In an article on whether you should wait for the OLED Switch or buy a standard model written a few weeks ago, we speculated that the new version might have some hidden improvements and potentially tackle the plague of Joy- drift. Con.
Now Nintendo has confirmed that the Nintendo Switch OLED Joy-Cons feature reliability improvements over the launch models, with the latest Nintendo Switch and Nintendo Switch Lite models also set to benefit. But don’t expect Joy-Cons to be 100% reliable.
Oddly enough, the news came via an “Ask the Developer” interview posted on Nintendo’s own site, which may explain why the word “drift” – the subject of multiple class actions – doesn’t appear once. Still, it’s not hard to read between the lines in answering a question about improvements to Joy-Con controllers.
“We have continued to make improvements that are not always visible,” replies Toru Yamashita, deputy general manager of Nintendo’s technology development department. “Among other things, the parts of the analog stick have been continuously improved since launch, and we are still working on improvements.”
The original Joy-Cons, he explained, were stress tested using the same systems set up for the Wii U gamepad, but those tests were refined because the Joys -Cons of the client have been “investigated” by the team.
“The parts for the Joy-Con analog sticks cannot be purchased off-the-shelf but are specially designed, so we have done a lot of thinking to improve them,” he continued. “In addition, we have improved the reliability test itself and we have continued to make changes to improve durability and pass this new test. “
These Upgraded Joy-Cons look identical, so there’s no way to tell which one you have. But these were “quickly” incorporated into regular Switch and Switch Lite systems, as well as to replace stand-alone systems purchased separately. If yours were replaced by Nintendo, they’ll use the new parts as well, apparently.
In other words, you shouldn’t need an OLED Switch to benefit from the latest improved Joy-Cons. But since you can’t tell the stock age of classic Switch and Switch Lite systems, switching to OLED is one way to ensure the most reliable components.
No quick fix to the Joy-Con drift
However, there is a “but”.
When asked by the interviewer if “wear and tear is inevitable as long as the parts are physically in contact,” neither Yamashita nor Ko Shiota, Nintendo’s chief technology officer, disagreed.
“Yes, for example, car tires wear out when the car is moving because they are in constant friction with the ground to turn,” Shiota replied. “So with that same premise, we asked ourselves how we can improve sustainability, and not just that, but how can operability and sustainability coexist? This is something that we are constantly addressing.
A losing battle, then? Maybe, but Nintendo hasn’t given up. “The degree of wear depends on factors such as the combination of materials and shapes, so we continue to make improvements by looking for the combinations that are less likely to wear out,” Yamashita added.
It’s worth pointing out the note at the top of the article, which points out that the transcript was translated from Japanese, so it’s possible that something was lost in the translation and the team is actually much more optimistic about it. to reliability.
All the same, it looks like buying an OLED Switch won’t be a silver bullet to fixing Joy-Con issues before they appear.