The Nintendo Switch Joy-Con Drift controversy has been calming down in recent months. Following the start of a class-action lawsuit against Nintendo, the company started offering free repairs for affected Nintendo Switch hardware.
The Joy-Con Drift occurs in a not-insignificant amount of the controllers, making a character move in a direction without the Joy-Con being moved. While the issue was known to persist in standard Nintendo Switch consoles, many expected the new Nintendo Switch Lite to be immune. That reportedly isn't the case.
Joystick drift is an unfortunate issue that can affect any controller with a joystick. It can happen due to wear within the joystick mechanism or as a result of dust or dirt accumulation. The Joy-Con seems to have a bigger issue regarding the contacts inside of the analog stick. These materials appear to be wearing down faster than normal, or even faster than is reasonable. The result is enough wear inside the analog stick to create drift in a matter of weeks or months.
YouTube channel Spawn Wave, who has created several videos on the Joy-Con Drift issues, performed a thorough teardown of the new Nintendo Switch Lite. While inspecting the analog sticks wasn't the sole reason for the teardown, Spawn Wave was clearly was interested to see if Nintendo made any changes. His inspection, unfortunately, resulted in the conclusion that Nintendo was using either identical or near-identical analog sticks in the Nintendo Switch Lite as in the original console's Joy-Cons.
According to Spawn Wave, it seems likely that the Nintendo Switch Lite will have similar issues to the original console's Joy-Cons. Since the Nintendo Switch Lite's launch was so recent, it hasn't been long enough to see if there will be a returning problem. But it certainly seems possible if not likely. Hopefully, Nintendo will be willing to perform free repairs on the Nintendo Switch Lite, too, if the same problem does arise.
While Spawn Wave does say that he believes these analog sticks to be the same, he does add a note. He mentions that it's possible that the Nintendo Switch Lite's analog sticks are built with different materials. He's likely referring to the specific material in the Joy-Con analog stick that seems to wear down extremely fast. It's possible that Nintendo is now using a different material that's stronger and won't wear down as quickly.
There's ultimately little that Nintendo fans can do about the situation. Those who want to play Nintendo Switch games will have to settle for hardware that may eventually have the Joy-Con Drift issue. The best thing that Nintendo Switch owners can do to prevent the issue is to be gentle with their joysticks.
The Nintendo Switch Lite is available now.
Source: Spawn Wave