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In context: If you have ever experienced joystick drift, you know how annoying it can be. Joystick drift is when a controller registers input from the joystick even when it is in the neutral position. Sometimes users can fix it by recalibrating the joystick. However, if a defective mechanism if the cause, repair is often the only solution, which becomes problematic in out-of-warranty situations.
Nintendo is not alone in dealing with legal troubles related to joystick drift in its JoyCons. In April, Microsoft was served a class-action lawsuit over a similar issue with Xbox One controllers. Now plaintiffs have added the Xbox Elite Series 2 to the lawsuit. The amendment alleges that the controllers suffer from drift caused by faulty potentiometers.
Video Games Chronicle notes, "This component contains a known design flaw related to a grease-like lubricant, which causes resistive material scraped off a curved track to cause unwanted movement without input from the user."
The suit claims that Microsoft was well aware of the faulty mechanism, but never attempted to notify customers of the defect. It also claims that the company has refused to take responsibility and repair the malfunctioning controllers free of charge. Lawyers contend that the 90-day warranty should not apply to known defects.
"[The defendant] failed to disclose the defect and routinely refuses to repair the controllers without charge when the defect manifests," the complaint reads. "A large volume of consumers have been complaining about stick drift on Xbox One controllers since at least 2014."
Class representative Donald McFadden claims that he purchased an Xbox Elite controller for $179.99 and that the joystick started to drift after three or four months. He then bought a second controller, only to experience the same problem after a similar amount of time.
Microsoft has not commented on the lawsuit, but as these things go, it might take a page out of Nintendo's playbook and start offering to fix the faulty controllers for free.
Nintendo began repairing its defective JoyCons two days after being served the first class action in July 2019. Since then, the lawsuit was amended to add Nintendo Switch Lites, and a second class action was more recently filed.
Image credit: yudhiagust