So here’s the thing – when millions of new electrical devices are shipped out for a product launch, some of them are going to be faulty. It’s statistically inevitable.
The challenge then becomes determining whether the unavoidable issues that arise online are symptomatic of inherent problems we should be worried about, or instead just the misfortune of the unlucky and most vocal few.
And it’s currently impossible to tell where Nintendo’s Switch falls on that spectrum.
Undoubtedly the most notable and worrying thing about the hardware to date is the Joy Con situation. As previously reported, there has been widespread annoyance at apparent signal problems from the left Joy Con. Certainly it has been proved that the signal from the left device is weaker than the right device, and we can be sure that for some at least this is a very legitimate concern.
Beyond that the complaints get a little harder to quantify, but there certainly do seem to be a few issues that are repeatedly surfacing.
Screen scratching appears to be the next most pressing concern, with reports that users are finding scratches appearing down the side of their Switch screen after docking the device. Why is this happening? Switch’s use of a plastic as opposed to a glass screen seems a likely culprit, but there could be another factor at play.
Reports are now emerging of bent docks. As in, one of the dock’s two struts designed to hold the Switch in place for TV play is bent inwards. The dock issue quickly escalated yesterday after Nintendo was accused of pulling the dock from its online store, with online sleuths very quickly deciding this was proof of a defect being acknowledged.
It’s not, of course, and the truth about the supposed store listing removal remains uncertain.
Next on the list is dead pixels, with users complaining of black dots on their Switch screens. Dead pixels are an unavoidable reality of flatscreen tech, and the only thing that really varies is a company’s response to the problem. Some will replace any screen with a dead pixel, while other have set policies requiring a certain number of dead pixels to be present before replacement.
Nintendo certainly hasn’t helped itself by suggesting that users will simply have to put up with any dead pixels on the Switch, however.
None of which has stopped Switch getting off to a flying start around the world, but Nintendo might face quickly diminishing sales unless it gets on top of the growing perception that the Switch hardware is flawed.