The OLED Switch Won't Be Immune to Joy-Con Drift

Nintendo says it should be better, but is ultimately 'unavoidable'

Nintendo has stated that it has addressed the Joy-Con issue for the new OLED Switch, but admits that it's still ultimately "unavoidable."

A recent Nintendo Ask The Developer interview with OLED Switch developers Ko Shiota and Toru Yamashita reveals that, yes, Joy-Con drift should be less of a problem in the new console. These improvements also have been incorporated into the most recent production runs of the regular Switch, Switch Lite, and standalone Joy-Con controllers.

However, there's no way to permanently prevent drift—which occurs when the controller incorrectly registers an input—as long as the controllers are being used regularly. The company said it's a matter of durability and wear over time.

Nintendo Switch Joy-Cons


Yamashita said the process for improving both the Joy-Cons and the reliability testing Nintendo uses to assure quality have been progressing steadily. Initially, Nintendo was testing the Joy-Cons using the same methods for testing the Wii-U gamepad, which is probably why some issues went unnoticed at first.

Ask the developer


The tricky part has been figuring out how to keep the Joy-Cons functioning properly for as long as possible. "For example, car tires wear out as the car moves, as they are in constant friction with the ground to rotate," Shiota said, "...we asked ourselves how we can improve durability, and not only that, but how can both operability and durability coexist?"

We'll just have to wait and see if the OLED Switch (and Switch Lite and regular Joy-Cons) make good on these assurances in the coming months or even years. Hopefully, Nintendo has figured out a good balance between function and durability this time around.

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