Nintendo says it’s been improving Joy-Con controllers, but wear is unavoidable

Joy-Con wear unavoidable

Internal improvements have been rolling out as more Joy-Con have been shipped

Today marks the launch of the Nintendo Switch OLED model. Alongside the new screen and dock, it seems like there are some other, less obvious improvements to the new Switch model. And in a new series of interviews, Nintendo’s developers break down the changes in the OLED, both external and internal.

Nintendo has published an Ask the Developer Vol. 2 series, covering how the Nintendo Switch OLED model came together and its differences from a normal Nintendo Switch model. And alongside the screen and kickstand updates, there is also talk about Joy-Con, including wear and tear.

The detachable controllers for Nintendo’s handheld have been a point of contention for a while, with the company facing a lawsuit over Joy-Con grievances. In the Ask the Developer interviews Ko Shiota, the general manager of the technology development division, compares the wear of the analog sticks to car tires.

“Yes, for example car tires wear out as the car moves, as they are in constant friction with the ground to rotate,” said Shiota. “So with that same premise, we asked ourselves how we can improve durability, and not only that, but how can both operability and durability coexist? It’s something we are continuously tackling.”

Toru Yamashita, deputy general manager of the technology development department, confirms there have been improvements made to deal with Joy-Con wear over time.

“We mentioned that the Joy-Con controller specifications hadn’t changed in the sense that we didn’t add new features such as new buttons, but the analog sticks in the Joy-Con controllers included with Nintendo Switch – OLED Model are the latest version with all the improvements,” said Yamashita. “Needless to say, so are the analog sticks included in Nintendo Switch, Nintendo Switch Lite, separately sold Joy-Con controllers, and the Nintendo Switch Pro Controller that are currently being shipped.”

Joy-Con have had a good few complaints about drift pop up over the years since the Switch’s launch, and it’s nice to know that improvements are being made. And at least those picking up an OLED model right now can be reassured they’re getting some up-to-date controllers on the side of their new Switch.

Eric Van Allen