Nintendo apologies for Switch Joy-Con drift — but is it enough?

Nintendo Switch Joy-Con Drift
(Image credit: Tom's Guide)

Nintendo has apologised for the Joy-Con drift problems Nintendo Switch users have been experiencing since the hybrid console’s launch in early 2017. But it doesn’t seem to have a firm fix for the problem. 

A recent financial Q&A (via Kotaku) with the Japanese company saw Nintendo finally say it’s sorry for the Joy-Con drift issues. But it declined to go into any further detail as the company is facing a class-action lawsuit in the US over the problem. 

“Regarding the Joy-Con, we apologize for any trouble caused to our customers,” said Shuntaro Furukawa, Nintendo’s president. “We are continuing to aim to improve our products, but as the Joy-Con is the subject of a class-action lawsuit in the United States and this is still a pending issue, we would it like to refrain from responding about any specific actions.”

For people who’ve yet to experience Joy-Con drift, it’s an issue in which movements in Switch games appear to be detected even when the joysticks on the Joy-Cons aren’t being physically moved. Some people who’ve experienced this blame the drift on dust and debris that may have got into the Joy-Con controllers, while other seem to think it could be a calibration problem on the Switch’s software side. 

But so far, Nintendo hasn’t officially given any insight into the reported problems, effectively leaving Switch users to figure out how to fix it. This has resulted in some fiddling around in the Switch’s setting to recalibrate the Joy-Cons, and others to completely disassemble the controllers. 

While acknowledging that Joy-Con drift exists is a dose of vindication for people who’ve experienced the frustrating quirk, it’s still not a solution to the problem. And Nintendo doesn’t seem to have one in the works; all it has publicly done so far is suggest people raise any Switch problems they have with Nintendo’s support service. 

As of July 24, 2019, Nintendo has been rather quietly fixing the Joy-Con drift for free. But it doesn’t seem like there’s an overall fix for the problem to prevent Joy-Con drift from striking Switch consoles that have yet to experience it. Nor does a fix guarantee that it won’t simply happen again. 

The Switch and the Nintendo Switch Lite are firm favorite consoles among Tom’s Guide. But there’s an argument that Nintendo’s response and handling of the Joy-Con drift problems isn’t really good enough for a company that has prided itself on delivering quality hardware and software.  

There’s scope for Nintendo to ensure no such issues blight the Nintendo Switch 2. However, that console is but a tenuous rumor at the moment, meaning the current Switch is likely to be with us for a good few years yet. 

Roland Moore-Colyer

Roland Moore-Colyer a Managing Editor at Tom’s Guide with a focus on news, features and opinion articles. He often writes about gaming, phones, laptops and other bits of hardware; he’s also got an interest in cars. When not at his desk Roland can be found wandering around London, often with a look of curiosity on his face.