According to a new report, Nintendo will begin offering to fix controllers affected by the Joy-Con drift issue for free after news broke of a class action lawsuit being filed against the company over defective hardware. Joy-Con drift refers to the issue that sees a controller begin to falsely identify its analog stick as being pushed in a certain direction even when its untouched, causing issues during gameplay that range from annoying to outright impossible to work with.
Joy-Con drift has been an issue for the Nintendo Switch since its launch in 2017, but Nintendo has rarely acknowledged the problem at all, with the most being said about it up until this point a tepid PR statement that encourages users experiencing issues to contact the company for a replacement. That works while under warranty, but several users have had to spend money out of their own pocket to get controllers repaired after the fact, a widespread problem that came to light recently when Switch owners realized just how prevalent the issue actually was. A class action lawsuit against Nintendo was filed earlier this week by one affected party, with their legal team also encouraging other affected users to fill out a form to help build the case against Nintendo.
That seems to have been enough for Nintendo to finally act when it comes to Switch Joy-Con drift. According to a report from VICE Games, Nintendo recently told its customer service representatives that the company will no longer charge those looking for Joy-Con repairs, instead offering the service for free without question. Here's what the internal customer service details say:
"Customers will no longer be requested to provide proof of purchase for Joy-Con repairs. 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."
Nowhere in the documentation does Nintendo acknowledge fault as a company or with the Joy-Con controllers at large, only making reference to "recent reports." That's concerning, especially with the Nintendo Switch Lite looming on the horizon. The portable device that sheds dockability also doesn't have detachable Joy-Con controllers, meaning Joy-Con drift for that device would necessitate sending the entire console back to Nintendo for repair. That could definitely hurt sales at a minimum, and could be a PR disaster if the problem becomes as prevalent as the one facing current Switch owners now.
If nothing else, there's at least an option now for consumers who have been affected by Joy-Con drift that won't cost them money. It's a start, and it's more than they had to go on just under a week ago, but it's not a solution for the biggest problem facing the Nintendo Switch - a console that is well-positioned to thrive in the coming gen if it manages to sort out its faulty controller issue.
Source: VICE Games