Nintendo has dealt with JoyCon drift issues for months now, as the controllers have routinely failed due to design defects. Drifting controllers are basically a fact of life for console gamers, but the Switch has been the worst offender of the generation by far.
Nintendo of America president Doug Bowser stated in an interview that the company is “continuously looking at ways to improve our products as we go forward.” The company has been attempting to help alleviate the problem with free repairs and replacements. The issue has been so ever-present that threats of a class-action lawsuit became realized when law firm Chimicles Schwartz Kriner & Donaldson-Smith (CSK&D) stepped in and filed suit along with various users affected by JoyCon drift.
And it’s not just Nintendo feeling the pain. Sony has now been affected by a similar, although not as widespread PlayStation 5 DualSense drift issue. CSK&D has once again stepped in and explored the potential for legal actions. After an exploratory phase involving public feedback, the firm has filed a suit in the United States District Court for the Southern District of New York on behalf of a plaintiff named Lmarc Turner.
The suit is seeking compensation from Sony “for damages suffered, declaratory relief, and public injunctive relief.” And the suit makes it very clear that the issue is once again related to drift. “Specifically, the DualSense controllers that are used to operate the PS5 contain a defect that results in characters or gameplay moving on the screen without user command or manual operation of the joystick,” the suit states. “This defect significantly interferes with gameplay and thus compromises the DualSense controller’s core functionality.”
Class-action suits like this take time to process, and resolution will not be delivered for some time. It’s likely to take many months before we hear more about this. And if we do hear about a settlement, it will likely be many more months before affected PS5 gamers see a check for their suffering. And here’s the bad thing, it’s only going to get worse.
Technology repair company IFixit swooped in and tore into the internals of the Dualsense controller, they found something alarming. Their findings show that the sticks themselves have an incredibly short lifespan. The manufacturer rates the sticks’ potentiometers at 2,000,000 cycles — whereas the center push function only lasts for 500,000 uses.
To break this down, they did the math and found out just how quickly these things wear out. A typical FPS gamer playing just a few hours a day could wear out their sticks in as little as six months.
Making the point crystal clear about where blame lies, the report points out that the console makers should expect this, and design their controllers around the issue. Not just using better parts, but offering a much easier way to replace sticks that become defective. As it stands, repair is a laborious process involving potentially desoldering or other technical know-how.
“After this research, it’s bizarre to us that console makers don’t consider joysticks to be consumable parts and design them to be easily replaced,” the outlet said. Going further, they wonder how Sony expected this to go. “No device rated for a finite number of actions, especially one that lives next to so much contamination and takes so much abuse, can maintain perfect performance forever.”