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Nintendo Responds to Switch Owners After Joy-Con Controller 'Drift' Lawsuit Filed in the US

Nintendo is facing a class-action lawsuit alleging that it knowingly sells defective hardware

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Nintendo Responds to Switch Owners After Joy-Con Controller 'Drift' Lawsuit Filed in the US
Highlights
  • Numerous complaints over joystick drift have appeared online
  • Nintendo is alleged to be aware of a manufacturing defect
  • The company has encouraged users to visit its website's support page

Nintendo is facing a class-action lawsuit in the USA following widespread complaints by users about an issue with the popular game console's Joy-Con controller joysticks. Several users have reported 'drifting', or phantom inputs when the joysticks are not actually being used, as a result of calibration errors. A character or object being controlled would tend to drift without the user doing anything, unless they held the affected joystick in such a way that it compensates for the loss of calibration. Users have complained that Nintendo has not done enough to address the issue or fix affected units. 

Games news website Kotaku has received a statement from Nintendo saying “We are aware of recent reports that some Joy-Con controllers are not responding correctly. We want our consumers to have fun with Nintendo Switch, and if anything falls short of this goal we always encourage them to visit http://support.nintendo.com so we can help.” However, this stops short of acknowledging any defect or liability, and the website notes that Nintendo did not respond when asked how the issue might be fixed in the future.

The lawsuit was filed in the state of Washington by a law firm named Chimicles Schwartz Kriner & Donaldson-Smith LLP on behalf of a single plaintiff in the state of California. In it, the company alleges that the Joy-Cons on the plaintiff's Switch console as well as an additional pair purchased at the same time were defective, and that Nintendo did not do enough to repair them when they were sent in under warranty.

The lawsuit goes on to cite multiple examples of similar user complaints from across the Web, including on Nintendo's own support forums, saying that this should be enough to prove that Nintendo has been aware of a defect for some time now and continues to sell the Switch and standalone Joy-Cons without having done anything. It also highlights the fact that Nintendo has not offered free repairs or replacements to affected users, citing that as a breach of warranty terms.  

As a class-action lawsuit, anyone in the USA who has bought a Switch console or standalone Joy-Con controller would be considered a member of the affected class and be eligible for relief. The plaintiff's demands include that Nintendo be forced to stop selling the allegedly defective products, issue a product recall, give out free replacements or refunds to buyers, and pay punitive damages to be determined through a jury trial, plus the recovery of all legal costs. 

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Jamshed Avari

Jamshed Avari has been working in tech journalism as a writer, editor and reviewer for over 13 years. He has reviewed hundreds of products ranging from smartphones and tablets to PC components and accessories, and has also written guides, feature articles, news and analyses. Going beyond simple ratings and specifications, he digs deep into how emerging products and services affect actual users, and what marks they leave on our cultural landscape. He's happiest when something new comes ...More

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