was the addition of a tiny piece of conductive foam that was affixed atop the antenna traces on the circuit board (to prevent interference).
Hollister also notes that Nintendo must have corrected whatever issues were affecting Joy-Cons with the latest production batch, as the new controller that he ordered from Amazon (which had different code/batch numbers inside the housing) doesn’t have connectivity issues. Interestingly enough, the controller also doesn’t have the foam inside.
Needless to say, if you’re having connectivity issues, take Nintendo up on its offer to repair your Joy-Con for free. And if you’re buying a Nintendo Switch from this point forward (or additional Joy-Con controllers), it appears that the issue has been resolved in production.