It looks like Nintendo might have quietly rolled out a fix to stop the problem of de-syncing Nintendo Switch Joy-Con controllers.
In an article on CNET, Sean Hollister writes about how he sent his troublesome Left Joy-Con off to Nintendo for repair. When it was returned he discovered a tiny addition inside, a small piece of black foam. Luckily for fans of electronic innards he captured the controller’s before and after states for us to pore over.
In the first image you can see the controller before it was sent to the Nintendo Joy-Con hospital.
In the second picture you can see what Hollister received back. Expecting to see a change to the antenna – as many homebrew workarounds have suggested – he instead saw a little piece of black foam positioned in the lower-right corner.
According to Hollister’s colleague, TechRepublic teardown guru Bill Detwiler, it’s a piece of conductive foam that has been treated with nickel or copper so that it can shield the Joy-Con. The assumption is that the foam sits on top of the antenna and blocks out RF interference from other electronic devices and, erm, aquariums.
Being the curious sort, Hollister removed the foam and, sure enough, the synchronisation issue immediately returned. Interestingly, a brand new Left Joy-Con Hollister recently purchased from Amazon works perfectly, and doesn’t include a piece of conductive foam. This has led to speculation that Nintendo has already made adjustments to its production processes to ensure all future Joy-Con controllers work perfectly.
Whilst technical snaggles are part and parcel of any new console launch, the Joy-Con problem – along with screen scratching – threatened to overshadow an otherwise promising launch for the Nintendo Switch. It’s certainly good news if the Japanese game maker has reacted quickly and fixed the problem at source.
Update: 8PM – 03/23/17
Shortly after publishing this article Kotaku received a statement from Nintendo confirming that the problem has indeed been identified, and is related to 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.”
It’s the kind of phrase that suggests a bit of a balls up at one of the Nintendo’s manufacturing facilities. Luckily the fix seems simple enough and Switch owners should contact Nintendo support if they experience any Joy-Con issues.
Here at Thumbsticks we haven’t had any hardware problems with our Nintendo Switch consoles at all. Let us know about your experiences in the comments below.
How did we do?
We hope you found this article useful, or informative, or thought provoking, or maybe even a little entertaining. Perhaps it was a guide that helped you through a tricky bit, or we even saved you some money? Lovely stuff! If you'd like to say "thanks" you could always buy the team a cup of coffee.
Recommended for you
Latest from Thumbsticks
Xbox deals update: Save on Assassin’s Creed and DC games
This week's Xbox One and Xbox Series X|S deals include the Batman and Assassin's Creed franchises, plus savings on games...
New PlayStation Store releases: October 18-22, 2021
This week's lineup of PlayStation Store releases includes the long-awaited remaster of Toy Soldiers and House of Ashes.
New Xbox releases: October 18-22, 2021
House of Ashes – The Dark Pictures and My Friend Peppa Pig are among this week's new Xbox Series X|S...
New Nintendo Switch releases: October 18-22, 2021
Dying Light and The Caligula Effect 2 are among this week's lineup of new Nintendo Switch eShop releases.
Animal Crossing: New Horizons to get a huge free update and paid DLC
Animal Crossing: New Horizons is getting an enormous free content update and a new paid DLC expansion.
Back 4 Blood review
Back 4 Blood is a rip-roaring zombie killing time, but without the right zombie slayers by your side, it's an...
Batman returns to Rocket League today
Batman returns for this year's Rocket League Haunted Hallows event, which begins today.
New Nintendo Switch releases: October 11-15, 2021 (Updated)
Disco Elysium – The Final Cut and The Good Life are among this week's lineup of new Nintendo Switch eShop...