The Nintendo Switch OLED, along with any other recently shipped Switch models, will include improved Joy-Con controllers, according to an ask-the-developer post on Nintendo’s website.
Ko Shiota, technology development division director, and Toru Yamashita, technology development department deputy general manager, seemed to allude to Joy-Con drift when speaking about the actual improvements in the latest version of the Joy-Con Controllers. That’s an issue where the analog sticks on the Switch controllers will degrade over time, causing unintended movement inputs.
“We mentioned that the Joy-Con controller specifications hadn’t changed in the sense that we didn’t add new features such as new buttons,” said Yamashita, seemingly referencing reports that the Switch OLED wouldn’t have updated controllers. “But the analog sticks in the Joy-Con controllers included with Nintendo Switch — OLED Model are the latest version, with all the improvements.”
Without specific details, it’s hard to tell exactly what has been improved in the Joy-con controllers’ analog sticks. However, it’s likely related to the regular wear and tear they go through. According to Shiota, the controllers’ analog sticks wear down in the same way “car tires wear out as the car moves, as they are in constant friction with the ground to rotate.” With this issue in mind, Nintendo has continuously looked for ways to “improve durability” while balancing operability in its Joy-Con controllers.
It doesn’t seem like Nintendo is done working on the Switch’s controllers just ye,t either. Improving the Joy-Con design is “something we are continuously tackling,” said Shiota.