The much-discussed issue with the wireless connectivity of the Switch’s left Joy Con controller has finally been acknowledged by Nintendo.
The problem was raised ahead of the console’s launch last week by a handful of reviewers. Those who were affected found that the signal from the left Joy Con controller was at times intermittent. In Zelda, for instance, this could lead to deaths when the character continued to walk in an unwanted direction or didn’t react to button presses.
Testing of the problem seemed to suggest that the controller’s signal was easily interfered with by either objects sat between it and the Switch dock, or simply by distance. Certainly since launch users have themselves complained of the problem, although it does not appear to be universal.
While Nintendo has been quiet about the situation in the press, a page has popped up on its support site suggesting some possible fixes.
Advice includes “decreasing the distance between the Joy-Con and the console” and ensuring that the Switch is not sat behind a TV, in or under a metal object, pressed against a large amount of wires and cords, within three to four feet of another wireless device, such as a wireless speaker or a wireless access point or, amazingly, near an aquarium.
None of which is easy without completely altering the set up of your living room.
The site also suggests that affected users turn off possible sources of interference such as laptops, tablets, wireless headsets, wireless printers, microwaves, wireless speakers, cordless phones or USB 3.0-compatible devices such as hard drives, thumb drives or LAN adapters, etc.
The list had previously included mobile phones, although that has since been removed.
Obviously in a modern household this advice is largely impractical and, more annoyingly, completely unreasonable in a market where many people have large numbers of wireless devices that work perfectly well without such requirements.
The advice went down like a lead balloon with affected users. Nintendo has not yet indicated whether the problem is a hardware issue or something that can be addressed via a software update.