Hardware teardown offers insight into Joy Con fix

Ben Parfitt
Hardware teardown offers insight into Joy Con fix

A Switch Joy Con returned by Nintendo after a repair has hinted at how Nintendo intends to fix its left controller problem.

The platform holder has today said that a manufacturing variation” was to blame for what it says are a small number” of reported problems. This has apparently now been fixed at the source.

Nintendo has also said that any current owners with problems can return their Joy Cons for repair, with return promised within a week. Before this announcement, however, Cnet was able to have one of its controllers sent off, and a look at the changes is quite interesting.

The site confirmed that the unit it received back was the same as the one they had mailed off, and that the previous connectivity issues were gone. The only change, however, was the addition of a small cube of conductive foam, positioned over where the left Joy Con's Bluetooth transmitter is found on the circuit board.

The theory is that the foam protects the circuits from interference, possibly from the metal casing positioned just next to it or possibly from the ribbon cables that run from the joystick. Removing the foam even sees the previous issues returning.

This all broadly ties in with earlier speculation suggesting the problems were linked to the variation in design between the left and right Joy Cons. In that instance, an alternative fix was suggested that involved soldering a length of wire to the circuit board.

Interestingly, however, Cnet also sourced a new additional Joy Con that works perfectly, despite the absence of the foam fix. The only difference between it and the first controller is the coding at the top of the circuit board (‘Q-1' versus ‘16402'). The site speculated that a change of manufacturing may have occurred – which of course has since been confirmed.

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