Reports of Hardware Issues Plague Nintendo Switch Launch

A visitor plays a Nintendo's new Switch game console during its game experience session in Tokyo on January 14, 2017

Despite reports of “tremendous” consumer demand, the launch of Nintendo’s newest console has been a bumpy ride.

If your Nintendo Switch has dark patches on the screen, or pixels that don’t function at all, Nintendo simply isn’t interested. According to their support documents, “small numbers of stuck or dead pixels are a characteristic of LCD screens. These are normal and should not be considered a defect.” But nonfunctioning “dead” pixels are a problem largely relegated to early LCD displays, and customers rightfully expect better from current technology.

The left “joycon” controller for the Switch is also particularly fussy. Nintendo’s response to widespread reports of nonfunctioning left-side control is a help page that suggests you keep your controller away from everything from laptops, wireless headsets, wireless printers, microwaves, and wireless speakers, to thumb drives, wireless phones, aquariums, and “metal objects.”

If you can just avoid these little pitfalls, you’ll be fine! After all, who really owns a microwave, wireless phone, or aquarium these days? All of this is due to an elementary design flaw: while the right-hand controller has a dedicated internal Bluetooth antenna, the left one does not. They have also positioned its troublesome transmitter right beside… a metal box.

And no, putting it in your butt doesn’t help.

And if you’ve purchased the Switch’s standalone TV dock, you may want to think twice about using it. Consumers claim the tight-fitting accessory is scratching the Switch’s plastic screen. Nintendo has yet to make an official comment, but they have unceremoniously killed the web page for the accessory and stopped selling it entirely.

Additionally, there are both blue and orange screens of death. While the former seems temporarily fixable with a system restart, the latter means your console has “bricked.” That might not be so bad if there was any way to back up or restore data between consoles. Unfortunately, that isn’t possible. Nintendo has stated that the internal memory cannot be moved to a microSD card or transferred to another console. That includes saved games, so good luck if you have lost your progress through Breath of the Wild‘s massive world.

Many of these problems are typical of new systems, but Nintendo’s lack of response has been particularly frustrating for those otherwise excited by the console. We can only hope that Nintendo takes a dramatic turn for the proactive, and tightens up production quality for the sake of their devoted fans.

Follow Nate Church @Get2Church on Twitter for the latest news in gaming and technology, and snarky opinions on both.


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