- Nintendo’s Switch console is a wildly popular game system, with over 34 million sold since it launched in March 2017.
- One of the key components of the Switch is its removable controllers, the Joy-Con gamepads.
- Many Switch owners have reported major issues with the thumbsticks on those Joy-Cons, and Nintendo is now offering free fixes, according to a new report from Vice.
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Nintendo has a huge issue with its wildly popular Switch console: The controller’s thumbsticks sometimes have a mind of their own.
The phenomenon is known as “Joy-Con drift,” named after the Nintendo Switch Joy-Con gamepads that attach to each side of the Switch console.
For some people, over time, one or both of the thumbsticks on the Joy-Con begin slowly “drifting” to one direction. Even when you’re not touching the thumbsticks, the console will register them as being moved.
The extent of the problem is unclear, but the issue is widespread enough that some Nintendo Switch owners banded together for a class-action lawsuit against the company.
And now, according to a new Vice report, Nintendo is offering free repairs to anyone who calls in to Nintendo’s hardware support line with complaints about Joy-Con drift. Nintendo is also reportedly offering refunds to anyone who’s already paid for a Joy-Con fix.
“Customers will no longer be requested to provide proof of purchase for Joy-Con repairs,” a newly issued internal Nintendo support document said, according to the report. “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.”
For its part, Nintendo has yet to formally announce such a repair program for affected Nintendo Switch Joy-Con gamepads. Various reports have confirmed that Nintendo customer support is indeed offering free repairs.
A Nintendo representative offered the following statement: “At Nintendo, we take great pride in creating quality products and we are continuously making improvements to them. We are aware of recent reports that some Joy-Con controllers are not responding correctly. We want our consumers to have fun with Nintendo Switch, and if anything falls short of this goal we always encourage them to visit http://support.nintendo.com so we can help.”
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