Skip to main content

Nintendo: Switch Joy-Con Issues Are No Biggie

Nintendo released its new Switch console on March 3. In the weeks since, the web has buzzed with complaints about connectivity problems with the left Joy-Con controller, which can be used as half of a traditional gamepad or as a standalone controller when you have a hankering for multiplayer action.

We noticed these connectivity problems with our own Switch. Obstructing the connection between the Joy-Con and the Switch led to input lag, repeated commands, or a total lack of response. Wiggling our foot or placing our hand in our lap was still enough to cause problems with the controller-- and that was after we followed Nintendo's advice to move the Switch away from other wireless devices and put the console in front of our TV instead of behind it.

Nintendo responded to these complaints with the following statement. We first spotted the statement in a Forbes article, but we confirmed with Nintendo that it's accurate and legitimate:

At Nintendo, we take great pride in creating quality products and we want our consumers to have a positive experience. It is common with any new innovative consumer technology for consumers to have questions, and Nintendo Switch is no exception. There are no widespread technical problems, and all issues are being handled promptly, including the reports regarding the left Joy-Con Bluetooth connection. To best support our customers, we continuously update the online consumer support site and provide real-time answers to the questions we are receiving. We want our consumers to get up and running quickly to have fun with Nintendo Switch, and if anything falls short of this goal we encourage them to contact Nintendo’s Consumer Service team. For help with any hardware or software questions, please visit: http://support.nintendo.com.

The company also said that "the total number of repair or replacement requests for Nintendo Switch, including for Joy-Con, is consistent with what we’ve seen for any new hardware Nintendo has launched." That provides some useful perspective--it shows that the Switch's launch problems don't stand out when compared to the console's predecessors--but without hard figures it's impossible to figure out how widespread these problems actually are.

Online echo chambers also make it hard to gauge the Switch launch. Many people who purchased the console and haven't experienced any problems aren't going to seek out messaging boards to report their findings. Instead, the consumers who do encounter hardware defects are going to be the ones who start clacking away at their keyboards, usually with the hope of figuring out how they can address whatever issue they've found in their newest toy.

Not that reported Joy-Con issues have held the Switch's launch back. Retailers still can't keep the device in stock--Target restricts sales to its physical stores, Amazon offers the console only from third-party sellers, and Walmart's online store doesn't have the Switch, either. Anecdotally, our local Best Buy had signs at its entrance apologizing to prospective shoppers for not having the Switch in stock.

You can learn more about the Switch in our hands-on with the console. We've also covered the device's current lack of a Virtual Console for access to old games, Nintendo embracing downloadable content with The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild, and the Switch's official specs.

  • techy1966
    So they have had reported problems with the joy cons but hey it is not a big deal. Maybe it is or maybe not. The problem here is this sort of thing should have never made it out of the testing phase and released like that. Now maybe a firmware fixes it but you would have thought this problem would have surfaced before it was released and the fix if only software would have been done already. If it is a hardware problem then that as well should have been fixed before release. Some will say oh but maybe it was something that never surfaced until in certain types of conditions. Well it is up to Nintendo to test under all kinds of conditions so things like this don't happen after release. I am not picking on Nintendo here I sai that every company should do the same kind of testing to make sure things happen and work the expected way once a customer buys your product.
    Reply
  • jeremy2020
    Classic Nintendo. They taught everyone else about screwing your customers.
    Reply
  • Giroro
    "We told people they are holding it wrong, and nothing else. We are very proud about how we fixed the issue"
    -Nintendo.

    So it's simple, don't use the left joycon around other wireless devices... Including wifi, your phone, your TV, and the right joycon.
    Reply
  • dstarr3
    A thing like this is usually referred to as a "known shippable." They know the problem exists, but they deem it low-priority-enough to fix it after release rather than before, if ever. It's not great, but it's certainly nothing unique to Nintendo.
    Reply
  • wurkfur
    My neighbor already returned his. The system is an absolute joke. No real way to protect the screen or use a nice leather cover. Just piss poor engineering all around. I don't even think Pokemon can save this pile of crap.
    Reply
  • airborne11b
    It may be a manufacturing defect in a small percentage of joycons. I placed my switch 50 feet away and I stood in my kitchen with the joycon's line of sight obstructed by cabinets and I could not get a single de-sync issue to appear. And that's pretty fucking solid, it shouldn't even be that good.

