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Nintendo Switch suffering Left Joy Con Connection Issues

No dedicated Bluetooth antenna in left controller

by Mark Hodgkinson Mar 10, 2017 at 4:53 PM

  • Gaming News


    Nintendo Switch suffering Left Joy Con Connection Issues
    While sales of the Nintendo Switch have been strong, thus far, there is a potential problem for the company with users reporting wireless connection issues with the left Joy Con.
    On the face of it, it would seem a little strange that it’s specifically the left controller that is misbehaving but a few online tear-downs reveal that the hardware design of the two differs. The right Joy Con is more replete with built-in technology, having both an Infra-red (IR) sensor and Near Field Communication (NFC) chip on board, as well as, more significantly, a Bluetooth antenna in the form of a grey wire.

    Looking at the image below, taken from the iFixit teardown, with the blue cased left Joy Con to the right, it is noticeable that it doesn’t have the grey wire, instead its Bluetooth antenna is built on to the system board – probably to keep costs down.
    Nintendo Switch
    According to various technical analysis, there are a couple of placement issues with that; firstly, it’s situated right next to some metal casing, which will degrade the signal and, secondly, the signal could also potentially be affected by the users hand, as it is placed right where the grip is.

    We can see from the YouTube video by Spawn Wave below that his experiment in adding an antenna cable to the left Joy Con proves successful, with it maintaining a connection to the Switch at a distance of up to forty feet. 

    Nintendo America has acknowledged that some users are suffering the problem and issued advice, including the blindingly obvious instruction to move closer but other things in the home could also be causing interference, including pumps in fish tanks, and any wireless devices within a few feet, such as a wireless speaker or a wireless access point for your internet connection. Other everyday items in the home that could exacerbate the problem include Laptops, tablets, wireless headsets, wireless printers, microwaves, cordless phones and USB 3.0-compatible devices such as hard drives, thumb drives and LAN adapters.

    While those explanations from Nintendo are perfectly plausible, it doesn’t really help with those experiencing the issue– including AVForums members – as it shouldn’t really be the case that a console is dictating what other devices can be on at the same or time or, indeed, where they can be positioned in the home.

    Source iFixit

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