The drift problem is one of the biggest that exists in gamepads, especially those of SONY and Nintendo, because for Microsoft, the chances of having this problem are much lower than they are. produce. In any case, this is not a single, widespread brand issue that affects generic PC drivers as well. Fortunately, a patent seems to have the definitive solution to the problem.
The patent that will put an end to the drift
The PixArt company has a patent assigned to its name resulting in the ultimate solution to drift
The deformable surface is located on the internal body of the analog stick, just in the hole where it shares space with the image sensor, which from the deformations produced in the deformable part can interpret that the user h as made a movement or another with analog paste.
This simple method eliminates the need for a potentiometer to measure analog stick movements. It is precisely a malfunction and poor calibration of the potentiometer that leads to 90% of the problems linked to drift. In addition, this solution is very inexpensive to implement and therefore viable for all gamepads, regardless of the platform.
Will we see this technology in any product?
Japanese newspaper Economic Daily News said in an article in August 2020 that Nintendo will be implementing PixArt technology in future revisions of its Joy-Con. There has been talk for months about a Switch review, which would use the same SoC as the current review, but come with a Samsung OLED display instead of the current IPS.
This revision has yet to be announced, but it would be an opportunity for Nintendo to launch new Joy-Cons that would not have the Drift issue that affected the controllers of the various Nintendo Switch models. Another company that might be interested in using this technology is SONY given the drift issues in the DualSense of its PS5.
In any case, since this is a patent outside of one of the three console brands and any peripheral manufacturer, it means that it can be licensed for the creation of new gamepads. Plus, using an image sensor to read analog stick movements means that classic pot wear and tear won’t exist.