The Nintendo Switch is scheduled to release on March 3rd, next Friday. It's literally just one week away. However, Nintendo appears to have run into a bit of a problem with their upcoming system, and it has to do with their highly innovative Joy-Con controllers.
Polygon is reporting that the left Joy-Con for the Nintendo Switch controller has been having some syncing issues during use. During their own play-test of the system, they experienced the left Joy-Con losing synchronization with the Nintendo Switch. They point to other examples from Kotaku, Giant Bomb and IGN also having issues as well.
This isn't just a synching problem that occurred out of the blue, this was happening during actual in-game play while the system was docked. According to Polygon, the left Joy-Con lost synchronization with the Nintendo Switch base unit while they were playing The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild. During the gameplay demonstration, the left Joy-Con would desync from the system and it would require having to go through the steps to pair the left and right Joy-Con with the Nintendo Switch unit again.
In order to get around this problem some of the journalists who were play-testing the Nintendo Switch decided to undock the unit and keep the Joy-Con gamepad plugged into the Nintendo Switch while it was undocked.
It was a minor inconvenience to have to play the device in the portable mode in order to resynch the Joy-Con controller and begin playing it again.
So how big a problem is this? Well, not everyone reported having issues with the Joy-Con. Only some journalists reported having problems with the left Joy-Con no longer being able to pair with the system. Others had no issues at all.
The Joy-Cons can actually be paired separately, and as they mention in the article you can also purchase the left and right Joy-Con separately from one another. This enables users to replace broken Joy-Con controllers or even purchase different colored controllers in order to spruce up the look of your system. So pairing the controllers to the system isn't a complicated thing but it can definitely become a tedious sore if the left Joy-Con loses pairing with the Switch during the middle of a game, especially something as responsive and attention-grabbing as The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild.
As far as the severity of this issue is concerned... the article doesn't say anything about a firmware update for the day one launch, but if Nintendo is aware of the issue they may end up releasing a firmware update to coincide with the day one release of the Nintendo Switch.
This could end up being a big blow to the engagement factor for first-time owners of the Nintendo Switch. Casuals aren't likely going to be tolerant of the controllers not working as intended. Hopefully, Nintendo will be able to address the issue as quickly as possible with a day-one patch.
The Nintendo Switch will require a day-one patch anyway in order to activate the Nintendo eShop, digital game browsing, and the Nintendo Network. So squeezing in a firmware update would hopefully resolve the pairing issue.