Nintendo’s Doug Bowser says Switch Joy-Con controllers get “continuous improvements”

Drifting away

Nintendo of America president Doug Bowser has said Nintendo is making “continuous improvements” to the Joy-Con controllers for Nintendo Switch.

The controllers are unique to the Switch console, sliding onto the side of the core tablet to make it an all-in-one gaming machine in handheld mode, while also detachable to use as either two smaller controllers for on-the-go play or as motion-sensing wands akin to the Wii remote. However, the controllers have been plagued almost since the Nintendo Switch’s launch in 2017 with complaints of “drift” – registering movements the player doesn’t actually make.

Bowser told The Verge that “as we’ve gone through the first five and a half years of the Nintendo Switch, we’ve observed gameplay, we’ve observed as people have returned units how they’ve worn, and we’ve been making continuous improvements overall to the Joy-Con, including the analog stick.”


Bowser goes on to say that the latest iteration of the controller, introduced alongside the new Nintendo Switch OLED Model, an “updated analog stick” which is now built into Joy-Cons that come with the original model Nintendo Switch and the handheld-only Nintendo Switch Lite.

Bowser has also addressed player concerns over the emulation of N64 games on Nintendo Switch, which were introduced as part of the recently upgraded Nintendo Switch Online subscription service. Players who subscribe to the higher tier get access to a curated selection of N64 and Sega Mega Drive games, but some have complained about the overall quality of these classics through the service.

In response, Bowser said: “We’re constantly looking for ways to make our online features and those games better and continuing to add value through more services and more games as we go forward.”

In other news, developer Turtle Rock Studios has admitted its co-op zombie shooter Back 4 Blood is “far more difficult than intended”, with an error in the rate at which special Ridden read: super zombies – spawn in the game. Turtle Rock says the issue is being addressed, and the game’s difficulty will be rebalanced.