Some Nintendo Switch owners continue to say the console’s left Joy-Con controller has sync problems. Even after the console’s first system update, they’re left wondering what they can do for a fix.
The issue appears to occur while playing in TV mode and when the controller’s signal is interrupted, such as when another person stands between the Joy-Con and the Switch. This results in the left Joy-Con controller dropping connection or becoming unresponsive.
Update - 2:00 pm: Nintendo provided us with the following statement: “We have received some reports and are looking into them. As with all Nintendo video game systems, we will continue to monitor the performance of Nintendo Switch hardware and software, and make improvements when necessary. For help with any hardware or software related questions, visit http://support.nintendo.com.”
Please note that not everyone is currently experiencing this. Here are some who apparently have been:
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There are some reports of sync issues in Japan, with the left Joy-Con being seen as the problem.
“When I detach the left Joy-Con, I cannot use it.”
“In short, the left Joy-Con buttons aren’t getting any response.”
Once again, the left Joy-Con controller could be the culprit. Eguri89 experienced lag in TV Mode as well as in Tabletop Mode.
Konami has actually issued a statement about the Super Bomberman R lag, recommending that for battle mode, players don’t use the Joy-Con Grip, but rather change to Handheld Mode or detach the Joy-Con controllers for Tabletop Mode.
Yet, as this Twitter user shows, there still appears to be lag in Tabletop Mode with the left Joy-Con. (His character is in the upper right corner. The delay is most noticeable when the game clock is between 2:30 and 2:22.)
Oddly, in Handheld Mode, Super Bomberman R also appears to suffer from lag in the above clip, leading to Eguri89 to wonder if the problem was with the game itself rather than the hardware.
Prior to the console’s release, there have been reports of sync snafus. In Kotaku’s Switch review, for example, Kirk Hamilton mentioned the left Joy-Con issue, writing, “I’ve also run into a frustrating issue where the left Joy-Con momentarily loses tracking and stops responding to my inputs. I’ll be playing Zelda with the two Joy-Con combined on the grip, and the left thumbstick momentarily detaches from the game.” Other Kotaku staffers (and other Switch reviewers) have also experienced left Joy-Con sync problems.
Digital Foundry examined the issue, creating this chart to explain the Joy-Con sync quality.
Digital Foundry noted that the signal strength is not as strong as that of a regular game controller. “The fact there is a difference at all between the two Joy-Cons here is curious though,” Digital Foundry added. “After all, the right Joy-Con has only two spec differences, in its extra infra-red pointer and NFC chip.” Besides this, it continues, the controllers are the same. (For more, read Digital Foundry’s full report.)
The day one patch, some claimed on Reddit and NeoGAF, fixed this de-sync issue, but there are still folks claiming to have problems.
The reason given for the update not fixing the problem is that after the update the Switch must be rebooted with the Joy-Con controllers attached. Yet, that didn’t appear to work for everyone.
YouTube’s GameXplain rebooted with the Joy-Con controllers attached, but spotty connections remained.
Hardware launches are often rocky, and consoles usually get better as time passes in their production life. That, however, isn’t any comfort to those new Switch owners who are currently experiencing Joy-Con lag.
What’s the official word from Nintendo about all this? As of writing, we don’t know. Last month, Kotaku’s Stephen Totilo followed up with Nintendo regarding the matter.
Since then, however, the company has yet to put out a comment regarding the issue.