If you bought a Nintendo Switch, there’s a high chance you’re dealing with the dreaded left joy-con sync issue. It’s been recently discovered that the issue is likely due to some bad hardware design in the left controller. Essentially, the left joycon has a very small bluetooth antenna soldered into the controller board, while the right controller has an extended and stronger antenna wire.
So how do you get around it? Well, you could do like this guy and void your warranty – not recommended. Or you can wait for Nintendo to fix the issue. This begs the question: how COULD Nintendo fix the left JoyCon issue? Below you’ll find a few possibilities. Just bear in mind these are possible solutions; Nintendo has not stated they are doing anything other than looking into the issue right now.
Recall the Joycons
When hardware is poorly implemented and results in a less-than-acceptable product or experience, it’s not uncommon for manufacturers to recall the defected product and replace it for free. This seems like the most honest thing to do, but would mean that Nintendo would have to outwardly apologize for poor design (making them look bad), and would require anyone without an additional controller to wait weeks for a new one to be delivered.
They could also recall the entire console, but I doubt users would be too happy with that, since all the data on the Switch is non-transferrable. Meaning that 40 hours you’ve already spent playing Breath of the Wild is gone for good.
Release a better Joy-con Grip
Specifically, release a Joy-con grip that packs the functionality to bypass the joycon bluetooth signal with its own stronger signal, mitigating any interference problems. This doesn’t really help when playing games like 1-2-Switch, where both joy-cons are used independent of each other, but certainly solves for single player gamers.
From there, a simple software update to accept the new signal would be all you need to get it up and running.
Release better Joy-con attachments
Each joy-con has a corresponding wrist-strap attachment with L/R buttons at the base. Much like the previous idea, but extend the range of both controllers individually. This would solve for everyone except those who like a unified controller experience; the previous idea would be best for that scenario.
Once again, all that would be needed after shipping the new attachments would be to release a quick software update.
Enable support for Wii/Wii U controllers
Nintendo has already released a wide number of bluetooth controllers that have a much more stable connection than the joy-cons. Something like this would be incredibly useful for single player games, like Breath of the Wild. The Wii U Pro controller resembles the Switch’s new Pro Controller, and many Nintendo fans already own one of those. And if they don’t, they’ll at least have piece of mind that it’s almost half the price of the Switch pro controller.
Ship Pro controllers or new and improved joy-cons to gamers
Nintendo could very easily just send everyone who currently owns a switch new and improved joy-cons or a pro controller. As easy as it would be to register your Nintendo account upon purchasing a Switch, you could validate your Switch purchase with Nintendo. This would effectively prove you’re an owner of a Switch console, and give you access to a free controller.
Nintendo needs to own up
The hardware design of the joy-cons, especially the left joy-con, is subpar at best. Its interference issues are more to do with the internals of the controller, and less to do with whether or not your Switch sits next to your speaker bar.
All of this might be wishful thinking, but Nintendo should ultimately apologize and own up to the poor design. It should be on them to figure something out. Let’s hope they do!