Nintendo has silently updated Joy-Con over the years

What you need to know

  • “Iwata Asks” was a series of developer interviews hosted by Satoru Iwata.
  • Nintendo’s new “Ask the Developer” series is inspired by Iwata’s interviews, and consults real Nintendo developers.
  • In volume two of “Ask the Developer”, Nintendo’s employees discuss improvements made to the Joy-Con.

Nintendo’s new “Ask the Developer” series of interviews is inspired by the “Iwata Asks” sessions led by the late CEO and President of the company, Satoru Iwata. Similarly to “Iwata Asks”, the “Ask the Developer” series feature interviews with Nintendo employees who influenced both hardware and software. These developers are asked about their thought processes, goals, and the culture of developing for Nintendo.

In volume two of the series, two employees were interviewed: Ko Shiota, who is the head of the Technology Development Division at Nintendo, and Toru Yamashita, who works in the Technology Development Department. Both developers have had a hand in shaping the Wii, Wii U and Nintendo Switch OLED model, which released today alongside Metroid Dread.

Shiota and Yamashita discussed their thought process in what they wanted to do for the OLED model, steering away from features that were too exclusive, so as to not alienate previous Nintendo Switch customers. They instead sought to “refine” the existing Switch model instead, as their own version of what some fans may have called a “pro” model.

The Joy-Con also received subtle upgrades over the years, according to the developers, with refinements to the analog sticks gradually in an attempt to improve user experience. With their own internal testing combined with consumer feedback, Nintendo’s Technology Development Division “investigated the Joy-Con controllers used by the customers and repeatedly improved the wear resistance and durability.” The analog sticks are designed specifically for the controllers, which made it possible for them to incorporate improved versions of them into new Joy-Con models and consoles like the Nintendo Switch Lite, which had its own infamous “Joy-Con drift” issue.

Hopefully the Joy-Con continue to be improved, as so many consumers had issues with stick drifting that a class-action lawsuit was filed. At a price point of around $80 for a pair, it’s quite expensive to replace hardware that is so integral to the gaming experience if Nintendo support is limited and repair is impossible.

Super shiny

Nintendo Switch OLED model

A new and improved Nintendo Switch

$350 at Best Buy

The newest member of the Nintendo Switch family is the OLED model, which incorporates new and improved features to the system including a larger OLED display, a more stable kickstand for tabletop play, a LAN port, and an upgraded 64GB of internal storage. It’s the classic Nintendo Switch, but better.

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