Nintendo blames Switch Joy-Con issue on ‘manufacturing variation,’ offers fix

Nintendo’s latest console, the Switch, has been received quite favorably by us and others (having one of the best games ever on it helped) — but one recurring complaint concerned the Joy-Con L, or left controller, as everyone else calls it. Interruptions in the wireless signal were rare for me but more common for others, and Nintendo has finally acknowledged the problem as a hardware issue.

“A manufacturing variation has resulted in wireless interference with a small number of the left Joy-Con,” read a statement issued by Nintendo of America. The problem has been “corrected at the factory level,” so Switches going forward shouldn’t have the issue.

In the meantime, if you’re having trouble, you should be able to send your controller in to be fixed; it shouldn’t take more than a week. You can call the number you see here (under physical damage) for help, or try going through the troubleshooting process here, at which point you should be provided with repair options.

Hardware launches are nearly always difficult, and some companies (looking at you, Samsung) have trouble taking responsibility for problems, so props to Nintendo for being relatively upfront about this.

Here’s Nintendo’s statement in full:

There is no design issue with the Joy-Con controllers, and no widespread proactive repair or replacement effort is underway. A manufacturing variation has resulted in wireless interference with a small number of the left Joy-Con. Moving forward this will not be an issue, as the manufacturing variation has been addressed and corrected at the factory level.

We have determined a simple fix can be made to any affected Joy-Con to improve connectivity.

There are other reasons consumers may be experiencing wireless interference. We are asking consumers to contact our customer support team so we can help them determine if a repair is necessary. If it is, consumers can send their controller directly to Nintendo for the adjustment, free of charge, with an anticipated quick return of less than a week. Repair timing may vary by region.  For help with any hardware or software questions, please visit