Alongside the release of the Switch OLED Model, Nintendo has published an “Ask The Developer” interview that reveals some interesting details about the device.
One of the more intriguing revelations from the interview relates to the Switch Joy-Cons. According to Deputy General Manager Toru Yamashita and Senior executive Ko Shiota, Nintendo has been hard at work behind the scenes to improve Joy-Con functionality, with many of these improvements being incorporated into the Switch OLED Model’s Joy-cons:
Yamashita: Joy-Con controllers have lots of different features, so we’ve been continuing to make improvements that may not always be visible. Among others, the analog-stick parts have continuously been improved since launch, and we are still working on improvements.
When the effects of our improvements were confirmed, we promptly incorporated them into the Joy-Con controllers that are included with the console, Nintendo Switch Lite, and the ones sold individually, that were manufactured at that time. This involves the internal components of the Joy-Con, so you can’t tell the improvements from the outside, but we use the new versions of the parts when we repair them. Also, similar continual improvements have been made for the Nintendo Switch Pro Controller as well.
The emphasis on the analog stick is particularly of note, as “Joy-con drift” has infamously become a common complaint with regards to the controllers. Yamashita and Shiota go on to share some insight into why this issue might be occurring, suggesting that “wear is unavoidable”, but they are continuing to look into ways to mitigate it:
Do you mean that, basically, wear is unavoidable as long as the parts are physically in contact?
Shiota: Yes, for example car tires 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.
Yamashita: The degree of wear depends on factors like the combination of the materials and forms, so we continue to make improvements by researching which combinations are less likely to wear. We mentioned that the Joy-Con controller specifications hadn’t changed in the sense that we didn’t add new features such as new buttons, but the analog sticks in the Joy-Con controllers included with Nintendo Switch – OLED Model are the latest version with all the improvements. Needless to say, so are the analog sticks included in Nintendo Switch, Nintendo Switch Lite, separately sold Joy-Con controllers, and the Nintendo Switch Pro Controller that are currently being shipped.
If you’re interested in reading up more, the full interview can be found here.
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