In a new Ask the Developer article, Nintendo has assured that the analog-stick parts used for the Nintendo Switch’s Joy-Con controllers “have continuously been improved since launch.”
The article is a discussion around the visible and invisible changes that the company has introduced with the Nintendo Switch OLED Model, alongside how they are constantly striving to create “an even better gaming experience” for consumers.
The Joy-Con controllers have faced repeated criticism since the portable home console’s launch, with many players experiencing an issue known as Joy-Con drift. That was described in a class-action lawsuit as an instance in which the controllers “automatically register movement when the joystick is not being controlled by the user,” and a complaint that the company has addressed and apologised for on multiple occasions.
“Joy-Con controllers have lots of different features, so we’ve been continuing to make improvements that may not always be visible. Among others, the analog-stick parts have continuously been improved since launch, and we are still working on improvements,” explains Toru Yamashita, deputy general manager of Nintendo’s Technology Development Department.
“The analog stick at first release cleared the Nintendo reliability test using the method of rotating the stick while continually applying a load to it, with the same criteria as the Wii U GamePad’s analog stick.
“As we have always been trying to improve it as well, we have investigated the Joy-Con controllers used by the customers and repeatedly improved the wear resistance and durability.
“The parts of the Joy-Con analog sticks are not something that can be bought off the shelf but are specially designed, so we have undergone a lot of considerations to improve them. In addition, we improved the reliability test itself, and we have continued to make changes to improve durability and clear this new test.
“When the effects of our improvements were confirmed, we promptly incorporated them into the Joy-Con controllers that are included with the console, Nintendo Switch Lite, and the ones sold individually, that were manufactured at that time. This involves the internal components of the Joy-Con, so you can’t tell the improvements from the outside, but we use the new versions of the parts when we repair them. Also, similar continual improvements have been made for the Nintendo Switch Pro Controller as well.”