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Column: Introduction to Controller Frustrations | Jim Quarter

When I was twelve, my group of friends was completely divided. A large portion were supporters of Sony’s PlayStation consoles, while a small group were a warmer group for Xbox consoles from Microsoft. There were no real supporters of Nintendo. GameBoy only occasionally appeared on the scene otherwise a nostalgic PC game. Computer gamers were almost not in my group. One of the discussions that took place among fans was about the best controller. Xbox proponents always fall back on the argument that the Xbox console was ‘much better in the hand’. The PlayStation controller was a pain in the hand. I was never worried about that. I even got a key, because that didn’t make me happy.

That said: In terms of consoles I feel satisfied quickly. I don’t need extra switches hidden somewhere on the back of the console which would improve my shooter performance. You don’t necessarily have to play with a cable as this will probably work in my favour for a few milliseconds. I just want a controller that does its job. He does what you got him to do. The Nintendo Switch Joy-Con does a lot of things that I didn’t get for it and that pretty much frustrates me.

If I was the only one who wasn’t a die-hard Joy-Con fan, I’d buy a new one and assume it was a bug, but we all know better. Nintendo’s Joy-Con is a very unstable console that many players abuse for not just one reason. It’s going to make Nintendo think about what it’s going to do for a new console, because Switch consoles seem beyond saving. This was already evident from an article Kotaku wrote in April of this year. The Joy-Con repair supervisor said that thousands of repairs are requested every week. It became an issue that replacements were no longer sent, but the Joy-Cons really had to be fixed. A separate section has been created to complete the repairs.

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The elephant in the room is of course a drift problem. The Joy-Con analog sticks sooner or later show drift problems in many cases. The controller assumes that you want to move your playable character in a certain direction, while not giving any commands for that. Many consoles have this problem, but after a ridiculous amount of hours of gameplay. Joy-Cons show this problem relatively quickly, according to all the forums on the Internet. In addition, we have a connection from Joy-Cons. In some cases it disappears from time to time. This can often be resolved by resetting everything, but it is not a permanent solution.

Problems show that the quality of the console leaves much to be desired. And let’s be honest: It doesn’t feel stiff either. Well, I’m a six-foot guy with a loose-fitting Joy-Con that just disappears in the palm of your hand, but you simply don’t feel like you have a piece of quality in your hand. Great for kids in size, too small for adults. It’s curious what these Xbox fans have to say about the size of the single Joy-Con!

Nintendo is well aware that the Joy-Con is not the best piece of its hardware. The HD Rumble is fun, but then it stops. Games that try to take full advantage of the console show limits. For example, aiming at the screen is very inaccurate. However, the company doesn’t fully acknowledge that Joy-Con is no feat. Makes sense to some extent, of course, but it’s no less frustrating.

It actually makes me actively search for 3rd party consoles for the first time. The controllers that make the Joy-Con memorable. Fortunately, there are some decent alternatives that also have the most important features. It totally goes against my principles, but I feel compelled. So with Nintendo’s next console, I’ll wait and see how the consoles go, because current consoles make my console discussions as a twelve-year-old completely irrelevant.

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