Nintendo has been grappling with Joy-Con drift – an issue in which the joysticks on its Switch handheld console register inputs without even touching them – for years. The problem has also plagued Switch Lite owners, and it’s even worse for them because the culprits are built into that handheld.
One enthusiast recently shared a simple fix for the issue, but it doesn’t appear as if Nintendo will be able to totally stamp out the problem.
In a recent Q&A session with developers regarding the Nintendo Switch OLED model, Nintendo executive Toru Yamashita said they have repeatedly improved the wear resistance and durability of the analog sticks that ship with various Switch models. Nintendo has also improved its internal reliability testing procedure, Yamashita added.
Even with the improvements, wear is unavoidable.
Another executive, Ko Shiota, likened the matter to a vehicle’s tires which wear out over time due to the constant friction of being in contact with driving surfaces. “So with that same premise, we asked ourselves how we can improve durability, and not only that, but how can both operability and durability coexist? It’s something we are continuously tackling,” the executive noted.
Yamashita added that the degree of wear depends on multiple factors including the combination of materials and forms. As such, Nintendo is constantly researching to determine which combinations of materials are least likely to wear down.
Nintendo has faced multiple class-action lawsuits over the Joy-Con drift issue, but that has done little to slow the success of the Switch platform. The company’s latest iteration, the Switch OLED model, launches today alongside Metroid Dread priced at $349.99.