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Nintendo Is Fixing The Switch's Left Joy-Con Connection Issues

Hardware issue means controller stops working wirelessly for some players.


Update: Nintendo has now commented on the Joy-Con issues, blaming them on a "manufacturing variation."

Original Story: If your Nintendo Switch's left Joy-Con de-syncs when you're playing with it wirelessly, there's new hope for a solution. There are reports the company is fixing the hardware issue.

Even before the Switch's launch on March 3, several media outlets reported that the left Joy-Con had stopped working for them when playing in docked mode. Many players reported the same problem, but Nintendo said it was not facing any "widespread technical problems" with the Switch.

It happened to CNET writer Sean Hollister, who called Nintendo to report the connection issue (not to mention several instances of Link dying as result). To his surprise, he got right through to a support agent even though it was 6:00 PM on a Saturday.

"She spent only a few minutes verifying that yes, I did indeed have wireless issues (and not merely some gunk caught in the gap around the analog stick) and verifying my serial numbers before agreeing to repair my controller for free," he wrote.

Hollister sent his left Joy-Con to Nintendo and had it back in little over a week. It now works perfectly, and he says he's uncovered the fix. He opened up the Joy-Con and discovered Nintendo has put a little black square of foam in the lower-right corner.

Courtesy: Sean Hollister/CNET
Courtesy: Sean Hollister/CNET

He did some research and determined that foam is either shielding the Joy-Con's from interference, or keeping other parts of the Joy-Con from touching the antenna.

"I even tried removing the foam, and sure enough: The controller stops working properly when it's not there. Seems like an open-and-shut case," wrote Hollister.

Hollister also bought a new $50 Joy-Con from Amazon to see if it had issues too. He said it works perfectly, despite not having a foam square on top of the antenna.

"Maybe Nintendo has already modified its manufacturing process, and that the differently labeled Joy-Cons--the Amazon batch--rolling off the assembly line don't have the de-sync issue," he speculated.

Nintendo has a section on their support page about what to do if your Joy-Con stops responding, saying interference from physical objects or other wireless devices could stop your controller from working. It also recommends not using a microwave anywhere near your Joy-Con (no, seriously).

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