Tencent Tells Chinese Switch Customer That Joy-Con Drift is Caused by Imported Games

A rather curious story has come from China, as a Tencent representative (the distributor of the Nintendo Switch in the region), has seemingly told a customer that the infamous Joy-Con drift has been caused by playing an imported game.

A user by the name of 冬天的穿堂风 (literally “Winter Wind”) on Chinese social media website Weibo explained their story, which was subsequently translated by “ChineseNintendo” (an account that “Covers news, history and trivia about Nintendo in Chinese-speaking regions”) on Twitter.

“Is my Joy-Con not drifting?”, the user said. “I talked to customer service and they told me the behavior of Joy-Cons are not guaranteed on import games and that I should test with NSMBUDX. Utter nonsense.” The user also included a video, showing the camera gleefully spinning without input in The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild. While it can be hard to verify the validity of this claim, the comments to the post take a similarly scathing and disbelieving tone.

Apart from the obvious logic that many components of the Nintendo Switch (including the Joy-Cons) would be developed in China under Nintendo’s specifications, there would also be little difference in software. The ongoing lawsuit over the Joy-Cons [1, 2] also revealed the issue as being hardware based.

What is surprising is how quick Chinese users are to call out Tencent on the matter, especially considering the nation’s harsh monitoring of social media. The infamous Chinese Firewall (blocking out nigh-all foreign websites and information) should have also prevented users from knowing the issue’s true cause.

In this writer’s experience and others [1, 2], attempting to get Nintendo of Europe to acknowledge the lawsuit was impossible, as Nintendo began repairing Joy-Cons for free in America- an offer not extended to Europe). It would make sense that Tencent would be reluctant to explain the issue to their own customers, essentially admitting their product has a fault that they cannot prevent occurring even after repairs. Though emphasizing that the issue came purely from imported games seems bizarre.

A desperate act, or an attempt to drive up purchases in China? What do you think? Sound off in the comments below!

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Ryan was a former Niche Gamer contributor.

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