Alongside the release of the Nintendo Switch OLED Model, Nintendo states that it’s Joy-Con controllers have been improved over the original.
The Nintendo Switch OLED Model launches today and to commemorate the release Nintendo has published an Ask the Developer discussion about the new model and its improvements.
At this point, everyone knows the basics of the OLED Model, like the improved screen and the option to plug a LAN cable into the dock. But Nintendo has also taken this opportunity to discuss the Joy-Con controllers, saying that the ones that come with the OLED Model have been given an upgrade.
Ko Shiota and Toru Yamashita of the Technology Development Division state that they have been continuously improving the controllers over time, particularly regarding wear resistance and durability.
‘As we have always been trying to improve it as well, we have investigated the Joy-Con controllers used by the customers and repeatedly improved the wear resistance and durability,’ says Yamashita.
‘The parts of the Joy-Con analogue sticks are not something that can be bought off the shelf but are specially designed, so we have undergone a lot of considerations to improve them. In addition, we improved the reliability test itself, and we have continued to make changes to improve durability and clear this new test.’
He adds that, once the effects of these improvements were confirmed, they were incorporated into all Joy-Con controllers, whether they were bundled with Nintendo Switch consoles or sold separately. This applies to the controllers for the Switch Lite, which can’t be detached from the console.
While the infamous Joy-Con drift isn’t mentioned once in the discussion (probably for legal reasons), it’s implied that the issue can never be truly fixed, only mitigated, since wear and tear is an inevitability.
‘For example, car tyres wear out as the car moves, as they are in constant friction with the ground to rotate. 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,’ says Shiota.
As a reminder, Joy-Con drift is an instance where the controller reads analogue stick inputs even if the player isn’t touching the stick. It’s been a widespread issue ever since the Nintendo Switch launched and has led to several lawsuits being filed against the company.
It’s rare for Nintendo to provide this level of insight into how it develops its hardware, so it’s worth reading the full discussion. It’s especially interesting since Nintendo had previously told Axios reporter Stephen Totilo that it hadn’t changed the controllers at all for the OLED Model.
The fact that they didn’t is not surprising, considering this is Nintendo we’re talking about. The company never usually comments on new hardware or hardware revisions and only denied the ongoing Switch Pro rumours when there was a danger of them impacting OLED Model sales.
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