The fault of Nintendo Switch afflicts consumers, Which one? warns

Nintendo Switch Classic was first released in 2017. Photo: Martin Pollard/Reuters

Two in five owners of British Nintendo (NTDOY) Switch ‘Classic’ consoles have complained of a faulty controller, with many being forced to buy a new £70 replacement, according to Which?.

The consumer trade body is demanding ‘no hassle’ and free repair or replacement of all Joy-Con controllers sold in the UK by Nintendo, as the fault renders some video games nearly unplayable.

The controller flaw with Nintendo’s Joy-Con controllers is called drift and causes video game characters to move around the screen or cameras to zoom out awkwardly without the player even touching the joystick. ordered.

Around 40% of Nintendo Switch Classic owners surveyed by Which? reported experiencing drift, which first emerged as an issue shortly after the console launched in 2017.

Of those who reported the faulty controller, around six in 10 (57%) said the issues occurred within the first year they owned the games console, famous for Animal Crossing, Mario, The Legend of Zelda and other popular game franchises.

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Rocio Concha, which one? Director of Policy and Advocacy, said: “Our research shows that drift issues continue to plague Nintendo Switch owners, but too often they may find themselves footing the bill themselves to replace faulty controllers. or face a lottery when they contact Nintendo for help.

“Nintendo must commission an urgent independent investigation into the reasons for this problem and make the findings public. The video game giant must also commit to completely free repairs or replacements for those affected by the problem and must promote this program so consumers know that assistance is available.

Around half of those surveyed who hadn’t contacted Nintendo or tried to repair the controller themselves admitted to simply buying a new Joy-Con, which costs around £70 new.

About a quarter (26%) of owners with problems contacted Nintendo for a replacement or repair.

Excluding those who tried to repair the controller themselves, the survey found that one in five (19%) did not receive a free Joy-Con controller repair or replacement, likely leaving consumers wondering. difficulty in covering the “drift deficit” themselves. Another in five (18%) had to cover postage costs.

Who? said consumers either don’t contact Nintendo when this defect appears, as it did for seven in 10 (73%), or they face a lottery when contacting Nintendo for a free fix or controller of substitution.

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This is despite Nintendo now offering a 24-month warranty on Switch consoles which should allow consumers to get a free fix or replacement controller.

“The percentage of Joy-Con controllers that have been reported to have had issues with the analog stick in the past is small, and we have been making continuous improvements to the Joy-Con analog stick since its launch in 2017,” Nintendo said.

“We expect all of our hardware to perform as intended, and, if anything falls short of that expectation, we always encourage consumers to contact Nintendo Customer Support, who will be happy to resolve this openly and forgivingly. any consumer issues related to Joy-Con controllers & analog sticks, including where warranty may no longer apply.

Who? also calls on Nintendo to commission an independent investigation into the causes of Joy-Con controller drift and to make the findings and results of this investigation publicly available.

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