Hardware

Nintendo will replace Joy-Cons for free, warranty not needed

Nintendo
A Nintendo switch with the joycon undocked.
Nintendo Switch

Nintendo have come under fire recently over a huge number of Switch owners reporting drifting Joy-Cons, i.e. controllers that would input random commands despite not being moved, and it turns out Nintendo will replace them for free now.

Drifting Joy-Cons have turned out to be as selective as they are problematic, because not all Switch owners have experienced this, and it initially seemed as if it was an issue that was caused by individual users.

Thanks to a Kotaku report, Nintendo realised that this is far from an individual issue and they gave a standard PR statement about how they take great pride in creating quality products, directing users to the support page.

Now, however, some internal memos have been leaked where Nintendo seem to have realised the gravity of the situation.

As reported by Vice, Nintendo's customer service representatives were instructed to stop charging customers for Joy-Con repairs, and the same goes for asking for proof of purchase.

"Additionally it is not necessary to confirm warranty status. If a customer requests a refund for a previously paid Joy-Con repair [...] confirm the prior repair and then issue a refund", the memo said.

Switch owners who've had their Joy-Con controllers fixed by Nintendo say that it set them back for around $40, which we now know they'll be refunded with.

In short, Nintendo's customer representatives are encouraged to believe those who report Joy-Con drifting and immediately get to repairing them, regardless of whether it's covered by the warranty or not.

As you'd expect, many were worried for Switch Lite as well, as such repairs would require you to send the entire device, but Nintendo prepared some answers for their reps, which in this case is that they expect their hardware to run as intended.

NintendoA Nintendo switch with the joycon undocked.Switch Lite

The memo also says, "We want to quickly handle these questions to restore consumers smiles", although we're unsure whose smiles Nintendo are protecting here.

We're saying that because of the class-action lawsuit that popped up in the meantime, so yeah - we doubt it was all about the smiles.

You can find the report on Nintendo's internal memo on Vice.