Don’t worry, Mario Kart aficionados. I ain’t talking about that kind of drifting (and anyway, to disable that they’d somehow have to design a controller without the right bumper, which seems a bit unnecessary). I refer to the evergreen Switch issue of Joy-Con drift, whereby the system registers phantom directional inputs on its analog sticks, causing your character/vehicle/technicolour cuboid of the day to veer off wildly.
Tech whizzes and gamers alike continue to debate the actual cause – whether it’s bits of grit getting stuck under the control stick, wear and tear, mere faulty manufacturing by Nintendo, or some kind of wider hardware flaw. There seems to be no one true fix that solves this pesky problem for everyone. Some folks overcome it with a quick gentle wash of the sticks, while others advocate for randomly bashing your Joy-Cons against the floor for a bit to dislodge anything lodged in there. Whatever works; though if your pricey $80 Pro Controller breaks as a result, you didn’t read it here. Direct lawsuits elsewhere, ta.
Hands-on with the controller
Luckily, thanks to third party company GuliKit, needing to do any of this extraneous nuttery just to play your games may soon be a thing of the past. Per NintendoLife, the GuliKit KingKong Pro 2 is “promising no analogue stick drifting thanks to its ‘Electromagnetic Stick’ technology.” Who’d they buy that patent off, Doc Brown? Costing a “surprisingly reasonable $70, the controller also features an ‘FPS Mode’ which is set to boast no dead zone whatsoever.” And the hype just keeps on building.
In the report, we’re treated to an excerpt from a Gizmodo hands-on with the controller. Here’s what those boffins had to say:
“Third-party controllers have come a long way over the years, but instead of simply providing a cheaper alternative to what console makers offer, companies like 8BitDo and Scuf now offer controllers with added customizability and functionality, giving gamers more reasons to choose something other than what Sony, Nintendo, and Microsoft offer. GuliKit is doing the same, but with a $70 price tag that matches the Switch Pro Controller, and the promise of never experiencing drifting joysticks again, the KingKong Pro 2 now seems like the best option for Switch gamers.”
In case you’re now curious – and if I’ve written this correctly, you should be – here’s the official breakdown of the controller’s features from the GuliKit site:
- New Patented Electromagnetic Stick, No Drifting Ever
- New Patented Button, Excellent Conductive Rubber Feel, 50 million Times of Ultra-Long Life, Anti-Stuck, Anti-Disconnection
- Support Switch Console Wake-up
- Support wired and wireless connection
- Built-in rechargeable lithium battery can run for up to 25 hours on a full charge.
- Exclusive FPS mode, Patented technology, 100% No Dead Zone
Disgustingly rampant capitalisation aside, that sure is a veritable laundry list of good stuff; though I am assuming it’s been through a couple of translations, as the syntax is mangled and “50 million Times of Ultra-Long Life” feels like the kind of self-inflated hyperbole one could only spout after having known the touch of every woman on Earth.
Jack He, business director of Gulikit, has gone on to give a technical description of the KingKong’s inner workings. Gamers and Hominidae biologists alike, lend him your ears.
“Each Hall-sensing joystick has two hall sensors and two magnets. ‘Hall Effect’ is essentially the principle of the electricity difference generated when the current passes through a conductor in the magnetic field. When the sensor detects the magnetic field is working, the sensor itself has no physical contact with the magnet. Therefore, neither sensor nor magnet has physical wear against each other, and there is almost no loss [or friction] on themselves for a long time.”
He continues: “Normal sticks use carbon film type potentiometer, in which there is always friction between the metal contact part and carbon film material. Over time these parts can be worn out badly and cause unknown liquids, dust, or residues inside which result in connection failure, performance degradation, and drifting is the common phenomenon.”
Well, like I said: that’s some Doc Brown levels of science at play here. Now all we need is a requirement for buyers to hook it up to a telephone pole awaiting a lightning strike to charge it, and we’ll have the whole shebang.
What’s your opinion on this controller? Will you be picking one up? Let us know!