Nintendo offers free repair of “drifting” Joy-Cons in Europe

The infamous drift of analog sticks, unfortunately, is well-known to more than one Nintendo Switch console owner. For those who don’t know, this is when the console “recognizes” the movement of the stick, even if the player does not touch it at all. The problem is inherent to many game controllers to one degree or another, but it is precisely the Joy-Cons on the Switch that suffer from it the most due to their small size.

Back in 2019, Nintendo introduced free unlimited repair of “drifting” Joy-Cons in the United States and a few years later expanded this campaign to France and Latin America. And now the company announced that from now on it will also repair Joy-Cons for free throughout the European Economic Area, as well as in Great Britain and Switzerland.

In 2021, the European Consumer Organization (BEUC) published its own investigation, according to which 88% of the 25,000 complaints received by Switch owners from various European countries related to Joy-Con drift. It appeared within the first two years of using the console — and after that Nintendo increased the warranty for European users from 12 to 24 months. And now the company has even offered essentially a lifetime warranty for this problem — it will repair European players’ Joy-Cons even after the console’s warranty has expired.

A complete solution to the problem would be to abandon conventional sticks, which are based on the mechanical interaction of resistors, in favor of Hall effect sensors (which determine the degree of deviation using magnetic fields) – as do manufacturers of alternative controllers for the Nintendo Switch. However, it is obviously easier for companies to endlessly repair the existing solution than to switch to a new, more complex, and expensive technology.