Pulling aside a dedicated mini-joycon board, we get down to a source of recent controversy in the Switch—the joystick.
Initially, these joysticks look pretty similar to the 2019 Switch joysticks as we crack open their cases—but the design of the clasps around the edges is a bit different, and the case is easier to open overall.
Hoping to find some kind of drift-related improvement, we open up both the Switch Lite (top) and 2019 Switch (bottom) joystick assemblies and lay them out for your viewing pleasure.
Things on the inside don’t immediately seem too different, but we do notice some new trace routing, a narrower stick click button, and slightly wider-looking metal sliders.
A popular guess at the cause of joystick drift is that the black contact pads under the sliders wear down over time. They appear unchanged here, but it’s possible they might be made of tougher stuff this time. Unfortunately that’s beyond the scope of our testing for now.