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Nintendo's Switch Joy-Con Problem a Result of "Manufacturing Variation"

The company says moving forward it will no longer be an issue.

News by Mike Williams, .

One of the problems that has effected the launch of the Nintendo Switch was a persistent connection issue with certain Joy-Cons. For a number of folks, the left Joy-Con would disconnect or the signal strength wasn't up to snuff. Folks tried to figure out why this was the case, but in the end, no single cause seemed to cover what looked like a hardware lottery.

Not fixed. [Image via CNET]

Nintendo's previous guidance was that users should keep the Joy-Cons and Switch system away from sources of interference, including smartphones, internet routers, and aquariums. The problem was that some were still having issues outside of those situations.

CNET sent one of their faulty Joy-Cons into Nintendo for a fix and when they received the new unit, they promptly opened it up to see what was changed. Surprisingly, not much. The biggest change was a small piece of conductive foam, sitting near the antenna. CNET removed the foam as a test and the Joy-Con connection issue returned, so it seems Nintendo has found a fix for the intermittent hardware issue.

Fixed. [Image via CNET]

That was confirmed by a new statement from Nintendo, calling the Joy-Con connection issue a "manufacturing variation".

"There is no design issue with the Joy-Con controllers, and no widespread proactive repair or replacement effort is underway. A manufacturing variation has resulted in wireless interference with a small number of the left Joy-Con. Moving forward this will not be an issue, as the manufacturing variation has been addressed and corrected at the factory level," Nintendo told Kotaku.

"We have determined a simple fix can be made to any affected Joy-Con to improve connectivity," the company added. "There are other reasons consumers may be experiencing wireless interference. We are asking consumers to contact our customer support team so we can help them determine if a repair is necessary. If it is, consumers can send their controller directly to Nintendo for the adjustment, free of charge, with an anticipated quick return of less than a week. Repair timing may vary by region."

So the mystery is solved, it seems. There were Joy-Con issues and they were due to a small hardware problem. Glad Nintendo got there eventually.

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Comments 7

  • Avatar for MarioIV #1 MarioIV 6 months ago
    I never had this issue.
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  • Avatar for Modern-Clix #2 Modern-Clix 6 months ago
    @MarioIV That is cause it was a small batch that was affected. I never had an issue either, and I played from a distance, with my hand or legs obscuring, etc.

    When CNET investigated, they saw that the affected has different circuit board serial numbers to the units that were not affected.
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  • Avatar for swamped #3 swamped 6 months ago
    I'm not an early adopter because of this kind of thing, but even I have to laugh at how overblown this was in some circles. Didn't the 360's RROD issue turn out to affect something like 1/3 or more of the consoles? I mean come on. Seems like a pretty typical launch hardware issue.
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  • Avatar for duvjones #4 duvjones 6 months ago
    @swamped
    Yeah, well when this thing first cropped up, I was one of the few to suspect that it was likely an Manufacturing Error given how erratic the reports were.
    Like you, I avoided the launch for just such a reason, among others.

    "Didn't the 360's RROD issue turn out to affect something like 1/3 or more of the consoles? I mean come on."

    To be fair, the RROD was something else entirely. But I get what you are saying, this compared to another, more catastrophic error (The Galaxy Note 7, you know the one that burned itself on charging and had a massive recall for it only to have it happen again[for a different reason] and take the phone off the market), it really "Making a mountain out of a mole hill".Edited March 2017 by duvjones
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  • Avatar for donkeyintheforest #5 donkeyintheforest 6 months ago
    I have this issue and their support website is infuriating. If you click on contact us it goes to a page where you can select the problem, then it has the list of things you shouldn't have (wireless devices, fishtanks, etc) but doesn't give their contact email! They do list their phone number (855-877-9099) so I guess I'll have to try giving that a call. Good to hear it's limited and that they're gonna fix it though.
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  • Avatar for sarcasticjones #6 sarcasticjones 6 months ago
    Glad I held off buying one at launch. I look forward to getting a Switch once Mario Odysee comes out.
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  • Avatar for SargeSmash #7 SargeSmash 6 months ago
    Happy I don't have this issue. It's the first thing I tested when I got my system in. Nonetheless, the fix should be pretty easy if I ever have issues.
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