Last week, a lawsuit was filed alleging that Nintendo’s problem with drifting joy-cons was becoming a little too big to ignore. While Nintendo didn’t comment, and their only public statement on the subject seemed to dismiss any acknowledgement, it appears that might have changed internally. An alleged memo from Nintendo of America suggests that the company is going to pursue a policy of free repairs for the drifting issue and refunds for anyone who paid for a joy-con fix.
According to a memo obtained by Waypoint, VICE’s games outlet, Nintendo has started telling their customer service representatives that they will no longer be charging for joy-con repairs for this issue. Previously, Nintendo’s stance was that they would repair joy-cons within the first year if they had a drifting problem, but the fix would not always be permanent, or even particularly long-lasting. The filed lawsuit in Seattle claims that the plaintiff’s joy-cons stopped working a few days after Nintendo supposedly fixed it. When the plaintiff asked Nintendo to repair it, they demanded payment for a second repair.
The memo, if accurate, suggests that the company recognizes this is a recurring problem that isn’t likely to just go away. The new policy is similar to Microsoft’s infamous Red Ring return initiative, which took virtually limitless repairs for the Xbox 360 due to a design flaw, though obviously on a smaller scale here. Much like that case, though, it might mean that Nintendo is going to be forced to redesign the internals of the controller to cut off the repair problem at the head.
No official statement has been made by Nintendo at this time.