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Joy-Con drift is possibly the scariest part about owning a Switch. Just when you’re about to set a track record in Mario Kart 8 Deluxe, your Joy-Con takes the wheel and drives you straight into a wall. Never a good feeling!

A record number of Nintendo Switch users have experienced the phenomenon, and Nintendo has handled the situation with mixed results. In an attempt to get some clarity on Nintendo’s stance on the problem, Polygon asked Nintendo America president Doug Bowser just what the heck they plan on doing about this issue in the future.


Polygon: I wanted to talk a little bit about — I know it’s kind of a four-letter word — but Joy-Con drift. Obviously, Nintendo has a long reputation of really strong hardware, but this is something that has not gone away. I know you offer free repairs for people; they can mail in their Joy-Cons. It kind of feels like this continues to be, like, a Band-Aid that’s being put over it. And I wanted to know, long term, are there hardware designs planned to address this so that when people buy a new Switch, they’re not necessarily worrying, “Hey, I’m going to need to send in my Joy-Con every six months or so”?

Doug Bowser: First and foremost, we want every consumer to have a great experience with their Nintendo Switch and with the games they play on Nintendo Switch. That’s of utmost importance to us. Our mission is to put smiles on faces. And we want to make sure that happens. If consumers have any issue with our hardware and/or software, we want them to contact us, when we will work through the proper solution to get them up and running as fast as possible.

Specific to the Joy-Cons themselves, we’ve been working very closely with consumers if and when they might have issues, whether it’s a replacement or repair. And then, what I will say, as we look at our repair cycles, we’re always looking at what is being sent in and for what reasons, and understanding that better. And without going into any details, it always gives us an opportunity to make improvements as we go forward.


Not a whole lot of new information, but judging by his answer, it’s clear that Nintendo is still taking the “send it in for repair if you have problems” approach. It’s an odd choice of words, especially when Nintendo said Joy-Con drift “isn’t a real problem” in a class action lawsuit earlier this year. 


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Written by Jason Ganos

Nintendo super fan since birth, Jason is the creator of Amiibo News and editor-in-chief at Nintendo Wire. One of his life goals is to provide the latest Nintendo news to fellow gamers with his natural know-how.