Nintendo Claims Left Joy-Con Sync Issues Due to "Manufacturing Variation"

Nintendo’s latest home console, the Nintendo Switch, has been in consumer hands for roughly half a month, and the Kyoto-based company just released a statement on widely-publicized hardware issues. For those out of the loop, many notable gaming sites and (later) consumers discovered a problem with the Left Joy-Con syncing with the Nintendo Switch when detached.

What made this even more strange is the problem seemed uneven — many people (DualShockers included) reported no syncing issues whatsoever, where others found the issues so unbearable it made games impossible to play.

Though Nintendo has stayed largely silent on the issue, Nintendo of America offered a brief statement on the issue to Kotaku:

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

What is specifically the issue? CNET reported that the problem is likely a very tiny piece of conductive foam — added after many Nintendo Switch JoyCon repairs — helps to block interference to the Bluetooth’s signal and prevent contact from wires.

While the entire team at DualShockers who grabbed a Nintendo Switch hasn’t run into any issues, its good to hear that Nintendo is offering the repairs out for free — assuming you can give up playing The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild long enough for the hardware to get repaired.

As for the Switch itself, Nintendo has been rather bullish with their estimates. Only this week, GameStop’s senior director said sales have been “phenomenal” with the possibility of eclipsing the Wii. Other reports are suggesting that Nintendo is doubling its hardware sales expectations and ramping up production — going from 8 million units to 16 million.

DualShockers reviewed the Nintendo Switch, awarding it a 6.5 out of 10. We noted that “whether you find yourself within the camp as a Nintendo fanboy or someone hoping for Nintendo to give up the console race altogether, the Nintendo Switch has potential.”

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Lou Contaldi

Lou Contaldi specializes in both reviews and the business behind gaming. He began writing about tech and video games while getting his Juris Doctor at Hofstra University School of Law. He is maybe the only gaming journo based in Nashville, TN.

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