Nintendo Switch OLED Model Joy-Con are not changed or improved

Nintendo Switch OLED Model Joy-Con not changed or improved, same as base Joy-Con with Joy-Con drift

This morning, Nintendo announced the Nintendo Switch OLED Model, revealing a 7″ screen and better audio, among other things. It was not quite what reporting from outlets like Bloomberg had led us to believe, but it is indeed a Switch upgrade. So does that Switch upgrade come with upgraded Joy-Con? No, certainly not. Nintendo has specified in an official question-and-answer section of its website that Nintendo Switch OLED Model Joy-Con controllers are the same as what’s already on the market, which in turn implies that consumer struggles with Joy-Con drift will continue.

The relevant Q&A explains that Joy-Con will continue to work universally across Switch platforms, because there is no differences in the Joy-Con:

Q4. Can I use the Joy-Con controllers I currently have with Nintendo Switch (OLED model)?

Yes. The Joy-Con controllers included with Nintendo Switch (OLED model) are the same as the controllers currently available.

Frankly, no aspect of this information is surprising, for better and for worse. Nintendo does not want to create a schism by creating exclusive controller hardware for the OLED model (which is good), but it has also never made any concrete commitment to addressing Joy-Con hardware design problems that allow for Joy-Con drift (which is bad).

For the uninitiated, Joy-Con drift is a phenomenon that often emerges over time and causes control sticks to register movement when they shouldn’t, obstructing gameplay, and it has plagued Nintendo Switch since its launch, even inspiring class-action lawsuits. Nintendo is willing to fix Joy-Con drift for free, but a better long-term solution would be to just redesign the controllers to remove this critical flaw.


John Friscia
Head Copy Editor for Enthusiast Gaming, Managing Editor at The Escapist. I'm a writer who loves Super Nintendo and Japanese role-playing games to an impractical degree. I really miss living in South Korea. And I'm developing the game Boss Saga!