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New Nintendo Switch model has the same ol’ Joy-Cons

Joy-Con drift may still be an issue

The new Nintendo Switch OLED model from behind, showing the new stand and the white Joy-Cons Image: Nintendo
Nicole Carpenter is a senior reporter specializing in investigative features about labor issues in the game industry, as well as the business and culture of games.

Nintendo will release a new Nintendo Switch, officially called the Nintendo Switch (OLED model), on Oct. 8, the company announced Tuesday. The upgraded hardware will cost $50 more than the Nintendo Switch that originally launched in 2017, and will feature a larger, OLED touchscreen — but it’s still using the same ol’ Joy-Cons, Nintendo has confirmed to Polygon.

Though the new Switch model is a definite upgrade — though, perhaps, not the major one some people expected — with its new display capabilities, adjustable stand, and “enhanced audio,” Nintendo hasn’t touched the Joy-Con controllers.

“The Joy-Con controller configuration and functionality did not change with Nintendo Switch system (OLED model),” a Nintendo representative told Polygon. “The configuration and functionality is the same as that of the Joy-con controllers for the Nintendo Switch system.”

The problem with Nintendo’s Joy-Con controllers is one of durability. The company is facing multiple lawsuits regarding Joy-Con drift, a problem that occurs when joysticks on the controller “drift” without user input, causing a character to move unintentionally. It’s been a known problem since the console was originally released, but the first lawsuit was filed in 2019. Nintendo originally began offering free repairs on affected Joy-Cons, but problems continued with new models, like the Nintendo Switch Lite — a particularly bad problem, since those Joy-Cons can’t be removed.

Nintendo has acknowledged the problem on a few occasions, but it looks like it’ll still be an issue even with the upgraded OLED Switch. In 2020, Nintendo did cut the price of a single Joy-Con by $10, down to $39.99, but replacing drifting Joy-Cons is still a costly solution.