In brief: Users have been complaining to Nintendo about a problem with its Joy-Con controllers for the Switch. Over time the mechanism in the analog sticks begins registering input even when the controls are not touched. Nintendo will not repair or replace the Joy-Cons, so a class action lawsuit was filed against the company.
There is no doubt that the Nintendo Switch has been a great success. Short battery life and lack of sufficient onboard storage are the most common complaints about the hybrid console. However, those problems appear to be getting addressed by the Switch Lite a small upgrade to the regular handheld coming soon.
However, now that the system has been out for a couple of years, users are beginning to increasingly notice an issue that has been dubbed “Joy-Con drift.” It seems that the Switch will register input from one or both analog sticks even when the controllers are not being touched.
It is unclear at this time how prevalent the problem is, but Kotaku internally polled its staff, and about 25 percent say they have experienced Joy-Con drift. I experienced the issue myself just this weekend while playing Marvel Ultimate Alliance 3 and thought it was a game glitch.
Indeed, numerous Reddit users have reported the problem as well. Some who have experienced it in multiple Joy-Cons have abandoned them and purchased Pro Controllers instead, which are actually cheaper, but do not attach to the Switch screen. Players on the forum are especially angry that Nintendo has not addressed the problem even though complaints have been pouring in since as far back as November 2017.
Now Nintendo is being sued for not addressing the problem. The class-action lawsuit filed with US District Court in Seattle states that the joysticks on the controllers are prone to the “drift issues.” It also claims that Nintendo is aware of the problem and has not only failed to disclose it to the public but has also “routinely refused to repair the joysticks without charge when the defect manifests.”
Customers are forced to purchase new Joy-Cons, which are just as defective. To rub salt in the wound, Nintendo’s controllers do not come cheap. A set runs $80 ($70 on Amazon), which is near double the price of first-party controllers for Xbox One and PlayStation 4.
Nintendo has not responded to the lawsuit yet. Hopefully, the legal action will cause the company to both fix the underlying problem and either repair or replace affected controllers free-of-charge. If you have had the problem and want to join the class action, the law offices involved have a webpage set up for claimants.
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