Nintendo has been urged to commission an independent investigation into a known issue with the Joy-Con controllers on its Switch games console. Consumer group Which? has said the gaming giant should also make the findings and outcomes of any investigation publicly available.
Since the Nintendo Switch was launched in 2017, there have been some reports of what has become known as “drift”, where the console registers movement even when players are not touching the joysticks. Nintendo says the issue has only affected a small number of devices.
The company said it has been making continuous improvements to the Joy-Cons since launch and continues to encourage any customers who have experience issues to contact them. Which? said a survey it had carried out of 919 owners of the original Switch in the UK found some 40% had experienced drift at some point.
The consumer group said customers also needed to be more proactive should they experience the fault after finding that 73% of those who did encounter the issue did not contact Nintendo about it, despite the gaming firm offering a two-year warranty on the console.
Of those who did contact Nintendo, Which? said its research found that 19% did not receive a repair or replacement. Which? said it had carried out its own in-lab durability testing on Switch consoles as part of its research and had been unable to locate any instances of drift, saying it believed this showed how hard it was for the fault to be detected, and that, therefore, a deeper, independent investigation into the issue would be best.
“Our research shows that drift problems continue to plague Nintendo Switch owners yet too often they can be left footing the bill themselves to replace faulty controllers or face a lottery when they contact Nintendo for support,” Which? director of policy and advocacy Rocio Concha said.
“Nintendo needs to commission an urgent independent investigation into why this problem occurs and make the findings public.
“The video game giant must also commit to completely free-of-charge repairs or replacements for those affected by the problem and must promote this scheme so that consumers know that support is available.”
In response, Nintendo said: “The percentage of Joy-Con controllers that have been reported as experiencing issues with the analogue stick in the past is small and we have been making continuous improvements to the Joy-Con analogue stick since its launch in 2017.
“We expect all our hardware to perform as designed, and if anything falls short of this goal we always encourage consumers to contact Nintendo customer support, who will be happy to openly and leniently resolve any consumer issues related to the Joy-Con controllers’ analogue sticks, including in cases where the warranty may no longer apply.”