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Nintendo may have solved Switch Joy-Con desync issue – with foam?!

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Nintendo Switch 3

There’s good news on the horizon for Nintendo Switch owners plagued by Joy-Con syncing issues – Nintendo may have a fix.

Since the Nintendo Switch earlier this month, Zelda fans have endlessly bemoaned the left Joy-Con controller and its disconnection issues. Nintendo has acknowledged that this is indeed affecting some users, but the source of the problem hasn’t been clear. Until now, perhaps.

CNet’s Sean Hollister has written a post detailing how Nintendo seemingly resolved the left Joy-Con desync issue with relative ease – and a little bit of foam.

Hollister claims to have sent off his Joy-Con to Nintendo via paid-for overnight shipping (after verifying the issue and serial number). In less than a week the Joy-Con was returned, and was working perfectly.

Fortunately, Hollister photographed the insides of the Joy-Con before and after the repair, so we can see what changes were made. And the only obvious modification appears to have been the addition of a small foam block.

The working theory is that this is a piece of conductive foam that’s been treated with “nickel, copper or both, so it can shield electronics from RF interference”. This piece of foam appears to be sitting on top of the Joy-Con’s antenna traces, which could mean that it’s there to defend against interference.

Importantly, when Hollister tried removing the foam, the Joy-Con stopped working properly, suggesting that the foam is the key to resolving the issue.

However, it may not be as simple as that. Hollister also purchased a brand new controller on Amazon, and claims that this new Joy-Con worked perfectly too – without having any foam inside. But the difference is that this new Joy-Con has a different code on the circuit board (“0-4” and “16324” versus “Q-1” and “16402”).

The implication here is that Nintendo has already modified the Joy-Con controller design and is shipping out new versions via Amazon. However, it’s important to note that Nintendo hasn’t confirmed any such design change, and supplied CNet with the following statement:

"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."

The statement continued: "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.nintendo.com."

So if you’re having issues with Joy-Con, we’d still recommend speaking to Nintendo directly, rather than busting the controller open and stuffing it with foam. After all, if you start tinkering with the innards, you’ll almost certainly void the warranty and will lose eligibility for actual repairs.

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