Nintendo says it has improved the reliability of the Joy-Con controllers since its release in 2017 and says the Joy-Cons now available for purchase with consoles are more durable than before. At the same time, the manufacturer says that wear and tear is “inevitable” on the joysticks.
Nintendo’s Technology Director Ko Shiota and Deputy Director Toru Yamashita say that the Joy-Con’s components have been improved “continuously” since launch and improvements are still being made. In addition, the company says it is examining customer controllers to see how the wear resistance and durability of the controllers can be improved.
“Once the effects of our improvements were confirmed through testing, they were quickly carried through to the Joy-Con controllers we sell,” says Yamashita. This concerns the controllers that the manufacturer sells itself, but also the joysticks that come with consoles. “These are internal components of the Joy-Con, so you can’t tell from the outside what improvements there are.” Also, Yamashita says that when controllers are repaired, new parts are used.
Joy-Con drift is not mentioned in the post. Joy-Con drift is the name for stick drift with the joysticks, where the controller registers input without the user touching the controller. This allows characters to move in games, for example, without the gamer wanting this. While Nintendo strongly hints that this should get better with new controllers, the company also says that wear and tear is “inevitable.”
“Just like car tires wear out when the car moves,” Shiota says. Because the joysticks need physical contact with other parts, wear and tear could never be avoided. He does repeat, however, that there is continuous research into how this wear can be reduced.
In July, Nintendo indicated that the “configuration and functionality of the Joy-Cons are the same.” Thursday’s post on Nintendo’s site explains this. “We said the specs haven’t changed in the sense that we haven’t added any new buttons. But the analog sticks in the controllers in the Nintendo Switch OLED version are the latest version with all the reliability improvements. Just like the controllers in all other Nintendo Switch models these are,” says Yamashita.