Nintendo have been caught up in a storm of hardware-related issues of late- specifically one that pertains to the Switch, and its “Joy-Con drift”, which sees the controller’s analog sticks automatically inputting slight movement regardless of the player’s actions. This has resulted in a class action lawsuit being filed against the company, which was met with a response from Nintendo themselves. The response, as is often the case with Nintendo, was vague, but acknowledged the issue (or at least the repots surrounding the issue).
Now, it seems the company is taking tangible steps toward rectifying the issue. As per an internal Nintendo memo provided to Vice by an anonymous source “familiar with Nintendo’s updated customer support documentation”, Nintendo will be fixing any and all Joy-Cons with drift issues for no cost at all (which means they’ll be providing you with free shipping labels to send in your hardware as well).
Proof of purchase and confirmation of the hardware’s warranty is also mandated to not be necessary anymore, while Nintendo is also issuing refunds to those who have already paid for Joy-Con drift repairs- after they have confirmed that such repairs were made, of course.
“Customers will no longer be requested to provide proof of purchase for Joy-Con repairs,” the memo reads. “Additionally it is not necessary to confirm warranty status. If a customer requests a refund for a previously paid Joy-Con repair […] confirm the prior repair and then issue a refund.”
“We want to quickly handle these questions to restore consumers smiles,” it adds later.
What’s interesting is that the document also briefly goes over the responses that need to be issued should a couple other questions be asked. If asked about the upcoming Switch Lite and whether that, too, will suffer from drift issues, Nintendo’s standard response is to be, “We expect our hardware to perform as designed” (which, again, seems a little vague, and doesn’t sound too re-assuring). As for the currently ongoing and aforementioned lawsuit against Nintendo, they are going to have no comment on it for now.
It remains to be seen how effective this ends up being, but it is, at the very least, good to know that Nintendo is being receptive to feedback and looking to take steps to work on the issues. More importantly though, hopefully they will also make sure that Joy-Con drift doesn’t surface in future Switch models and revisions- especially the Switch Lite, since that, as a handheld-focused device, doesn’t have detachable Joy-Cons, which means if the issue surfaces, it surfaces in the entire system.