Nintendo has confirmed that they will now fix all Joy-Con suffering from drift in the United Kingdom and European Economic Area for free, even if they’re out of warranty.
A revised post on the Big N’s Switch support pages on how to troubleshoot malfunctioning Joy-Cons with ‘responsiveness syndrome or so-called drifting‘ states:
“Nintendo takes great pride in creating high-quality and durable products and is continuously making improvements to them. Therefore and until further notice, Nintendo offers to consumers who purchased the respective product in the EEA, UK and Switzerland that repairs for responsiveness syndrome relating to control sticks will be conducted at no charge by official Nintendo repair centres. This applies even if the syndrome is caused by wear and tear and even if the 24-month manufacturer’s warranty provided by Nintendo has expired.”
Switch owners in territories such as North America have been able to have their drifting Joy-Con repaired for free for quite some time, but this is the first time this service has been extended to the UK and EEA, which includes countries in the EU, as well as Iceland, Liechtenstein and Norway.
This is great news for those of us with some drifting Joy-Con in a drawer, less so for anyone that took the plunge and swapped out the sticks themselves. It’s also bad news for those who decided to replace their Joy-Con shells with some custom ones, as Nintendo has said that they may refuse to repair Joy-Cons if the drift been caused by unofficial accessories not made by or for Nintendo.
Additionally, they may refuse repair if the controller has been opened, modified or repaired by any person or company other than Nintendo or its authorised partners, or if the controller has its serial number altered, defaced or removed.
The question does remain though, will Nintendo be able to get your repaired Joy-Con back to you in time to finish the brilliant Bayonetta Origins before it’s time to download The Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom? Time will tell.