Nintendo US reportedly begins issuing free Joy-Con repairs

  • TECH
  • Thursday, 25 Jul 2019

Nintendo's customer support advisers are now able to issue no-fee repairs for Joy-Con controllers that exhibit the symptoms of 'Joy-Con drift'. — AFP Relaxnews

Nintendo has begun offering no-cost repairs on Switch Joy-Con controllers exhibiting the signs of "Joy-Con drift", according to Vice Games.

Nintendo's customer support advisers are now able to issue no-fee repairs for Joy-Con controllers that exhibit the symptoms of "Joy-Con drift".

That's according to internal documentation obtained by Vice Games.

Previously, customers would have been paying around US$40 (RM165) for the repair, not including shipping, on a handheld controller that costs US$79 (RM325) at retail.

The change in policy comes after concern spread over issues with some Joy-Con controllers.

Controller drift, or in this case Joy-Con drift, refers to video game controllers that detect movement from an analogue stick without corresponding user input.

Kotaku reported on the apparent defect on July 16 and then again on July 22 after Nintendo issued a statement to say it was aware of the issue.

In the meantime, Nintendo had also revised its product support section so that three of four initial options were related to Joy-Cons: repair, troubleshooting, and diagnosis of incorrect controller response.

Discussion of Joy-Con drift surfaced following the July 10 news that September's more affordable Nintendo Switch model, the Switch Lite, will feature built-in controllers rather than the detachable and replaceable Joy-Cons on the original Switch design.

Vice Games' copy of internal Nintendo documentation asks customer support representatives to accompany callers through a standardised troubleshooting process before authorising a free repair.

Those customers would no longer need to provide proof of purchase to confirm warranty status.

The internal memo's new process matched responses from a Nintendo customer support representative, Vice Games found.

The Nintendo Switch has been a critical and commercial success since its March 2017 introduction, an atypical hybrid with home and portable console features that can be plugged into a television dock or taken on the go.

Over 34 million units were shipped to stores between March 2017 and March 2019, matching PlayStation 4 shipments over a similar 2013 to 2015 timespan.

A Nintendo Switch Lite is due for release from Sept 20 this year, arriving in advance of the eagerly anticipated Pokémon Sword and Pokémon Shield games, which debut worldwide on Nov 15. – AFP Relaxnews
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