The Joy-Con Drift Strikes Again

It’s official, the infamous Joy-Con drifting issue so prevalent in recent gaming news has taken yet another victim.  My Nintendo Switch is less than a year old, with a large portion of those months not even spent using the console (I don’t have that many games on it yet).  And my left Joy-Con analog stick has started drifting up, up, and away.

It’s not a huge issue yet.  Lately, I’ve been playing Super Mario Maker 2, and moving up on the analog stick is rarely even needed during gameplay.  The main issue thus far is that I’m starting to have trouble navigating the menu because it starts to slide upwards of its own accord.  I try to fix the issue by using the control pad, but sometimes pressing down on the control pad is negated by the stick drifting upward, and I can’t move at all.

I have had generally good luck with Nintendo consoles over the years.  Sure, the SNES died after over 20 years of use, but keep in mind that it also got packed and moved around between five different states!  The GameCube failed faster, but again, it was fine until the movers were particularly rough with it during a move that brought the thing 3000 miles across the United States (that was also the same move that crippled my, at the time, new XBox).  Heck, my Nintendo 64 analog stick flops to the side, and yet it still works just fine despite its rather sorry, physical appearance.

And yet, already, my less-than-a-year-old Switch has had Internet issues and a bad Joy-Con.  And it was working so well just a few weeks ago.

I feel like I jinxed it.  Everything was fine until I made a comment that I felt like this would be my quickest console to fail (without movers intervening, anyway).  It just feels so delicate that I don’t like handling it very much.  It’s like it heard me, and this is my punishment.  (I swear the Switch is also jealous of the Wii U and PS4 sitting on the shelves below it….)

Ahem, back on topic, I was curious how many people here have had issues with their Switch thus far.  Furthermore, how many of you are concerned about the Switch’s quality?  Because this drifting issue alone is far more common than it has any right to be.  I’ve heard stories of people replacing or repairing their Joy-Cons, only for them to fail again and again.  I’m considering buying a Pro controller to alleviate the issue, but I guess I’ll have to say good bye to motion controls while I’m at it.  (It’s also a lot of money to spend on something that I didn’t initially plan to buy.)  And this is in addition to reports of cracking or warped consoles, dead pixels, and screens damaged by the dock.

And yes, I am well aware that bad news is going to be far more prevalent than good news because no one’s going to write an article saying, “Hey, everyone, my new console is still working great!  I’ll update you next month on how great it’s still working!”  Nevertheless, many people are comparing Nintendo’s recent Joy-Con troubles to Microsoft’s Red Ring of Death, which is a bit troubling when Nintendo was always the company providing gamers with the most reliable consoles on the market.

But you know what, Nintendo has never let us down before, so I suppose now’s not the time to panic.  While I hear that they are now offering to fix Joy-Cons for free in certain regions of the world, I’m not sure how they’re ultimately going to put a stop to this drifting issue until they release a totally redesigned Joy-Con (and again, I would still resent having to eventually replace my Joy-Cons with a better model when my floppy N64 controller still works fine).  Even so, I’m going to have to believe that unreliable products is not going to be Nintendo’s new norm.  Everyone makes mistakes, even Nintendo.  Let’s just not make it a habit, okay?


  1. Hundstrasse says:

    Haven’t noticed any problems with mine… Yet… Touchwood…. 😶….

    In general pretty happy with the Switch, oh, except that I don’t have the nails to successfully deploy the kickstand…

    Liked by 1 person

    1. duckofindeed says:

      That’s good that you aren’t having any problems with your Switch yet. Hopefully it will continue to behave itself.

      I always leave the Switch connected to the TV, so I have never had any need to use the kickstand. My issue has been with the Joy-Con straps. I recall them being hard to attach and remove, so I haven’t bothered to use them since I originally bought the Switch.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Hundstrasse says:

        Yeah, they are pretty fiddly. My wife and I tend to use the minijoycons for various games so I do usually attached them, but there’s always a part of me that thinks I’m about to snap something. Also if you put them on the wrong way around then they’re even trickier to get off again!

        Liked by 1 person

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