    If you're one of the tiny percentage of people with a defective console / joycon, just utilize your warranty and get a replacement. Just like you do with every other electronic product on the planet.

    Also, you can protect your screen easily 2 different ways:
    1. Don't jam it in the dock as hard as you can like a moron.
    2. Get a tempered glass screen protector for $5(Which you should have because it's a f'n mobile device.), which doesn't affect it's ability to dock or undock at all.
    Reply
  • wurkfur
    19457248 said:
    It may be a manufacturing defect in a small percentage of joycons. I placed my switch 50 feet away and I stood in my kitchen with the joycon's line of sight obstructed by cabinets and I could not get a single de-sync issue to appear. And that's pretty fucking solid, it shouldn't even be that good.

    If you're one of the tiny percentage of people with a defective console / joycon, just utilize your warranty and get a replacement. Just like you do with every other electronic product on the planet.

    Also, you can protect your screen easily 2 different ways:
    1. Don't jam it in the dock as hard as you can like a moron.
    2. Get a tempered glass screen protector for $5(Which you should have because it's a f'n mobile device.), which doesn't affect it's ability to dock or undock at all.

    A tempered glass screen protector isn't going to stop thousands of kids from dropping the thing to the floor and shattering a $300 device to peices. You're a moron if you think a piece of glass will stop that.

    My phone has a protective rubber case around it. Nintendo's design disallows people from using anything like this because of the way the controllers connect and also the necessity to dock in the bottom.
    Reply
  • Geef
    Check on Youtube, there is a video of a dude opening up the left switch controller and seeing that the antennae is set so its covered up by your hand when you hold it so he soldered his own copper wire antennae into it and then it worked awesomely.
    Reply
  • gopher1369
    A tempered glass screen protector isn't going to stop thousands of kids from dropping the thing to the floor and shattering a $300 device to peices. You're a moron if you think a piece of glass will stop that.

    Wurkfur, if you let your kids run around with your $300 electronics devices I'd suggest it's you that's the moron.
    I have a simple, ingenious solution for this, I have my Switch, my kids have a second hand DS that I paid $20 for on Ebay. Problem solved!

    My phone has a protective rubber case around it. Nintendo's design disallows people from using anything like this because of the way the controllers connect and also the necessity to dock in the bottom.

    Meet the officially licensed Nintendo Switch case by PowerA:
    https://www.amazon.co.uk/Nintendo-Switch-Hybrid-Cover-Officially/dp/B01N22YBVY

    and the 3rd party Nintendo Switch case by Orzly
    https://www.amazon.co.uk/Nintendo-Multi-Functional-Protective-Protect-Console/dp/B06XBRF7N4/ref=pd_sim_63_4?_encoding=UTF8&psc=1&refRID=EP8BR69GS6MXY37ND5EG


    Reply
  • alextheblue
    19458512 said:
    A tempered glass screen protector isn't going to stop thousands of kids from dropping the thing to the floor and shattering a $300 device to peices. You're a moron if you think a piece of glass will stop that.

    Wurkfur, if you let your kids run around with your $300 electronics devices I'd suggest it's you that's the moron.
    I have a simple, ingenious solution for this, I have my Switch, my kids have a second hand DS that I paid $20 for on Ebay. Problem solved!

    My phone has a protective rubber case around it. Nintendo's design disallows people from using anything like this because of the way the controllers connect and also the necessity to dock in the bottom.

    Meet the officially licensed Nintendo Switch case by PowerA:
    https://www.amazon.co.uk/Nintendo-Switch-Hybrid-Cover-Officially/dp/B01N22YBVY

    and the 3rd party Nintendo Switch case by Orzly
    https://www.amazon.co.uk/Nintendo-Multi-Functional-Protective-Protect-Console/dp/B06XBRF7N4/ref=pd_sim_63_4?_encoding=UTF8&psc=1&refRID=EP8BR69GS6MXY37ND5EG

    You're telling me that nobody should allow the biggest audience of the NINTENDO Switch (kids) to use the Switch? Are you serious? Wow. Also the cases you listed can NOT be used with the dock. You have to remove the case to dock it. It was a bit of an oversight on Nintendo's part to not bother putting any thought into this.
    Reply