The Nintendo Switch Joy-Con controllers are suffering from major synchronization problems, according to several reports. Pre-release, unpatched versions of the console and its controllers are now in the hands of journalists and many of them have complained that the controllers are desynchronizing and disconnecting from the console when it is in its ‘docked’ form. This includes during the Nintendo Switch menu interface as well as in games such as The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild.
The sync problem seems to primarily affect the left Nintendo Switch Joy-Con, with Kotaku‘s Jason Schreier just one of the media professionals to have reported issues with the left Joy-Con specifically. The left and right Joy-Con controller offer slightly different capabilities, for example, as the right controller allows the console to connect to amiibo figures. It’s possible that as Nintendo worked hard to make sure the additional technology in the right controller worked without faults, issues with the left controller slipped through the cracks.
Yep, my left JoyCon desynchronizes as I'm playing. Gonna be a big problem if they can't fix this with a firmware update! https://t.co/aCf2K0jOz2
— Jason Schreier (@jasonschreier) February 23, 2017
It should be noted that Nintendo has already detailed a Nintendo Switch day one patch that is set to address a variety of concerns that people have with the console. This includes adding eShop support and improvements regarding the console’s online connectivity. It may well be the case that this patch also addresses the Joy-Con sync problems too and that the impact of this pre-launch issue will be negligible come launch day.
But on the other hand, there is the very real fear that the patch won’t fix the problem and that the issue will prevail for weeks after the console is released. Nintendo has said that it is looking into the issue but what if it can’t solve it in time? Additional Joy-Con controllers don’t come cheap so it will be incredibly disappointing to learn that the pricey accessories don’t work as intended. Nintendo should expect to sell few extra controllers in that case.
There’s also the concern that Nintendo Switch players will have to undock the console or use the Switch Pro controller just to play games on the console properly. Given that the Nintendo Switch’s battery life doesn’t offer epic play times and the Switch Pro controller is expensive too, neither offers an ideal solution to a problem that should never have been there in the first place.
The Nintendo Switch launches on March 3, 2017.