In Japan, Nintendo has announced that the price of single Joy-Con controllers for the Nintendo Switch will be reduced.

In Nintendo’s homeland the current price of ¥4 928 will be reduced to ¥4 114 (~R771 and R643 respectively).

On its own this really wouldn’t be too much of a big deal. With the next generation of Xbox and PlayStation arriving just next month it makes sense that Nintendo would make its 2017 console cheaper to attract more buyers.

In the grand scope of the Switch ecosystem this seems like a way to patch over the joystick drift problem. It’s a long tale but the summary is this: the joysticks on the Nintendo Switch Joy-Cons, most notably the left stick, suffers from drift along with many other problems which make it prone to failure.

“Drift” in this case refers to phantom inputs and other inaccurate controls which the player has no say over. This problem is extremely widespread and Nintendo is involved in ongoing class action lawsuits about the issue.

The Nintendo Switch Lite suffers from it too but comes with the added downside that you simply can’t remove the malfunctioning Joy-Cons and buy some new replacements.

And that really is the crux of the matter here: buying new replacements. Many frustrated players who don’t / can’t deal with official Nintendo repair – and those outside of warranty – have resigned themselves to just forking over more money to Nintendo for new controllers so they can continue enjoying their console.

We know this from experience. We’ve had drift issues in three separate left Joy-Cons, one is so bad to the point where the controller is not useable unless we open it ourselves and attempt repairs.

Reducing the price of these replacements has been taken by the community poorly, especially because the price reduction has only reflected in Japan with no word if the rest of the world can benefit.

Here in South Africa the price for a single Joy-Cons, as sold by the official distributors, is R1 199 each. Buying a left and right pair is cheaper at R1 699. Cheaper is a very relative term in this case.

[Source – Japanese Nintendo]