Reports have emerged that Nintendo is covering the repair of Switch consoles experiencing Joy-con connectivity issues and dock scratching problems, under the console’s one-year warranty.
An unknown number of early-adopters that have purchased Nintendo’s new Switch handheld-home console have reported experiencing connectivity issues with the device’s detachable Joy-con controllers. According to recent teardowns of the gamepads, the left Joy-con features an antenna that’s built directly into the controller’s circuit board that’s blocked by other components, resulting in intermittent signal problems including button lag and occasionally losing signal completely.
It’s still unclear exactly how many consoles are affected by this issue or how Nintendo’s repair process solves the problem.
The other problem Nintendo is reportedly covering under warranty relates to the Switch’s dock scratching its 6.2-inch 1280×720 pixel plastic display, though it’s still unclear what specifically is causing this defect. Some Switch owners state that the scratches stem from the lower or upper half of the dock being bent inwards, causing the tablet to brush against its sides when sliding the Switch into the base.
According to multiple posts in the Switch subreddit that have been corroborated by a number of users, Nintendo customer service representatives are now authorized to give free, overnight return shipping for replacement products, though unfortunately shipping the Switch to Nintendo is not covered.
Repair time has typically been quoted at two to three week, though many users are reporting receiving their units much quicker and in some cases, only a day later. Return time, however, reportedly related from what repairs are required.
Joy-Cons experiencing signal issues can be sent back for replacement controllers, according to Reddit users. In terms of the dock, the Switch tablet, as well as the dock, need to be sent back to Nintendo for repair. It’s also likely that sending your console back will result in you losing saved game data if Nintendo opts to send a new system back, rather than a replacement device.
Interestingly, multiple users are also indicating that customer service reps have stated Nintendo is planning a more “elegant” solution to the solving the hardware related issues the Switch is currently experiencing. This could possibly indicate a more standardized replacement process for defective Joy-cons and Switch docks is in the works.
Some Reddit users have also stated that they’ve been able to pay a deposit to have new Joy-con controllers sent out before the defective ones arrive at the repair facility, though this doesn’t seem to be the case for everyone who has contacted Nintendo.
“Throughout all of those experiences, throughout all the docking and undocking we’ve done, we haven’t seen it,” said Nintendo president and chief operating officer, Reggie Fils-Aimé, in a recent statement to Time.
“So this is one where if it is happening, we want to understand more as to what the specific situation is. Which is why we want consumers to let us know through our support site.”
If your Switch has been damaged or you’re suffering a technical problem, you can log your issue on Nintendo’s support site or call the company’s customer service line.
For what it’s worth, I’ve experienced the Joy-con connectivity issues on just a few occasions while playing Super Bomber Man R at a lengthy distance from my television. The dock included with my Switch also does not seem to be scratching the tablet.
We’ve reached out to Nintendo for clarification regarding the Switch repairs and will update this story when we hear back.
Update: Nintendo sent the following statement to MobileSyrup regarding its replacement program:
“At Nintendo, we take great pride in creating quality products and we want our consumers to have a positive experience. It is common with any new innovative consumer technology for consumers to have questions, and Nintendo Switch is no exception. There are no widespread technical problems, and all issues are being handled promptly, including the reports regarding the left Joy-Con Bluetooth connection. To best support our customers, we continuously update the online consumer support site and provide real-time answers to the questions we are receiving. We want our consumers to get up and running quickly to have fun with Nintendo Switch, and if anything falls short of this goal we encourage them to contact Nintendo’s Consumer Service team. For help with any hardware or software questions, please visit: http://support.