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Nintendo Switch OLED Joy-Cons may be less likely to drift

The company has regularly "made changes to improve durability," developers say.

The OLED Switch works with older Joy-Cons, but newer ones may be less inclined to drift.
Scott Stein/CNET

Nintendo's new Switch OLED came out Friday, and its Joy-Con controllers may seem unchanged on the surface. Which might make you concerned that they'll suffer from drifting problems, where controllers register joystick movement without the player touching them. 

But that might be less of an issue in newer Switches, including the base model, the Lite and the OLED, due to tweaks Nintendo has been making to the parts, according to a developer Q&A posted on the company's site, as previously noted by Axios reporter Stephen Totilo. 

"We have investigated the Joy-Con controllers used by the customers and repeatedly improved the wear resistance and durability," Toru Yamashita, Nintendo's deputy general manager for tech development, said.

"The parts of the Joy-Con analog sticks are not something that can be bought off the shelf but are specially designed, so we have undergone a lot of considerations to improve them. In addition, we improved the reliability test itself, and we have continued to make changes to improve durability and clear this new test."

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However, tech development general manager Ko Shiota acknowledged that it's unlikely to eliminate the problem entirely due to the parts wearing down over time.

"For example car tires wear out as the car moves, as they are in constant friction with the ground to rotate," he said. "So with that same premise, we asked ourselves how we can improve durability, and not only that, but how can both operability and durability coexist? It's something we are continuously tackling."

Since the Switch OLED and its seemingly improved Joy-Cons only just started reaching players Friday, it's too early to tell how widespread the drift issue will be in the updated models.